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Plant of the month, July 2023

Discover the garden's showstopper—a rhododendron with unparalleled blooms and foliage that steals the spotlight.

Plant of the month for July is Rhododendron nuttallii

This maybe a bit predictable but she is my favourite rhododendron! Ever!

As a famous beer commercial once said “Probably the best Rhododendron in the world?” ! I would add “Probably the best Rhododendron in the world ever and if you don’t agree you are wrong!”

This absolutely stunning Rhododendron, my personal favourite (probably protesting that fact a bit too much!), is now starting to flower. Despite the fact that each truss has up to 9 lily-like, fragrant white flushed yellow flowers it’s the foliage, particularly the new growth that amazes me. The growth unfolds to reveal a metallic purple leaf growing to 20cm in length. Stunning!

Text books state that this plant should be grown in a conservatory or heated greenhouse. I haven’t told ours that so its quite happily growing away in the centre of the garden.

Sunlight shining through grasses at the Trewithen Estate in Cornwall

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