October 17, 2017

Evergreen azaleas to take your breath away

Azeleas

With so many plants coming into their peak around this time of year, it is hard to pick my favourite one. There are few displays, however, as breath taking as an azalea the size of a house in bloom!

 

Isabella Plantation, Richmond Park

In Richmond Park, Surrey is the Isabella plantation. The plantation is a woodland garden of 40 acres within a woodland planted in the 1830s. It opened to the public in 1953 and has a reputation for stunning evergreen azalea displays that run along the streams and ponds in the garden. It is the perfect time right now to be visiting the Isabella Plantation. Take away inspiration from the garden to transport to your own slice of England. The Isabella Plantation are privileged to the “National Collection Holder” status from Plant Heritage of “Wilson 50 Kurume Azaleas”. Plant collector, Ernest Wilson, introduced these from Japan in the 1920s. Isabella Plantation is run with organic principles and part of the parklands is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. There is always something to see in Richmond Park and a visit at any time of the year is sure to inspire your garden design dreams.

 

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

In Heligan, Cornwall is The Lost Gardens of Heligan, which in 2015 celebrated its 25th year of (re-)opening. The gardens hold historic and unique collections of rhododendrons and camellias with some dating to around 1850. They too have been rewarded for their hard work and in 2008 were named National Collection Holders by Plant Heritage. The display of azaleas is simply awe-inspiring and attracts visitors year-round to this very isolated part of Cornwall. For the more adventurous visitor there is the Jungle area and rope bridge for you to see the garden from a totally different perspective. The majority of the gardens are wheelchair and buggy accessible, but whoever is pushing will need a good pair of shoes and strong arms! With fields and fallen trees to climb on as well as a formal kitchen garden, there is so much to see at Heligan for the whole family.

Visit one of these gardens today to be awe-struck by their stunning azalea displays.

 

Top 3 suggestions for evergreen azaleas for your garden

‘Mother’s Day’

Funnel shaped and semi-double masses of red flowers cover the plant late spring and early summer. The leaves are small and dark. If you are looking for a smaller azalea that will fit nicely in your borders or tubs, this could be the one for you!

  • Red flowers
  • Flowers late spring to early summer
  • Grows best in partial shade
  • Acid loving plant
  • Slow grower that will eventually reach 100cm spread and 80cm high

 

‘Fumiko’

Producing frilly purple flowers in late spring and early summer, this azalea will brighten up any garden. It is particularly fond of a humus-rich and acidic soil. The dark small evergreen  leaves provide a real contrast against other planting and the plant’s own purple flowers.

  • Purple flowers
  • Flowers late spring to early summers
  • Will grow happily in partial shade or full sun
  • Must not be allowed to dry out
  • Acid loving plant
  • Slow grower that will eventually reach 100cm spread and 80cm high

 

‘Gumpo White’

Another slow growing azalea, this plant produces white funnel-shaped flowers that have wavy petals in the early summer. With its stunning, green, evergreen foliage this is ideal as a patio plant in the warm, southern UK.

  • White flowers
  • Flowers in the early summer
  • Prefers partial shade
  • Must not be allowed to dry out or left sitting in water
  • Acid loving plant
  • Slow grower

 

 

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