It’s a pity that when one says rhododendrons most people immediately think of that acid shade of magenta that is by far the commonest colour found on rhododendrons in woods and even gardens.

However, a short stroll around the Mount Edgcumbe gardens will show that they can be found in many shades of red and pink, none of them too close to magenta! Here are a couple of examples:

They clearly flourish on the acidic, leaf mould rich soil in this corner of Cornwall. Thinking about the colours of these plants – and the camellias, about which I blogged last month – I have noticed a preponderance of striking pink/purple flowers this week. I wonder whether there is any reason why this should be a stronger colour this month. In the course of this week I have seen a clump of early purple orchid (no photo I’m afraid as it was a cloudy day, and they were quite hidden) but also a gloriously coloured thistle and lots of foxgloves – see below.

One of the great pleasures of this lockdown, in mercifully good weather, has been the chance to enjoy the trees coming into leaf, the ferns unfolding, the bluebells succeeding the primroses, and now orchids and foxgloves. I even saw honeysuckle in full blossom and scent yesterday. My collection of Observer books has come in very useful; trees and ferns in particular at the moment.

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