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Scottish Gardens
Appendix A - Species Of Rhododendron Suitable To The Climate Of The West Of Scotland

MENTION may be made of a few species of rhododendron which have been proved to endure the climate of the West of Scotland as far north as Ross-shire. Partial shade overhead is beneficial, and they must be completely sheltered from violent winds. It is best to start them in a compost of peat and coarse said in equal parts; afterwards they will thrive in any free or light soil provided it does not contain lime in any form. The flowers of the early kinds may be destroyed by frost in some seasons, but their beauty is so great as to compensate for many failures by success in a favourable year; and the foliage of most species is so decorative that the plants deserve cultivation for that alone. What is most to be dreaded is frost in April or May, after growth has begun. This too often destroys the terminal shoots and buds, but their place will be taken by the secondary ones. As most of these rhododendrons are costly, it will be prudent to proceed tentatively at first with a few of the hardiest species, which are marked in the following list by an asterisk (*), and to give them every possible advantage of shelter from wind.

[The above was written before the destructive frost of 24th April 1908, which caught early rhododendrons in full growth and destroyed masses of bloom. Probably it has also ruined the prospects of next year's blossom, for the secondary growths are feeble and bear few flower buds.]

OF the common hybrid rhododendrons it is not necessary to give a selection : everyone may choose for himself at the annual shows. Many of them are marvellous productions, but even the best of them are deficient in the appearance of race which distinguishes the natural species. They are wanting, also, in the subtle harmony between flower and foliage which is such a fine feature in the wild rhododendrons. But these defects are not present in the following hybrids which are scarcely, if at all, inferior in these respects to the true species.

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