A hidden gem in the High Weald of Sussex, sensitively planted to enhance the natural landscape. A botanical treasure trove and classic English idyll make High Beeches one of the finest gardens in the South East


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Rhododendrons Subsection Grandia

There are a number of Grandia Rhododendrons in the garden including Rh. sinogrande,
Rh. montroseanum and Rh. kesangiae.

Rh sinogrande is an old plant which doesn't always flower.  It has magnificent foliage, the leaves can be up to 80 cm long and are a dark glossy green with a silvery indumentum.  It flowers in April and the flowers are large trusses, creamy white in colour with a crimson blotch.  It was discovered by George Forrest in 1931 and comes from the Himalayas.

Rh. sinogrande

Rhododendron kesingae is another large plant rare in cultivation.  It has large glossy dark green leaves although not as large as Rh. sinogrande.  The flowers are large trusses of a deep pink, there is also a white form.  A relatively recent introduction from Bhutan and named after the Queen Mother of Bhutan. 

Rh kesingae
 Rh. montroseanum is another large leaved Rhododendron which is suitable for woodland gardens.  It has  long narrow leaves which are dark and glossy and silvery underneath.  It flowers in April/ May and the flowers are large and pink with a crimson basal blotch.  It was introduced in 1925 by Frank Kingdom Ward.

Rh. montroseanum

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Rhododendron Centenary 2

A great day for High Beeches. 

Friday was spent checking that nothing had been missed and then all the blooms were packed into boxes loaded into the cars and we were ready to leave for RHS Wisley.

The Rhododendron Camellia and Magnolia Group had been given a marquee for their Centenary Exhibition on the main lawn at Wisley.  The show was part of the Exhibition with the Centenary Cup for the best exhibit.  This was a different format from the usual Shows and everyone agreed extremely difficult to judge.  There were five classes, Species, Hybrid, Evergreen Azaleas, Deciduous Azaleas and one for the less hardy rhododendrons.  Russell, Eoin and I arranged our exhibits and headed home round the M25.  I went back out into the garden to look for another Loderi King George as I felt the one we had taken would not survive the night and Russell found a beautiful Rh. kesangiae to take with me the following morning. 

Early Saturday morning I was back on the M25 to Wisley to check our exhibits before judging.  Both the Savill Gardens, Exbury and Caerhays along with several other Group members were hard at work staging their exhibits and when all was finished it made a magnificent show.  We all then headed over to the CafĂ© for a much needed breakfast while the judging took place. 

The Rhododendron species show bench
Rh. White Glory and Rh. kesangiae

 Returning to the marquee I noticed that our Rh. kesangiae was missing from the bench and realised that it had won the species class, I then discovered Rh. White Glory had won the hybrid class but the Savill Garden took the Centenary Cup for the best in show with a stunning vase of
 Rh. Schlippenbachii

Winners of the Centenary Cup

Rh kesangiae

There are several plants of Rh. kesangiae in the
garden including the white form.  It is from
Bhutan and is named after the Queen of Bhutan.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Rhododenron Centenary

It is the RHS Rhododendron Camellia and Magnolia Group Centenary Celebration next weekend,7th/8th May at Wisley.

Rh. Florida Ogada

On Saturday the Telegraph had an article on the centenary 'Rhododendrons return to the fold' which said I quote 'Some of the most famous rhododendron gardens will be exhibiting:  Caerhays, Exbury, High Beeches and Savill Gardens'.  The article is about the Centenary Celebration when many of the famous Rhododendron gardens will be showcasing rhododendrons including the top 100 as voted for by members.

Rh. niveum

High Beeches will be exhibiting several Rhodododenrons including Rh. Florida Ogada a hybrid between Rh. sino grande and macabeanum, Rh. niveum and Rh. falconeri.  The competition will be tough and there are few classes but it is a chance to see some of the best Rhododendrons in the country exhibited by some of the greatest gardens in the country.

Rh. falconeri