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, 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.

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