Landscape (UK) - - Our Landscape -

To­day, the huge, blowsy hy­brids of yes­ter­year have been largely re­placed with hy­brids stem­ming from Rhodo­den­dron yakushi­manum. This com­pact shrub has been used to pro­duce thou­sands of crosses in the last 20 years; plants that are bet­ter suited to smaller gar­dens, such as creamy ‘Ba­bette’, clear pink ‘Birth­day Girl’, coral-coloured ‘Dopey’ and scar­let ‘Fred Peste’. At Ram­ster Gar­dens, owner Mi­randa Gunn has cre­ated a plot show­ing how the lat­est dwarf va­ri­eties can fit into the tini­est flower bed or large con­tainer. Great rhodo­den­drons for smaller spa­ces in­clude the pale yel­low ‘Wren’, hairy-leaved ‘Woolly Dane’, soft white ‘Tinker­bird’ and the clear pink ‘Win­some’. Small aza­leas in­clude hot pink ‘Arabesque’ and cherry red ‘Florida’. Mi­randa has sug­gested use­ful things for in­ter­plant­ing too, such as helle­bores and beau­ti­ful blue lithodora.

Rhodo­den­dron ‘Wren’ is a dwarf ev­er­green grow­ing to 16in (40cm) high and 3ft (1m) wide.

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