Call that a rhododendrum?

The last part of my welsh journey which ends where it started and resided at, Portmeirion.

I have written about y Gwyllt previously, it is one of the best bits of Portmeirion in my view.  It is wild, it is managed and yet left pretty much to its own devices.  This is no bad thing, because of the maturity of the planting in general any new planting tends to look rather raw and sometimes a bit out of place.  It is still a wonderful Victorian plant collectors showpiece and here you can see plants do what they do best.

Forget your idea of a neat bushy rhododendrum, this is what they do in the Gwyllt:
They grow to be mahoosive!  They sprawl, they tumble to the ground and re-root and carry on.  The seed everywhere, this is actually a problem and they do have to be managed to prevent them totally clogging up everything else trying to grow.
Their stems create the most wonderful shapes and dark spaces.  They are incredible plants that most gardens would not have the space to let them grow so wildy, so to see them like this is an education and a joy.

and whilst I am on the subject, skimmia are usually pretty ordinary shrubs aren't they? (well, I admit I don't rate them hugely, sorry if you're a fan).

But this looks like a skimmia relative (well I think it is, someone will correct me I'm sure)
It is clearly the skimmia's better looking cousin.The leaves are just glowing in the light.

As a tree I think it is wonderful, goodbye small stubby shrubs, hello to growing as you should: tall, proud and a bit wambly.


  1. Those rhododendron stems do look good on their own right, full of character and nice to see. A bit strange to think that some rhododendrons are causing so much damage to parts of the country but at least some control and management are already in place.

  2. A few years ago I saw a grove of old rhododendron at Heligon doing something similar. Gorgeous to be underneath the bushes -- it was I suddenly was a child experiencing the world at a different angle.


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