One of my favorite plant loves is definitely a Rhododendron. Those shiny and thick beautiful leaves that stay green in the winter also (very nice here in Finland when it’s so grey in the winter) and, of course, that amazing shine of colours when it’s their time to bloom. They are also very usual in Japan’s nature and gardens (my country love if you still haven’t figured it out).
I’m eagerly waiting for my own garden to happen in a nearby future and I definitely want it to be, at least partly, a very shadowy, forest-like garden. Just because Rhododendrons love shadow (and I actually prefer all the shadow plants). I’ve already decided that one of the first plants that my garden will get is a Rhododendron. Now I’m glad that I still have a few years until my own garden dream will come true, because there’s a new Rhododendron species in that house! Meaning there’s one new species for me to choose from.
The new one has been developed here in Finland and actually, quite near where I’m originally from, in Mustila Arboretum by Peter M. A. Tigerstedt. The new rhododendron has a light yellow flowers, apparently a very difficult colour to achieve with the feature of the plant being cold-resistant and staying alive here in Finland. It grows about 1,5 – 2 meters high. Tigerstedt (who has developed our favorite and the most-sold rhododendrons here in Finland) has refined this species for almost twenty years!!!
This is a special year here in Finland, because this year we have been our own independent country for 100 years! That’s why this new rhododendron got a name “Suomi 100” (Suomi = Finland) to honor our independency.
After years of working in the garden centers I have to admit that I know a bit about rhododendrons and what species work here in Finland. It’s difficult. Our climate is not the best for most of the plants that the most garden-enthusiastic people want to grow. And in rhododendrons you can definitely see that the colours that people want do not match the climate that we have. I know that there’s some yellow rhododendrons around the world, with much more vibrant colour, but I think it’s always very interesting to see what can be developed. I’m excited with this new one!
And I recommend to visit the Mustila Arboretum if you ever have a change. Go there when the rhododendrons are blooming in the beginning of June! There’s so many of them. There’s also a nice garden center where you can buy those rare individuals that has been studied and cared with love just around the corner.