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RHS National Rhododendron Show at Rosemoor is bloomin’ marvellous!

Some of the best rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias will be on display at the RHS National Rhododendron Show at Rosemoor.
Flowers come early in the sheltered location of near Great Torrington and the fourth weekend in April sees a glorious display of colour at the RHS National Rhododendron Show. This competitive event combines with the South West Camellia and Magnolia Show to make it the biggest and best event of its kind in the UK.

The RHS National Rhododendron Show provides welcome spring colour

This annual event is eagerly anticipated by all keen gardeners, and no wonder. This national show has over 60 classes for entries covering all types of rhododendrons as well as magnificent displays of magnolias and camellias. After the spring display of bulbs is over and the golden daffodils and tulips have been cut back or lifted, the beauty of these showy blooms is a welcome sight heralding warmer days in Devon.

The central marquee is packed with visitors who are keen to browse the exhibits for new tools, seeds and ideas to take home. At the centre of the marquee is a central floral display created by Rosemoor’s professional team of top horticulturists. In 2012, they produced an amazing woodland garden which looked like it had always existed there with its well established plantings.

There are plenty of experts on hand at the show to answer queries from the visiting public. Part of the pleasure of the event is browsing the trade stands from nurseries that come from all over the UK to take part. This is the chance for you to pick up some beautiful new plants to make your garden a Rosemoor in miniature!

Rhodos, Azaleas and Camellias at the National Rhododendron Show!

For flower arrangers, there is a flower arranging competition and the challenge is to use only rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias. The arrangements are large and showy to incorporate these beautiful multi-petalled blooms in all their glory. Colours range from pure white camellias to deep violet rhodos and all colours in between. The also takes part and this is the chance to see the unusual yellow magnolias which are simply stunning.

Formal estates and gardens throughout Devon and Cornwall have well established camellia collections and huge magnolias trees dating back to the time when the estates had teams of gardeners to tend to their prized collection.

The History of Rhododendrons

Victorians in particular brought back new strains of rhododendrons, camellias and magnolias from the Far East and all over the world. The damp, mild Westcountry climate suits them perfectly. Fortunately, these stately homes and gardens have left a legacy to the nation which is now managed by the , and the (RHS).

Flower shows such as the RHS National Rhododendron Show celebrate the English love for gardens. They ensure that new strains as well as heritage species continue to survive and thrive.

The RHS National Rhododendron Show is open to the public and is free to enter. Visitors to the show must pay the usual entrance fee to Rosemoor, which incidentally is a full day out with its restaurant, marquees and 65-acre grounds including woodland, a lake, arboretum, alpine garden and beautiful formal display gardens.

The show opens on the fourth Saturday in April at 11:30am, after judging has taken place. It runs until 4pm, although the gardens are open as usual from 10am to 6pm. On the Sunday, viewings of the exhibits and the growers’ stands are from 10am to 4pm.

The RHS puts on several Flower Shows each year, including the well-known Chelsea Flower Show and shows at Hampton Court, Tatton Park and Cardiff. Have you visited any of these events or seen them on TV? We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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