Rhodos, rhodos everywhere

Sooke Garden Club to talk about perennial favourite

Rhodos are the subject at the next Sooke Garden Club meeting.

It’s early spring and that means eye-popping colours around every corner – tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, camellias, flowering plums and cherries, and, of course, rhododendrons. How lucky we are to live in a climate that allows us to feast on this visual banquet at the end of a gray, rainy winter.

For all intents and purposes, we are just getting into rhodo season. Some varieties are already in spectacular bloom, with many, many more to come over the weeks ahead. What is so great about these shrubs, in addition to the gamut of colour their flowers offer, is that they generally look great year round. Moreover, they tend not to be on the deer buffet.

Rhododendrons are much more variable than is generally realized. They range in size from tiny, only a few centimeters tall, to giants, more than 30 meters in height. Leaf and flower shapes also vary widely, and some species are highly perfumed. In certain areas, rhododendrons grow abundantly in the wild. So with thousands of cultivars available, the big challenge is deciding which ones to choose for a particular landscape or container.

It’s spring, it’s planting time, and rhodos (some already in bloom) are available for purchase at nurseries and garden centres everywhere. It’s the perfect time for Bill McMillan’s “Rhodos 101,” a presentation addressing the basics of rhododendron culture, care and problems. He will talk about the various kinds of rhodos, when, where, and how to plant them, and how to determine why a plant is not performing well and what to do about it.

Bill McMillan, describes himself as a rhodo enthusiast rather than an expert. However, he has been curator of the Rhododendron and Hosta Garden of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific since 2000 and has visited China twice to study species rhododendrons. He also propagates and grows rhododendrons from both seeds and cuttings.

Please join us Wednesday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church on Townsend Road. New members welcome. Annual fee: $15.

For more information, email:   sookegardenclub@yahoo.ca or phone Rose at 250-642-5509. The evening will also feature a parlour show, and contest potatoes will be available.

Annual Public Plant Sale:

The Sooke Garden Club will be having a huge plant sale at Evergreen Mall on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Plants of every description will be available, and a landscape architect/arborist and several master gardeners will be on site to answer your gardening questions. Don’t miss this event. Come early and meet the friendly faces of Sooke Garden Club members. Memberships will be available.

Contributed by Loretta Fritz

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Depression-era’ unemployment figures could hit Greater Victoria

South Island Prosperity Project launches new dashboard to measure effects of COVID-19

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

Langford woman frustrated over visitor restrictions to see 96-year-old mother

Island Health to introduce virtual visits at long-term care facilities

Shot fired through young family’s home in Victoria, man in custody

No injuries reported from incident in 1200-block of Yates Street

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

82% of all test-positive COVID-19 cases in B.C. have recovered

B.C. had 303 active cases as of Saturday, May 23

Most Read