Tikorangi Notes, Friday November 5, 2010

The wonderfully strident azalea mollis

The wonderfully strident azalea mollis

Latest posts:
1) My unlikely global observations on the takeover of polyester resin outdoor furniture by the corporate giants.
2) The fragrant delight of Rhododendron Loderi Venus, in flower this week.
3) Garden tasks for this week.
4) The final Countdown to our Festival which is in full swing this week.
5) A little late in the season now, but Lachenalia aloides is a tried and true, reliable performer in winter.

The park is at its prettiest

The park is at its prettiest

Tikorangi Notes, Friday November 5, 2010
As our annual rhododendron and garden festival enters its last few days, our park is looking particularly fetching. The azalea mollis are such an OTT plant family – often bold and strident in their statement of bright colour. In a garden where we love colour, scent and flowers (forget all this restrained good taste which says form and foliage is most important – in a large garden we want flowers and to be able to go out each day and see something else coming in to bloom), the azaleas are a seasonal delight.

Parking can be a mission during Festival

Parking can be a mission during Festival

But in this ten day period which delivers up a hefty swag of our annual garden visitors, the logistics of handling visitors takes precedence. We have a visitor carpark which is perfectly adequate for 51 weeks of the year but is often woefully inadequate in that 52nd week. Poor Lloyd, our ever versatile and adaptable garden assistant, gets to double as carpark attendant. While we can sink a relatively large number of people in our garden without a sense of being overcrowded, the need to manage vehicles and to get coaches and camper vans off our busy road tends to become a bit of a mission at times. I was a little taken aback at the coach driver who suggested that if we cut out the Prunus Pearly Shadows in the middle, we would make it much easier to turn the coaches, but we were even more amused by the garden visitor who commented about our carpark that it was just like Sissinghurst. In miniature, perhaps.

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