Back to Harlow Carr at last! Rhododendrons and Erythroniums

Lockdown eased today to allow us to travel within a reasonable distance. This brought RHS Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate into contention. The rhododendrons were so stunning.

I could not discover a label on this huge specimen.

And the most jaw dropping crimson blossom.

Rhododendron barbatum
Rhododendron oreodoxa var. fargesii 

Erythroniums were everywhere, from borders to underneath the trees. They were not always named but here is a selection.

Dahlia ‘Yellow Star’

 There are plants that generate their own inner light and the truly exquisite dahlia ‘Yellow Star’ does just that. I cut down the plant this afternoon with a heavy heart as it was still laden with blooms. However contractors arrive any day now to remove what used to be a rockery from the front garden and everything has to be cleared. The tubers were healthy and are now in a good sunny spot with compost heaped above it for frost protection. I was tempted to store them in the shed but I’ve been lucky so far. Dahlias are great garden plants for late summer to the frosts; I just require them to survive winter. ‘Yellow Star’ goes back to 1952 introduced in the USA by Robens about whom I’m afraid I can discover zilch. 

Erythronium ‘Pagoda’

 The dog tooth violet is a graceful addition to the spring border, so much so that I have a number of new varieties waiting in the potting shed ready to plant out the moment the contractor has completed cutting down a number of trees and shrubs that have simply got too big for their own good. The most successful of the trout lilies in the garden, by a margin, is Erythronium ‘Pagoda’. The sulphur-yellow, pendent shaped flowers and glossy, mottled leaves, shown here on 11th April, make for a showy display. And it throws out many flowers. A member of the family Liliaceae, it grows here in shade and sun.