Collecting the King rhododendron hybrids
Heritage Park, the Garden Management Committee is expanding the
garden's collection of New Zealand hybrids, with emphasis on
hybrids bred in the North Island. This initiative is part of the
New Zealand Rhododendron Association's project aimed at
conserving hybrids. In recent years the Committee has planted
collections of Gordon family hybrids from Taihape and John White
hybrids from Hawkes Bay. Interest has now turned towards the
King family hybrids
bred in Wanganui and we know that thirteen hybrids were
registered by Stafford King in the 1980's. Six other
unregistered King hybrids are known and there may be more in
Wanganui gardens. Currently there are two King hybrids at
Heritage Park, R. 'King's Milkmaid' and R. 'Bumblebee'. We will
be able to acquire several more King hybrids from the nursery
trade but to get a representative collection we will have to
visit Wanganui gardens to get scions for propagation. Our search
for King hybrids is being aided by Tom Carter who owns the
Springvale Garden centre which is on the site of Stafford,
King's former nursery. Visits will be made to Wanganui in
October-November 2015 to look at the hybrids in flower, and then
in late summer 2016 we hope to collect scions.
Update on Cuttings taken from Tombleson Garden, "Tapuwae".
Plants were propagated on 28
February, 2014 and this is a recent photograph 21 months later.
They have recently had new growth pinched out to encourage
branching and have been re-potted. We hope to plant them out at
Heritage Park in the autumn.
Thank you to all who
participated in working bees this year. We have achieved a lot,
including moving large trial plants to new gardens. The photo
depicts preparation work done by community workers, the plants
in place after being moved by tractor and the pea straw waiting
to be spread.
Join friends and receive our newsletter