Seasonal garden tips

While are gardens are closed, our garden consultant Andrew Peters will be sharing garden tips and insights into how we work at Armadale.

Garden tips 1: Rhododendrons

We’re lucky to have many different varieties of colourful rhododendrons around the castle grounds, including many that have been planted as memorials to loved ones.

Caring for rhododendrons is an annual spring task. Giving them care and attention at this time will help build stronger plants so they can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Rhododendrons are shallow rooted so they need moisture and nutrients in the top few inches of their root zone. Each spring we remove dead wood and check for disease. We also remove any branches in contact with the ground to reduce risk from Phytophthora ramorum. We then remove any weed growth around the base of the plant, creating a generous circle of clear ground, and top dress with Vitax Q4 at the recommended rate. After that we apply a thick mulch of leaf mould; if leaf mould is unavailable, compost is good. If it’s dry at the time it’s important to water the fertiliser in.

With this care, rhododendrons should be enjoyed for many years to come.