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A long lost Rhododendron found in Lady Anne’s Garden

Posted by Rosemoor Garden on 03 Jun 2009 at 02:25 PM

Lady Anne’s Garden was already very well developed and mature when it was gifted to the RHS in 1988. Even now there are still areas within this original part of Rosemoor that need redevelopment; and in doing so plants sometimes come to light that are not in the garden records.

One such plant was found in Lady Anne’s Garden when I was tidying through an area of flowering rhododendrons, in the hope that some of them could be named or better still that Lady Anne’s original labels could be found for them among the overgrown vegetation. One plant label that was found was for Rhododendron ‘Thomasine’, though it was not close to the base of any of the plants in the area. As a good deal of the plants were in flower at the time most of the labels were easily sorted to their right place, but then I was left with one label for Rhododendron ‘Thomasine’ and one rhododendron with pink flowers. I knew from experience that one plant and one label did not necessarily equal a match but if it did that would keep things nice and simple.


On looking in the reference books I could find nothing on this plant, even the internet was unable to help in my search. Only when I asked the plant records officer for help did things start to get exciting; the records showed that this plant was only known from the Herbarium at Wisley as a painting commissioned in 1931 when the plant had received an Award of Merit.

This was certainly not the outcome that I had expected so flowering material was collected and sent off to Wisley so that they could verify this and have some proper herbarium material. It still rather surprises me that although this plant could be classed as being lost, and was slightly over grown by things around it; it was still flowering well and was easy enough for any one to see. Just think what other gems there may be in the remoter parts of Lady Anne’s Garden awaiting rediscovery! 

Jonathan Hutchinson, Senior Supervisor


Susannah Charlton said:

What an exciting discovery - and it looks beautiful too!


on 04 Jun 2009 at 09:27 AM