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West Buildings, Osberton Grange,
Worksop, Nottinghamshire, S81 0UF
United Kingdom

The home of Osberton Nurseries, grower of top quality Rhododendrons in the heart of Nottinghamshire, England

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Will's Blog

The latest new and tips from the heart of Nottinghamshire

Filtering by Tag: Rhododendrons

Drama Queens!

Will Murch

Drama Queens

Traditional large flowered rhododendron hybrids have all the glamour of a lost world, just like the one immortalised in Downton Abbey. They are dramatic, colourful and exciting – definitely “drama queens”. Surely with such qualities they are going to be challenging to grow. Not so, they are really very easy and satisfying in the garden.

Two of my favourites come from a group of hybrids produced since the second world war called the Walloper Hybrids. These stem from rhododendrons that were taken to a safe haven in the USA during the war to ensure they survived. The city of Southampton was being heavily bombed and one of the best collections of new hybrids was riskily housed in the garden of Townhill Park, the home of Lord Swathling.

Lord Swathling’s talented gardener, Fred Rose, had an uncanny knack of creating exciting new varieties. Lionel de Rothschild had tried to lure him away to his rhododendron collection at Exbury on many occasions but with no luck! The 1939 seedlings were taken to a cluster of rhododendron breeders in the USA. The unnamed hybrids were split out between them and they awaited the results.

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Planting in Your Garden - 10 Easy Steps

Will Murch

I constantly keep my eye on the latest research and test it out myself in the garden back at the nursery to make sure you get the very best advice on how to plant successfully.

1. Decide where you want to plant and remove any weeds growing in the area.

2. Water your plant well in its pot before planting. Letting it sit in a bucket of water until it is well soaked is very effective. 

3. Dig a hole twice as deep and three times as wide as the root ball (this is the compost around the roots of the plant) in the pot and then loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole to improve the drainage. Don't skimp on this stage as it is crucial to your plant's quick establishment in the garden and its ongoing success over the years. 

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