What a week of weather we have had this week. There’s a joke at Caulders that I am continually looking at my phone to see what the weather’s like, but it is so important to the care of all of our plants! This week I do not think a single weather person has called it right!

The unpredictable weather in this country is one of the reasons that Rhododendrons brighten up the Scottish countryside so magnificently at this time of year – and they are so easy to grow! The other reason is that most of the soil in Scotland is acidic and Rhodies thrive on that type of soil. If your soil is not acidic – these beautiful plants will look great in a pot too! Incidentally the name Rhododendron is Greek – with rhodon meaning rose and dendron meaning tree, so literally a rose tree!

There are over 1000 different types of rhododendrons so there is one to suit every garden and now is the ideal time to buy and plant this flower as you will be able to see exactly what they look like in flower at this time of year.

When planting, don’t plant too deep – they have a shallow root system and when planted too far into the soil will not flower the way they should! Once planted, place some mulch around the base to keep it moist – but not in a pyramid style – too much directly on the stem will water log it!

If you like colour and easy gardening I recommend my personal favourites - the Yakushima varieties - large flowering but compact growing!


This brilliant flowering evergreen shrub is a little unusual, but has the most fantastic scented flowers at this time of year. It is slow growing, 100% hardy on Scottish climates and will grow to about one and a half feet in height – it grows into the most glorious mound and is covered in hundreds of the most wonderful pale pink flowers.