Photographic Print. Pink Rhododendron blossoms in Portmeirion woods where they are allowed to flourish.
Ponticum is the only variety which causes problems but I believe landscapers
often get rid of all Rhododendrons, as they prefer a wood to be a sparsity of
trees rather than a wood. A wonderful example of how this varierty has been
replaced is at Portmeirion Woods. Robin Llywelyn explained to me, "Gwylit woods had become choked with them, they turn the soil acidic
and no wildlife inhabits ponticum woods and they were finally eradicated
in the 1980s. The Victorian Rhodedendrons
and other exotic trees have flourished since then, we have re-planted
some that were close to dying out and the collection is now back to full
strength." There are 70 acres filled with a mesh of
pathways winding from landscaped areas into areas of dense lush woodland
with trees allowed to arch beautifully over where you walk. The Gwyllt
wild gardens were largely
developed by Caton Haig who
collected all the originals during his travels in the Himalayas around
1900. He was given a merit by the Royal Horticultural Society for his
unique hybrid Rhododendron bred in Portmeirion, 'Gwyllt King' c. 1938
with intense red blossoms. Species include Pines, Hollies, Cherry Laurels, Rhododendrons, tall Conifers and the exotic Monkey Puzzles, Maidenhair
Gingko biloba, the huge leaves of the Gunnera Manicata from the
Brazilian rainforest, Camelias and Magnolia campbellii with its huge
light pink flowers and Chilean Maytenus boaria, reputedly the
largest in this country.
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