Let's go to the rhodo show

Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society member Barbara Kulla shows off one of the blooms in her Qualicum Beach garden. - Neil Horner photo
Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society member Barbara Kulla shows off one of the blooms in her Qualicum Beach garden.
— image credit: Neil Horner photo

There are few places on Earth more suited to growing rhododendrons than Vancouver Island and some of the very best blooms will be on display to demonstrate that fact this Saturday.

This will be the 21st year the Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society will hold their annual rhodo sale and organizer Marilyn Dawson says it’s shaping up to be one of the best ever.

“Tons of stuff comes up every year, but this year it looks like we’ll have a greater introduction of species, as opposed to hybrids,” she said. “A lot of the vendors have changed over the years, so they are bringing in a greater variety.”

One of the aspects that’s sure to pique the interest of many rhodo fans this year is an expected wide variety of small-leafed species.

“The small-leafed varieties are becoming more popular,” she said. “They seem to take the sun better.”

The event is expected to draw more than a dozen vendors from up and down Vancouver Island, as well as between 800 to 900 rhodo fans, looking to snap up bargains.

“The moral of the story is, get there early,” Dawson said.

The sale, slated for the Parksville Curling Club venue, will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dawson noted amateur hobbyists will be welcome to display their favourite blooms and they can avail themselves of an opportunity to learn how to put their best blooms forward at a special MARS meeting, slated for Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

The event will not only showcase rhododendrons however, Dawson said.

“There will also be all sorts of stuff like ferns, maples and dogwood, shrubs,” she said. “It’s all about rhodos and plants that grow well with them.”

For more information call 250-752-3694.


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