New venues help Scotland’s rhododendron festival to grow

More than 90 events will take place during April and May as part of the 2018 Scottish Rhododendron Festival.

Now in its fourth year, the festival has welcomed 31 new venues to its line-up, each hosting activities and walks.

The festival is organised by national garden tourism group Discover Scottish Gardens, and supported by VisitScotland, Glorious Gardens of Argyll & Bute and Scotland’s Garden Scheme.

It aims to encourage locals and tourists to enjoy Scotland’s gardens during the rhododendron flowering period and highlight the diversity of rhododendron collections.

David Knott, a curator at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh – a world centre for rhododendron studies – said: “Rhododendrons make such a significant contribution and provide fantastic displays in many Scottish gardens.

“They range in height from large tree-like plants, to dwarf alpine shrubs, and depending on the weather there will be rhododendrons in flower from February right through to August.

“Many will have already begun to bloom in gardens across the country, despite the recent bad weather we have experienced this spring. You will also find early flowering rhododendrons in garden glasshouses across Scotland.”

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, added: “We’re delighted that the Rhododendron Festival is continuing to grow, with our magnificent public gardens around Scotland sharing their passion for these beautiful flowers.”

Pictured: Dunvegan Castle and Gardens.