Argyll and Bute ‘rhoddie’ festival to go Scotland-wide

Rhododendrons in full flower.
Rhododendrons in full flower.

Argyll’s Rhododendron Festival, which enjoyed a successful first year in 2015, is this year being extended around the whole of the country by Discover Scottish Gardens, Scotland’s garden tourism organisation.

The Rhododendron Festival, running from April 1 to May 31, was launched by the Glorious Gardens of Argyll & Bute (GGAB) initiative with the aim of encouraging local audiences and tourists to enjoy the wonders of the area’s gardens during the spring flowering period and to highlight the diversity of its rhododendron collections.

Mount Stuart is among the participating organisations this year and has already highlighted the spectacular rhododendron displays to be found in the extensive gardens around the house.

Peter Baxter, chair of Glorious Gardens of Argyll & Bute and curator of Benmore Botanic Garden, says: “Scotland’s gardens are rich in rhododendrons. Hundreds of spectacular species thrive here and create stunning displays. The flowers flourish in our area and gardens such as Benmore, Arduaine, Crarae and Glenarn look particularly amazing at this time of year.

“That said, spectacular shows can be seen the length and breadth of the country as the long-held Scottish obsession with this genus has reached every outpost, and specialist gardens nurtured by enthusiastic growers can be found all around us. Such is the enthusiasm for the rhododendron, it is little wonder so many have taken the opportunity to come on board and be part of such an excellent incentive to work in partnership”.

Discover Scottish Gardens, which launched last year with growth funding from VisitScotland, aims to put Scottish gardens, nurseries and related businesses on the tourist map and to showcase the nation’s outstanding horticulture and plant diversity.

The organisation boasts a wide-reaching membership of over 130 gardens and garden-related businesses in Scotland.