CULTIVATION OF RHODODENDRONS IN A LARGE PRIVATE COLLECTION

P. Spoelberch
Approximately 6.500 accessions of individual or groups of woody species have been planted over the last twenty years in the woodland park at "HERKENRODE". This private estate is located in the village of Wespelaar near the city of Leuven, to the north of Brussels. The botanical collection which now covers approximately 10 hectares has been planned by the owner and maintained by one single full time gardener. Extensions are still being designed and implemented. Of the 2.100 rhododendron accessions, only 1.500 have survived the various hazards of our Belgian climate. The purpose of this paper is to give an account of some observations and describe the tasks which have to be completed, through an average twelve month period, in order to maintain and continue to expand the collection.

The dedication of my gardener, Eddy Verboven, must be acknowledged here. His continuous concern and attention to all things relating to the estate is the major reason for its existence and growing reputation. With the exception of occasional outside contractors hired for major improvements, he is on his own, six days a week, fifty two weeks a year. He is clearly an exceptional man.

I have split up this description into six periods of two months each which seem characteristic of the various activities.

Spoelberch, P. (1994). CULTIVATION OF RHODODENDRONS IN A LARGE PRIVATE COLLECTION. Acta Hortic. 364, 179-186
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1994.364.25
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1994.364.25
Transplanting, soil preparation, winter protection, watering, inventory

Acta Horticulturae