Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Heather?

It is difficult to imagine, but those large, bright, even gaudily flowered shrubs, the Rhododendrons and Azaleas, belong to the Heath, or Heather family or Ericaceae.  At this time of year, the Azaleas growing around Shipley Hill are looking pretty good.  These are in the grounds of the Derby Lodge.
Elsewhere, in the grounds of what was once Shipley Hall, more Azaleas are opening their brightly coloured and surprisingly fragrant blooms.  These are, I think, Rhododendron luteum or the Yellow Azalea (no surprises there.)
Among the most vibrant are the orange-flowered ones.  They seem to glow in the sunshine, particularly when seen against the dark interior of the bushes.  This one is Rhododendron calendulaceum.
The Rhododendrons too are looking beautiful in the sun.  Rhododendrons tend to be larger in stature, towering above you as you walk along the paths of Shipley Hill.
Looking a little more closely, you get to see the intricate pattern of spots and splashes on the petals, down the 'throat' of the flower.
All very colourful.
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