2015 was the Centenary of the creation of the Rhododendron Society now known as the Rhododendron Camellia & Magnolia Group. A number of celebratory events were organised including the creation of the Centenary Cup Competition, a special edition of the yearbook and the activities shown below.
David Millais, Chairman of the Group, nurseryman and rhododendron expert, talks about his great uncle's involvement in the foundation of the Rhododendron Society (later to become the Rhododendron, Camellia & Magnolia Group) in 1915.
Charles Williams, fourth generation custodian of the superb Caerhays Castle garden talks about Camellias with Sarah Chesters, Education Officer at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden, Rosemoor, Devon. In particular the x williamsii hybrids created by his great-grandfather who was one of the founders of the Rhododendron Society.
Sarah Chesters, Education Officer at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden, Rosemoor, Devon, interviews plant hunter and renowned plantsman Roy Lancaster about Rhododendrons during the annual Main RHS Rhododendron Competition.
2015/16 is the centenary of the founding of the Rhododendron Society.
Sarah Chesters, Education Officer at the Royal Horticultural Society's Garden, Rosemoor, Devon, talks to Jim Gardiner about Magnolias.
Jim Gardiner is an expert on Magnolias and has written books on them, and is a past president of the Magnolia Society International. Having held senior posts in the RHS, he is now Executive Vice-President and acts as a 'roving ambassador' for the Society
During 2015 we asked members to vote for their top 10 favourite Rhododendrons.
I am pleased to be able to reveal the final list of the Top 100 Rhododendrons at last, the result of combining all the lists of ‘10 favourite rhododendrons’ submitted by 258 members from around the world. Together we have created a marker in time for the end of our first one hundred years that we can be proud of, and something that will stand up to the scrutiny of those that follow us in the years to come. There will be more information about the whole project in the 2016 Yearbook but in the meantime I hope that you will enjoy studying the list and comparing it with your own entry.
The whole process was entirely democratic and the end results extremely close. The front runners were neck-and-neck for most of the time but in the end the number one choice was Rhododendron yakushimanum and we can confirm that it received global support. We are extremely fortunate that our top choice was a rhododendron that is naturally in bloom at the time of both the Centenary Event at Wisley and also for our exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show which should enable us to showcase an actual plant in full bloom on both occasions.
My thanks to everyone who contributed to this project.