Choose from hundreds of rhododendrons in bloom at the Cowichan Valley Garden Fair on April 28. (submitted)

Choose from hundreds of rhododendrons in bloom at the Cowichan Valley Garden Fair on April 28. (submitted)

Choose from hundreds of rhododendrons in bloom

In the Lake Cowichan area you should also consider hardiness of your plant

By Ingeborg Woodsworth

Prepare yourself now for the best opportunity to get colour in your garden at the Cowichan Valley Garden Fair, Saturday, April 28, at the Cowichan Exhibition Grounds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This will be your place to choose from hundreds of rhododendrons in bloom.

The variations in form and colour within the rhododendron family are almost endless. There are plants with leaves one-quarter inch long and others with leaves over a foot long.

In the Lake Cowichan area you should also consider hardiness of your plant as temperatures are always a little lower than those in Duncan. Make sure you provide some shade and avoid cold winter winds.

Rhododendrons are tough, but they will not stand “wet feet”. Any area with a hardpan or clay subsoil or any pocket which holds water during the winter months must be drained before planting.

Extra care should be taken for the first year after planting until a good root system has developed. Rhododendrons are shallow-rooted, and during very dry periods they require watering.

The fair also features help and advice from vendors and helpers.

Ingeborge Woodsworth is the owner of Mayo Creek Gardens in Lake Cowichan.