When planning a rhododendron garden, one should set a color scheme in a timely manner. Landscapers recommend either to opt for a single color or to choose flower colors that stand in stark contrast to each other. A jumble of random, unplanned colors in a bed next to each other should be avoided.
However, for example pink and orange flowers - which actually would not harmonize with each other - combine well with the skillful introduction of additional white flowering shrubs. Through a clever selection of species and varieties, can extend the flowering of rhododendrons in the garden from late March to late June.
Although there are so many different rhododendron species and varieties, pure rhododendron gardens sometimes look a bit dull and drab. Especially when the flowering period is over. Landscapers therefore choose companion plants that draw before or after the rhododendron season with beautiful flowers, silvery and bright green leaves or brilliant autumn colors that catch the eye. The experts know exactly what companion plants harmonize well with the rhododendrons and which require the same environmental conditions to the site. Since garden specialists can also estimate how large individual plants are going to get and how they spread, they can avoid - through targeted selection of plants - that they hinder each other later.
The Right Companion Plants
Grasses, Ferns, Shrubs
Grasses and ferns are the perfect companions for rhododendrons. With the many different shades of green and its delicate structures they form an attractive contrast to the dark color of rhododendron leaves. Ferns, who need light and soil conditions largely similar to those of rhododendrons, also underline the forest character of this part of the garden. The selection of grasses that are suitable for a shadow and half-shadow spot is not quite as big, but one can also find real gems. Beside the ferns, a varied perennials carpet can also put rhododendrons in the right spotlight. Ideal are restrained flowering plants and plants with beautiful foliage.
With bulb flowers like snow pride, ageratum and many daffodils you can bring color to the garden before the rhododendron blooms. Other plants bloom in spring simultaneously with the rhododendrons and accompany the trees and shrubs in an unobtrusive manner. Bluebell, spring snowflake or lily leeks add their natural charm between the shrubs.
Plantings of rhododendrons become multifaceted when mixed with matching summer and evergreen shrubs. Even before the rhododendron bloom, early bloomers such as witch hazel, hazel bells or magnolia spread a spring-like ease. Their bright buds will be a counterpoint against the evergreen foliage scenery. Dogwood species can also loosen the rhododendron garden with gorgeous flowers and elegant stature. With their fine foliage even downy Japanese maples are an ornament throughout the year - culminating with bright yellow or red leaf coloration that they reach in the fall.
The right amount of light and shade can be achieved through trees in the rhododendron garden. When choosing the right species, it is important to note some peculiarities: as the roots of rhododendrons spread flat in the ground, it makes sense to put deep-rooted trees and shrubs to the side, which do not represent competition for water and nutrients. Pines have been found to be ideal companions for rhododendrons. Their bright crowns offer protection from the sun not only in summer but also in winter. Low species such as Japanese pine and arolla pine are well suited to provide shade for small rhododendrons.