I had to take this pic in a hurry and the perspective is a bit wrong – this is indeed a very large rhododendron, but that’s not a miniature bench.
Anyway, no Cornish garden is complete without rhodos and they were looking spectacular at Heligan, especially on Flora’s Green. This one is over 150 years old and has unfortunately been diagnosed with Phytophthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death).
DEFRA initially wanted all of the rhododendrons destroyed but Heligan refused, offering to monitor the problem instead. The team are also taking cuttings, using a pioneering micro-propagation technique, in case the original plants are eventually lost. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen for a while yet: Flora’s Green – and Heligan – wouldn’t be the same without them.