Exuberance is a quality you want from at least some quarters of your garden,
and if the flower power is combined with scent, you are in seventh heaven.
Roses and Chinese wisteria deliver it, and in spring so do deciduous
azaleas. Scent in hardy evergreen rhododendrons is not so easy to find. One
exceptional group are the Loderi tribe, among which 'Loderi King George',
with huge pale pink trusses, is my favourite. I have two plants of it on the
shady, north-facing fringe of my lawn, though I think I took these photos in
the Valley Garden in Windsor Great Park.
Mine started flowering well a couple of years after planting, but they take
decades to develop into big shrubs with the beautiful patterned trunks you
see in established gardens. I have to water them in periods of drought, but
otherwise, apart from deadheading (the flowerheads can be snapped off
crisply at their base, just above the new buds), they are entirely