The Rhododendron and Camellia Yearbook - 1966. Edited by P. M. Synge and J. W. O. Platt. viii plus 206 pp. (The Royal Horticultural Society, London, England)
The Yearbook is an annual and automatic addition made to the libraries of many rhododendron fanciers and it is an important addition for anyone seriously interested in remaining abreast of current developments in the field. This Yearbook is the twentieth to be published. In the foreword Sir Giles Loder, who is the Chairman of the Rhododendron and Camellia Committee, notes that during this period nearly all of the large rhododendron gardens in Great Britain have been described as well as rhododendron gardens in New Zealand, Sweden, the Pacific Northwest, and Germany.
Included this year are descriptions of a garden in Scotland, one in Australia, and the garden at Werrington Park in England which was purchased by Mr. J. C. Williams in 1882. Werrington Park is noted for its collection of rhododendrons raised from seed sent to England by botanical collectors and for the size rhododendrons reach here. Descriptions of 'Blue Tit' and 'Moonstone' 8 feet tall, and 'Temple Belle' reaching 15 feet bring to mind the many times these are planted under windows here.
Rhododendron gardens in the West of Scotland are described with details about rainfall and winter cold which make it easier for American gardeners to interpret the information given in relation to their own growing conditions.
Mr. H. H. Davidian, whose additions from time to time to the Review of Rhododendron in Their Series are awaited with particular interest, has described in this Yearbook a new rhododendron, R. succothii.
More information about Japanese rhododendron species is contributed by Mr. K. Wada, who writes about a form of R. metternichii and its hybrids. The constantly growing number of admirers of yakushimanum will find interesting notes about this relative of metternichii.
When the rhododendronist succumbs to the fascination of hybridizing (and it seems to be an inevitable temptation), the awards list and the additions to the International Rhododendron Register take on new interest. Very nearly two-thirds of the 64-65 additions listed are American hybrids.
Rhododendrons from the mountains of New Guinea may well prove to be hardy on the Pacific Coast in the opinion of Michael Black. His colored photographs of deeply lobed tubular rhododendrons are going to kindle some ardent longings to own them. He also found deep rooted rhododendrons adapted to growing on hot dry banks. Even where lack of hardiness might prevent growing these species, this new blood offers exciting hybridizing possibilities.
An expedition to Northeast India in search of rhododendron is recounted by Peter and Patricia Cox and Peter Hutchinson. Dr. Milton V. Walker has written about the annual meeting of the American Rhododendron Society last year at the Planting Fields Arboretum on Long Island. Taken all together here is a view of rhododendron activity around the world.