It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world


In Scotland, anyone who’s anyone has at least one huge rhododendron blooming in their front garden. Rhododendrons like it here, although they are native to North America. They like Scotland’s acidic soil, and perhaps feel that they are doing the population of Scotland a service by bringing flounce and chutzpah to our dour, sensible lives. Like perverse missionaries, not content with conquering the cities and towns of the lowlands the rhododendrons have also spread their devil-may-care message of zany colour and promiscuous spawning across the Highlands. They look out of place in the wild, like lost Soho drag queens who caught the wrong tube home.


Those who know me know I don’t care for rhododendrons much. I find them too showy and chintzy. But they’re blooming, and I have a brightly coloured empty vase, and it’s Monday, and now that I’ve picked them I’ve had that Kinks song in my head the whole weekend because they do look like they’re in drag. Cee-oh-el-ay cola! I’ve made the vase as clashing as possible by adding orange azalea flowers, which always remind me of the crazy red foxes in Labyrinth. The telephone is a reconditioned 1980 GPO 746, and when it rings, the sensory overload is complete.

In a vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling In The Garden.

IMG_0107 .

8 thoughts on “It’s a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world

      1. That’s odd. It must be a pink variety reverting to basic purple, like some variegated plants revert to plain green. If it were yours and you loved it you should remove any branches with purple flowers as they will be weakening the pink parts.
        I love the speckled throats in the pink flowers, and the deep rose bud that they open from.

  1. The fact that I did not understand the connotations of ‘Lola’ in the 60s shows how naive I was then (and I suspect I wasn’t alone)… What a great analogy – especially the lost Soho drag queens on the tube! I know what you mean about rhododendrons as I probably wouldn’t have entertained them in the garden at first, but they are now very welcome in the woodland edge border (as long as they don’t get too big – although I am pretty sure I chose ones that didn’t get much bigger than a metre in height). Yours certainly make a statement here – thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. OK I am going to own up – though probably no-one but you will read this comment anyway as I am so late. I like rhododendrons! Can I also admit to disliking Pieris which is another plant that does well up her and that every second house has in their front garden.

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