In 2007, May was officially declared as “Rhododendron Month” in the Comox Valley, by then Mayor Starr Winchester.
On the official proclamation, the rhododendron “Courtenay Lady” is stated as the Official Plant of the City of Courtenay. This beautiful rhododendron was hybridized in 2001 by the late horticulturalist and local rhododendron specialist Harry Wright, who was also a founding member of the North Island Rhododendron Society.
Courtenay Lady is one of the “ Courtenay Five” group of rhododendrons. These five plants were hybridized specifically by growers on Vancouver Island. Some of them are presently growing in the “Born on Vancouver Island” or “BOVI” garden bed, created in 2007, a section of the Comox Valley Rhododendron Garden in Courtenay.
The CVRG is located off Cliffe Avenue behind the Tourist Bureau and is jointly maintained by the City of Courtenay and the North Island Rhododendron Society through the “Partner in Parks” Program. Volunteers from the NIRS meet monthly between March and October for work parties to maintain the gardens.
Every spring the rhododendrons put on their peak of display during April, May and June, and are a treat for all to enjoy for all who visit the Airpark Walkway area.
Visit www.nirs.rhodos.ca for more information.