Time for annual rhodo sale

The first Sunday in May is the best time to buy your first or 100th rhodo at the North Island Rhododendron Society sale and truss show.

For rhododendron lovers, the first Sunday in May is the best time of the year to buy your first or hundredth rhodo at the annual North Island Rhododendron Society (NIRS) sale and truss show.

Held at the K’ómox Band Hall on Dyke (Comox) Road from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Sunday, visitors will have the opportunity to meet growers and to choose from a wide selection of popular, rare and unusual rhododendrons along with many companion plants.

While Washington may have beaten British Columbia to the draw by naming the rhodo their official state flower, local growers and gardeners know the flower flourishes here. As NIRS club president Paul Wurz says, “This is probably the best place in the world to grow rhodos.”

Ask growers why it’s a good idea to buy from a sale such as the annual NIRS sale and they’ll give you a string of reasons.

Bernie Guyader who specializes in dwarf rhodos (and alpine plants) says that the more unusual rhododendrons are found at plant sales and not in big box stores where only a limited number of varieties are available.

“People selling rhodos in the large chain stores are not usually very knowledgeable about plants and sometimes the plants are not cared for properly after they arrive.”

Since the plants all have their special needs if they are to flourish, buying directly from the grower is a rare opportunity to bone up on plant culture.

“The growers know more than simply how to plant, transplant and care for rhodos,” says NIRS member and grower Barb Staton.”They know the names,  the individual traits, the preferred habitats, the history and origins of the plants they are selling and have nurtured for many years.”

Wurz agrees: “Many of the plants, especially the ones in one-gallon pots you often see in box stores don’t have fully developed roots.  Studies show that many of these die in the first year because the buyer isn’t given the information on how to care for them and how they must be watered.”

One of the highlights of the NIRS sale is the annual truss display where a colourful exhibit of blooming  rhodos gives the buyers a better idea as to what their plant will look like.  Each of the trusses is clearly identified and if that particular rhodo isn’t available at the sale, the grower experts can advise on where it can be purchased.

Doors for the NIRS sale May 5 open at 10 a.m. with the sale running until 1 p.m. In addition to rhodos, NIRS members will sell a wide selection of companion plants and volunteers are available to assist buyers with their purchases. Admission and parking are free and visitors will also be given a free chance at a draw for a rhododendron.

— North Island Rhododendron Society

Just Posted

Youth lead Millard Creek fisheries tour

Join the Youth and Ecological Restoration (YER) youth-led fisheries tour at 3300… Continue reading

NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership certificate starts this fall

Seats are open for the September start of NIC’s new Aboriginal Leadership… Continue reading

YANA Ride cruises past fundraising goal

The 2018 ride is expected to meet last year’s total of $62,000

Mid-Vancouver Island air quality risk very high

Residents of the mid-Island area went to bed last night and awoke… Continue reading

Comox Valley Ground Search & Rescue kept busy across the province

CVGSAR had a busy week, sending rescuers as far away as Invermere

U.S. man admits slaying wife, blames her for daughters’ deaths

A 33-year-old Denver man is facing three first-degree murder charges

Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha as pilgrims conduct hajj rites

More than 2 million pilgrims carry out the final rites of the hajj in Saudi Arabia

White Spot records B.C. Pirate Pak record day

Popular B.C.-Alberta event raises more than $116,000 to send kids and adults to Zajac Ranch

Suspect in Spiderman suit steals camera on Vancouver Island

Suspect in red and blue “onesie” caught on surveillance footage breaking into truck in Nanaimo

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Zeballos wildfire not getting any closer to town – BC Wildfire Service

Authorities optimistic about Zeballos; choppers grounded due to heavy smoke

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

Most Read