A little late, but gardens look bloomin’ great

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Visitors to a major north Northumberland tourist attraction will find the rhododendrons in full bloom at the moment.

The gardens at Cragside, near Rothbury, are at their most dramatic now with a myriad of purples, reds and pinks bursting through across the estate.

The rhododendrons have been late to bloom this year, but their presence is no less dramatic as they sit beside the floral displays of azalea, which burst in colours of yellow and orange.

The landscape at Cragside was created by Lord Armstrong at a time when it was popular to take inspiration from foreign gardens.The effect he created now sees hardy hybrid rhododendrons mixed with azaleas and conifers. The estate’s forest garden is inspired by the rhododendron forests of Nepal.

Dale Stevens, assistant head gardener, said: “The whole estate is now awash with pink, purple, white and red rhododendrons, complimented by the scented yellow and orange azaleas.

“You can explore the estate on foot as we have over 40 miles of footpaths, or by car around our six-mile carriage drive.

“Either way, this is a great year to visit.

“With over 100 varieties spread out across the rock garden and wider estate, it’s no wonder people come back each year to see Lord Armstrong’s historic estate in all its glory.”

The azaleas were the first to flower in an array of bright and pastel colours including red, orange, pink, white, yellow while the evergreen Rhododendrons have a more subtle colouring including red, white, pink, purple, and mauve coloured flowers.