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The Rhododendron Garden
source:Kunming Botanical Garden, KIB     author:David Sim Paterson     2012-05-15

The major civil engineering construction of the Rhododendron Garden was completed in 200* and planting followed shortly afterwards. The design concept is simple yet effective and focused largely on constructing an infrastructure beneath existing mature trees and utilizing the topographical features of the site to add interest and facilitate ease of access. The primary designed landscape feature is a watercourse that winds its way down through the site, tumbling over small waterfalls and forming pools where the topography is more relaxed. Access is provided by an interwoven network of grass and sandstone paths, the latter crossing the stream at several junctures.

During 2010, the major works in the Rhododendron Garden were concerned with horticultural husbandry and focused on a long term plan for soil amelioration and management. A pre-flowering top dressing of well rotted compost was applied primarily to assist with water retention and reduce the plants susceptibility to rapid evapo-transpiration. This top-dressing also served to enhance the aesthetic quality of the garden by darkening the red soils thus creating a greater contrast between the substrate and blooms. The summer rains created ideal conditions for vegetative growth and this was encouraged by the further addition of organic matter and controlled program of tree canopy lifting to maintain an optimum balance between shade and sunlight.

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