Q: How is a rhododendron like a human being?

A: They both need the right conditions to flourish.

Several years ago we bought a couple of rhododendrons for the garden. They did not do well. In fact they did not do anything other than hang on to life. Last autumn I dug them up, planted them in pots in ericaceous compost, watered them only with rain water (we are in a very hard water area and ericaceous plants don’t like lime) and generally pampered them. I let them know that they were in the last chance saloon. Both have tried to please. One put on lots of leaves and the other lots of flowers. They both get a reprieve!

Rhododendron with healthy looking leaves

Rhododendron with healthy looking leaves

Rhododendron with glorious flame coloured flowers

Rhododendron with glorious flame coloured flowers

The flowers are highly fragrant. I only wish I could share their delicious perfume with you.

These rhododendrons seem to me to be a metaphor for the changes in our own health and well-being when we adopt the lifestyle we are genetically programmed for.

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