Rhododendron Trewithen Purple scooped a first prize at the Royal Horticultural Society’s main rhododendron competition. It’s the first time the stunning bloom has ever been shown.

Trewithen’s Head Gardener, Gary Long and members of the gardening team were delighted, especially as this variety of the shrub was only registered a couple of years ago.

The success of Trewithen Purple was one of 16 first place awards and a further 13 other placings presented to Gary at the competition, which was held at Rosemoor in Devon. Two other Trewithen entries particularly special to Trewithen were R.’ Alison Johnstone’ , named after the grandmother of the current owner, Michael Galsworthy, which won first prize and R. ‘Jack Skilton’ named after a former Head Gardener, which won second prize – the first time in over a decade of competing that it has been placed.

To prepare for the event Gary and his team spent Thursday and Friday selecting and picking flowers before packing them in trays of freshly gathered moss for cushioning and hydration. The team left Trewithen at 4am on Saturday ready to present the entries for judging by late Saturday morning.

Gary said: “There were some magnificent entries from all over the area so we feel very honoured to have earned so many awards. More than half our entries were placed – it was a very happy weekend!”