Rhododendron luteum is about the best known and most widely grown azalea species of them all. It is usually extremely reliable here, and must also be about the most strongly scented. This year however, we are finding a great deal of variation in how our rhododendrons are performing, some like R. luteum being rather disappointing (we have six of them in various places in the garden and they are all the same), some simply producing a single truss of flowers if that, and many flowering prolifically. The rhododendron behind R. lutea in the first photograph for instance, is flowering better than I have seen it before. I think it is a relation of R. thomsonii of which we have a number, none identified for sure, but they are all flowering beautifully this year, and in fact all the red-flowering ones are.
I have noticed that generally our rhododendrons tend to have a year on and then a year off, but I really don’t know why. I used to think it was a question of how much rainfall we had in the later half of the year, but experience over the past two years doesn’t bear this out.