Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Rhododendron Show

The resident gardeners concur, this has been the best spring in many a year.

The Iris lead the way after being threatened with eviction for non-performance.

There is so much of this particular yellow and purple iris, they have grown bored with it.

After last year's bitter Easter Freeze that wreaked so much havoc, this perfect spring of bountiful blooms restores a gardener's faith.

Rhododendron and Azaleas of all shapes, sizes and colors stretch from one end of the ridge top garden to the other.

Some are lone specimens, growing to attain enough size

to become a mass planting with their near neighbors.

Little miniatures pop up in numerous spots. Most of these have had a rough life on the mountain. The few that appear vigorous may deserve propagation.

This may be the native Flame Azalea, Rhododendron calendulaceum.

The deciduous Azaleas all look a lot alike in form and behavior. It is hard to know what may be an Exbury Azalea and what might be a native. The R. calendulaceum is one of the Exbury parents.

A deep red one.

Some of the Rhododendrons are well over my head.

I think I like the ethereal form of the deciduous Azaleas more than the hulking dark green mass of the Rhododendrons.

They play better with others in their growth habit, except maybe, while they are in a state of shocking orange.

Still to come are the later blooming Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia and the native Rhododendron maximum, R. catawbiensis that are scattered through sections of the wild forest


Cindy said...

Holy moly, now I understand why gardeners rhapsodize about rhododendrons! I'm gobsmacked, as the Brits say ... what an incredible display. The iris are lovely, too: we can't grow beardeds here in my part of Texas so I thank you for allowing me to do so vicariously.

Frances, said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! Bring on the deciduous azaleas. My most favorite of all flowers. Of the varieties we grow, the exbury hybrids have larger flowers than the natives, and more of them. I do love that shocking orange, let the pinks shrink away in awe! I dearly love those iris, that you have so much of, hint, hint.

Frances at Faire Garden

Christopher C. NC said...

Cindy you are very welcome. It has been a long time since I really saw Rhodos and Azaleas in bloom. I need to start taking cuttings to root.

Hint and you shall receive Frances. I'll e-mail you later.

chuck b. said...

You have your own woodland Lotusland.

Advertise it in the papers. Charge admission.