Monday, May 9, 2011

Well, Hello There Gorgeous!

Gardening is about learning and victories - large and small.  I am here to tell you, this is a large victory...

Ain't she a 'peach'?!!
(Sense a purple theme in the area - aka Gazing Ball?
Ajuga skirts the stepping stones too, just out of sight.)

Growing this PJM Rhododendron has been a total labor of love - and - "3rd time IS a charm".  I am completely enamored with Azaleas and Rhododendrons, ever since I first saw them on the east coast in New Jersey.  They are very happy on the east coast, like Hibiscus in Florida, the soil must be just right - they grow as big as a house.  Here in the Midwest they are much more fragile - though many landscapes in the area attempt to grow them (note to self:  all "Zone 5's" are not alike).

"Rhodie" invited a friend over to hang out.
(those flower petals were still unfolding - fresh out of their little 'nest')

This is my third attempt to grow this tender plant.  Not paying attention to the "tip" on the plant tag the first two times -- I did not plant this treasure's predecessors in a protected area of the garden.  Cold NW winter winds left nothing but brittle twigs, with no hope of any recovery in the Spring.  I was devastated, but hard-headed - not willing to say "Uncle".  Low and behold, looks like I got this one right?!  The bonus, this Rhododendron is an evergreen - so you have foliage to look at all four seasons.

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary.  How does your garden grow?"

Like most of you, I've been up to my elbows in dirt these days.  While the weather is not fast to cooperate, I am still out there - re-organizing my gardens in the back.  Re-purposed Day Lilies from pre-construction were planted in a part-shade area of the "Shade Garden" last year.  Slow to thrive and bloom - they now have been shuffled to my new "Cottage Garden" in a very sunny corner.  I moved a lone Moonbeam Coreopsis to a grouping with it's family in the "Sun Garden".  I put two more Moonbeams over in the Cottage Garden - they weren't coming back too strong this spring.  With all the Sphagnum Moss and Mushroom Compost there is in the Cottage garden - they should be all jacked up by the time the weather gets nice?!

Thanks for the Feng Shui -
from the creative minds at Microsoft Clip Art
Now that I feel "Feng Shui'd" (and it feels so good!) -- time to go plant shopping!!  It feels great to be back on the Blogosphere after a brief absence.  I'm looking forward to catching up on what my garden blog buddies are up to! ...

Peace, in your garden!


  1. I am certain that 3 times is a charm for you! I love Azaleas and Rhododendrons and have decided to let others plant them and I will enjoy their hard work from afar... kinda like your photos today. They are beautiful and I enjoyed them all.

  2. I love rhodies, and miss them here in Texas. I hope yours continue to grow well for you. I've been moving plants, too, but I'm not sure they're very happy about it!

  3. Tufa Girl - Thanks! I can appreciate you 'enjoying from afar', in this case I was just too stubborn to quit trying. (BTW - stopped off to buy some new plants on the way home! Woohoo!!)

    Holley - It never occurred to me that rhodies wouldn't grow further south? I always assume it just gets better for plants (my 'Zone newbie-ness' is showing again) the further south you go.

  4. Lovely color, lovely photos, lovely post!

  5. I applaud your efforts and I am so happy that you finally had success in growing Rhododendrons. I just barely learned how to say that word right! Lol
    You have given me hope to keep trying with Virginia creeper. It grows wild everywhere in Boulder Canyon, except not in my yard.

  6. Your rhodies look great! My mom has done well with rhodies but I just don't seem to have the touch. Great pictures!

  7. Yay, your'e back! Lovely rhodo, I have a purple azalea which seems to have finally decided that it is happy, but no longer have any in my back garden. Isn't it wonderful to have dirty hands again? I love this time of year. Happy plant buying.

  8. Rhodies are ready to pop here. Nice big bee too.

  9. Azelas and Rhodies border my lawn. One looks to be about 35 years old. It stands just about 6 feet tall!!

  10. Sorry I missed all these wonderful comments! Thanks SO much!! (You should see the Rhodie now - even mid-Summer in all the heat, it is happy, happy, happy ... and growing large!)


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