May 22nd, 2008 at 7:07 pm
Posted By: gardenguru
Posted in: Growing Flowers,Landscaping

There are fifty-four rhododendrons and about forty-seven azaleas on my property. When they start blooming it is quite a show. People will stop along the road to tell me how beautiful they are. These at the end of the driveway are the most visible.

About forty-three rhododendrons were given to me because they had been fertilized at the wrong time of year. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. They were fine, but couldn’t be sold.

Many azaleas line the wall going to the backyard.

There are combinations of both in the back.

The largest rhodo is this glorious pink that fills the view from my back living room window.

Below is a close-up view.

One of these variegated pink azaleas is in the back, and one in the front.

This vibrant red rhodo is on one side of my steps. I cut the one on the other side back to the ground because it was getting so leggy, and as a test. It has new growth but will take a few years before it becomes big and pretty again. Evidently something like the taste of the tender new leaves.

I love the reds next to purples.

Although you can find the Exbury azaleas in the wild here, these two are hybrids. They, along with eight others, were also a gift because their colors weren’t labeled.

If one or two leaf buds are coming out at this time of year, they need to be broken off to make the plant fuller. At first this wasn’t easy, but now I see the results. When I showed this to my neighbor he ended up snapping off the fatter flower buds instead. How sad!

While doing this task I spied this furry fellow.

This caterpillar loves to eat leaves of all sorts of plants. I’ve found them also munching on azaleas, roses and trees. Since I try not to spray, I have no qualms about squashing him between the leaves he loves. I think this is a tent caterpillar that forms webs in the trees. They especially love nesting in cherry trees.

The view from my deck is a sea of orchid to white blossoms.

Here are the same rhodos looking up at the deck. The blooms from the first rhodo to bloom until the last is about a month. It’s a time I look forward to every year, as well as some of my neighbors. Year-round the plants are attractive with their shiny green foliage. No wonder they are so popular!


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