Mother Nature loves to garden in my tennis court! (See Blog post, “Spring 2021: Mother Nature’s Gifts.”) Let me bring you up to date with her most recent contribution: Three distinct plants — all in a row. Pretty remarkable, even for Mother Nature. Photo below.
Rhododendrons in May are also pretty remarkable. Here are three of my favorites:
Rhododendron ‘Amoena’ is a showstopping, evergreen Azalea, entirely cloaked in vibrant, magenta/pink blossoms beloved by bees. Amoena struts her stuff at the entrance of a garden path — and into the garden path. OK by me. I have a ready source for fabulous cut flower bouquets for the house. Photos below.
On the opposite side of the path, fragrant-flowering, evergreen Rhododendron ‘Helen Everitt’ holds court, competing with Amoena for the bees’ attention. They must have played Simon Says because Helen is also gobbling up path space. Lucky me! More flowers for the house. Helen Everitt is a C.O.Dexter hybrid and, in my opinion, one of the best in flower form and fragrance. Photos below.
Another outstanding Dexter hybrid, tall evergreen Rhododendron ‘Xerox’, produces Brobdingnagian-sized buds and gorgeous flowers. Photos below. [For information about C. O. Dexter and his extraordinary plants see my earlier Rhododendron posts and the excellent reference, Hybrids and Hybridizers ( Harrowwood Books, Newtown Square, PA. 1978.)]
For many years these three beautiful, Mozart-playing ornamental shrubs have been healthy, reliable bloomers in my organic garden. They have flourished in acid, rich, well-draining soil.
And they make me happy.