Is there anyone who doesn’t love Rhododendrons?Â ThisGardenLady certainly finds them beautiful. The word Rhododendron, which includes the azalea in the family, comes from the Greek meaning Rose Tree. It is the national flower of Nepal which must make the country look like Shangri-La when they are in bloom.
One of the breeders of rhododendrons was Hank Schannen. Mr. Schannen had been a recipient of the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society and a former board member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation.Â He started a nursery to showcase and sell his Rhododendrons called Rare FindÂ Nursery in Jackson, NJ.Â Though Hank Schannen had passed away a few years ago, we are fortunate that his partner and associates have kept the Rare Find Nursery going.Â And though they sell excellent other plants, the Rhododendron is still the star of the nursery.
TheGardenLady went to Rare Find Nursery recently with some friends. The Rhododendrons were in magnificent bloom and she was taken on a tour of the 11 acres of Rhododendrons.Â To see some of what I saw on the tour look at this video:
For information about Rhododendrons you can check out and perhaps join the American Rhododendron Society. “Rhododendron species are found in the wild from the arctic regions to the tropics, spanning a wide range of climates.“Â Â Their website tells you which are the best rhododendrons for your area.
In the last two posts(here and here), TheGardenLady talked about the hellebores and peonies in her garden, flowers that make peopleÂ stop and ooh and aah.Â Today she will talk about some more flowers in her garden that have the WOW factor.Â Â These flowers are rhododendrons and azaleas.
Is there anyone who doesn’t love rhododendrons?Â ThisGardenLady certainly finds them beautiful. The word “rhododendron”, which includes the azalea in the family, comes from the Greek meaning Rose Tree. It is the national flower of Nepal which must make the country look like Shangri-La when they are in bloom.
One of the breeders of rhododendrons was Hank Schannen. Mr. Schannen had been a recipient of the Gold Medal of the American Rhododendron Society and a former board member of the Rhododendron Species Foundation.Â He started a nursery to showcase and sell his rhododendrons called Rare FindÂ Nursery in Jackson, NJ. Â Though Hank Schannen had passed away a few years ago, we are fortunate that his partner and associates have kept the Rare Find Nursery going.Â And though they sell excellent other plants, the rhododendron is still the star of the nursery.
Rats, I missed sending out information about the Tulip Festival in Seattle and the Azalea Festivals happening around the country.
But lots of Rhododendron Festivals are going to be taking place in the US during May and June that I hope some readers will be able to attend. I read that after Roses, Rhododendrons are the next most popular flower.
Spring is a great time to plant azaleas and rhododendron. If you can’t plant them in the spring, early Fall planting is also recommended.
When you buy rhododendrons or azaleas, make sure you give them a good drink. They can remain in the pot or burlap for a long time if you give them a drink every couple of days or as the need exists.
RHODODENDRON BUSHES by m.m b
Choose the site carefully.
“Rhododendrons and azaleas are healthiest in light shade, especially under oaks and pines with the lower branches trimmed up. Do not choose a location near maples, elms, ashes or other trees with shallow competitive root systems. Some varieties of azaleas and rhododendrons may survive in full sun, but avoid planting them in a south, southwest or west exposure, especially if heat and light are reflected on the plants from a nearby building. In dense shade the plants tend to grow spindly and do not bloom profusely. Protection from winter’s cold drying winds is also desirable.
Planting soil should be acid with pH between 4.0 and 6.0. Avoid areas with old builder’s debris, particularly mortar which can raise the soil pH above the desirable range. Rhododendrons and azaleas require a well drained soil, free of any standing water. Do not plant rhododendrons under down spouts or at the edges of sidewalks and driveways because poor drainage, lime or salts may kill them. Do not plant in places where other rhododendrons have wilted and died because the site may still be contaminated with disease organisms. ” See here.
If you are planting a balled and burlapped plant, remove the wrappings. They used to say that you can leave the burlap on the root when planting, because the burlap will rot. But to really give your plant a good start, remove any wrappings, especially plastic or wiring. If you buy container-grown plants be sure to make several vertical slits about 1/2 ” deep cuts from top to bottom, evenly spaced around the root mass. This encourages new root growth.
This is the third post in a three part series on creating a meditation garden.Â You can see the first post about creating a meditation garden here, where I discussed some questions you need to answer first before you start building a meditation garden.Â In the second post on meditation gardens, I talked about creating a green meditation garden by using hosta lily plants.Â Â In this post, I will discuss some other meditation garden ideas.
To add to the green meditation garden, consider interspersing the garden with ferns. There are numerous ferns for sites like you describe. Fern leaves flow so nicely in the breeze and some stay green in the winter when the hostas die back. Taller varieties would look lovely. A fern and hosta website is here.
If a monochromatic garden with just green does not appeal, consider planting a Japanese maple. But be sure to get the ones that do not grow too tall. Japanese maples give 3 seasons of color. Some turn a different shade in the fall.Â Â See here.
Another tree that would look lovely if you have the space is the dogwood. But I would not consider the native dogwood, as much as TheGardenLady loves it, because it might not be hardy enough. I suggest the Korean dogwood, Cornus kousa.Â See here.Â I have only seen a white flower on it. But it has one of the most interesting fruits which makes it of interest for two seasons.