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Forgiving the Rhododendron (Up to date) | PITH + VIGOR by Rochelle Greayer

Relocating to New England from England about 4 years in the past appeared, on the time, (and infrequently nonetheless does) just like the panorama equal of a chef shifting from Paris to Poughkeepsie.

Greater than something, I get pissed off by the overuse of a comparatively small palette of vegetation.

The first goal of my irritation is the rhododendron. At first I vowed to by no means use them, rip them out at each alternative, and communicate with each grower about the necessity to diversify. However with time, I’ve remembered that at Kew Gardens exterior of London, The Rhododendron Dell was a magical place that was celebrated and visited by folks far and large.

Right here in New England, they’re ubiquitous. They’re used as basis plantings at each flip, typically sited the place they’ve little likelihood of success, and largely in essentially the most disgusting shades of sweet or child pink. They inevitably conflict with the adjoining home or constructing colour.

However as I’ve mellowed into my new life and residential, I’ve come full circle once more on the rhododendron – however solely in good colours.  And provided that I’m actually celebrating them for what they will do (develop within the shade and supply a superb inexperienced backdrop or screening) and used sparingly and neatly.

I discovered this cowl of Selvedge (an incredible publication about textiles) so inspirational. It feeds my ardour for trend and gardening. And the colour of these rhododendrons is simply Mwah! (insert fingertip kissing hand gesture – like a real Paris chef).
Forgiving the rhododenron - a beautiful cover from selvedge magazine

Rhododendron Replace 1/3/20:

How is it that I wrote this submit over 10 years in the past?

How ever have I been running a blog so lengthy?  And did I ever really plant any Rhodies?

No – However I did salvage just a few that have been meant to be eliminated, and 10 years on, I’m glad they’re nonetheless round.

This weblog is an adolescent now and true to type, it’s mocking me. A dive into the archives all the time leads to both disgrace session (what was I considering and my god, why was I telling different folks to do the identical!), or an eye fixed roll (at myself), probably an enormous sigh of no matter.

Put up renovation, I’m planning a brand new backyard.  The contractors needed to entry my again backyard with giant tools and previous to the challenge, there was solely a 4′ large path to get there.  Simply sufficient to drive the mower via – however no the place close to sufficient for the massive tools used to dig out foundations.

In order that they created a brand new path across the different facet of the home.  The facet of the home that was a no-mans land, however is now all of the sudden a part of the backyard.  Beforehand it had nothing however lily of the valley, a comparatively wholesome stand of hemlocks, some scraggy outdated rhododendrons and a ton of poison ivy.  However now, it’s a patch that’s large sufficient for backhoe to get via and I can’t wait to make one thing of it this spring.

As I’ve been considering over a plan, this image (10 years later!) instantly got here to thoughts.  Humorous how inspiration can persist with you.  I it’s also the primary time I ever talked about rhododendrons on this weblog.  That appears vital in some way.

I like every part about this picture.  The gown – the lusty face – and matching rhodies.  I need a gown to match my rhodies.  Is that bizarre?  Like individuals who match their underwear to what they’re carrying. Weird and so tiring.

New rhododendrons are in my future.  The larger the higher.

No sweet pink. Purple, yellow, white burgundy.

get inspired by rhododendrons

Issues I’m questioning about Rhododendrons:

Do I want to enhance the soil?  It’s rocky however deeply coated in pine needles. I assume acidic.  Isn’t this the pure house of Rhodies?

And the way can I layer them to make a dell? (dell. : a secluded hole or small valley often coated with timber or turf)

Are there any rhodies that scent nice?  I’ve heard that the majority aromatic species aren’t significantly hardy; the exception is R. fortunei and its many hybrids, however supposedly the colours are a bit garish and I’m not down for that.

After I get the small print sorted I’ll submit once more….however till then, I’m researching woodland backyard vegetation, dry shade vegetation, and varieties listed on the RHS rhododendron group .

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