The Rhododendron

Everybody complains about them, yet they won’t stop buying them.  They get too big, yet they keep planting them under their windows.  Nobody wanders through the nursery and is delighted when they come across them.  They are on a mission. This is a task.  They drive in and ask, ‘Where are the Rhodies?’, march up the hill, pick out something suitable and drive off.  Like buying toilet paper, or milk.  Not like buying chocolate or roses.  Here in the Northwest it’s expected that everyone has a good supply of rhodies.  ‘I’ll take value meal #3, rhodies, hostas and supersize me with a laceleaf maple.’  We can’t see the forest for the trees.

Head Down Aisle Three For the White Bread

5 thoughts on “The Rhododendron

  1. I love them! The ones in our yard seem invincible. They always come back fuller and prettier, no matter how much I hack at them. To keep them to the size you want, can you just keep trimming them every year?

    1. Cathy, we have the soil for rhodies…they are everywhere!
      Donna, sorry about the lack of flowers, boo hoo!
      Rachel, if you trim them too far, they won’t bloom the next year. Tred carefully. But you are right, hack away, it usually won’t kill them.

  2. Rhododendrons get a bum rap. They are so common as to be cliche around here, and the standard ‘arborvitae and a rhodie at each corner of the house’ planting scheme doesn’t help. Still, when tucked in the middle layer of a bed where they can peek out–as opposed to stand apart–they can be quite lovely and look far less bedraggled and lonely those 50 weeks of the year they are not in bloom. I’d have a hundred in my forest if I could—the mountain beavers just mow them down to the nubbin as soon as I plant them. I started with a dozen and a half of the native species (our state flower!) but at 12.95 for a gallon pot, that is expensive for a plant with a two week lifespan on my property. I changed over to the HD’s 8.95 in a 10 gallon pot, looks ‘kind of like the native’ variety–just cheaper forage for the local plant predators, I guess.

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