When we moved to Coppertop over six years ago, these gardens contained zero rhododendrons. It seemed strange that at such a perfect location for rhodies, with our acidic soil and many dappled sun areas, none were planted. The native rhododendron is even our Washington State flower, known as the Pacific Rhododendron or Coast Rhododendron. In May these native plants are covered in pink blooms that brighten the forested edges of many roads. So, Hubby and I set about to change the lack of rhodies on this land.
Years later, we’ve added a couple dozen rhodies to Coppertop, and only two haven’t survived for reasons like being crushed by heavy snow. The 23 survivors are at the front of our home and along one garden slope backed by trees and native elderberries that we call the Rhody Grove.
I’ve written about the rhodies out front before, including here and here. Right now on either side of the front entry, ‘Royal Purple’ and variegated ‘President Roosevelt’ are in full bloom while white ‘Dora Amateis’ are finishing blooming.
Our Rhody Grove slopes along an edge of lawn and is viewable from the decks. Back at the end of soggy March, it looked like this:
Last month Hubby removed a large area of grass and added compost and mulch to enlarge the new bed. It went from featuring seven rhodies to featuring 14, thanks in part to great birthday gifts! Here’s how it looked right when we finished planting:
Since then, the blooms have begun! Last spring I wrote about my favorite rhody, ‘Horizon Jubilee’, and this year I decided to add a second. The other newbies are two deep ‘Warlock’ (yet to bloom), two ‘Fire Rim’, one ‘Twilight Sun’, and one ‘Unique’. Hubby added drip irrigation, and we couldn’t be happier with the new area.