Rhododendrons

 A beautiful pairing.
Rhododendron & Flax

I love rhododendrons, and they seem to love my garden. I now have quite a number, in various stages of growth, hopefully planted in appropriate places (this hasn't always been the case). Naturally I've rescued some from nursery sale tables, and some have been dug out of other people's gardens.

Two of my very first bargain bin rhododendrons take up rather a lot of space in Middle Border. They both have the same large, dark, bright pink flowers in mid spring. In a newer rhododendron garden an assortment of yellow, apricot, and peach shrubs are now happily growing. They were part of a trailerload the local nursery gave me. So lucky!

Please understand that very few of the rhododendrons in my garden were ever properly labelled, so I have trouble naming them. I rather admire their humble, anonymous origins.

Rhododendron Flower ImagesRhododendron Flower Images...
In private I've always called them 'rhodies' - a casual, loving term. From the very beginning of my country gardening journey I've considered rhododendrons my friends - shrubs which have always been jolly good company. Not too fussy, reasonably tidy all year round...
Rhododendrons in the GardenRhododendrons in the Garden...
All my rhododendrons are planted in mixed borders, and jostle for space with other shrubs, New Zealand evergreen natives, ornamental grasses, and roses. I've collected up some photographs to show you what I mean. Enjoy!
Lots of Lilac RhododendronsLots of Lilac Rhododendrons...
In mid-spring the lilac rhododendrons in my garden seem to enjoy their special flowering season. This is 'their time'. By now the sunlight in my garden is strong (I'm not complaining), and shrubs with paler colours can look washed out, even in the shade. But then comes an overcast day - so beautiful!
Mid-Season RhododendronsMid-Season Rhododendrons...
The mid-season Rhododendrons in the Moosey Garden are now in full, fruity bloom, so I've sent Non-Gardening Partner around to take photographs with his camera. I'm thinking fresh eyes, a better camera - a rhododendron innocent let loose, who might even fiddle with the focus.
Uncle BertUncle Bert's Rhododendron...
Uncle Bert's rhododendron is planted in the Driveway garden, on the very first corner. I never knew Uncle Bert himself - he was my friend's uncle. Now he lives on in my garden. And, hopefully, on and on...
Spring Dance RhododendronSpring Dance Rhododendron...
Some rhododendrons are born fussy. Top quality free-draining mulched soil? They sulk. Water? There's either too much, or too little... Sun - aargh! Shade - aargh! Not the USA raised hybrid rhododendron called Spring Dance, though...
Rhododendron TreesRhododendron Trees...
I'd love to have tree-sized rhododendrons in my garden. Most of the Moosey rhododendrons have been planted in the last six years, so they've got a bit of catching up to do. C'mon - how about more bulk, more branches, more flowers...
Favourite Rhododendron ColoursFavourite Rhododendron Colours...
A gardening friend who loves her spring garden display recently asked me the most difficult question. What was my favourite coloured rhododendron? I was soon struggling to answer...
Chrysomanicum RhododendronChrysomanicum Rhododendron...
Ha! Here is my newest rhododendron, which I purchased and planted in spring 2004, and which still has its name label on! It's called Chrysomanicum - what an odd name!
Rhododendron Saffron QueenRhododendron Saffron Queen...
My rhododendron Saffron Queen has led a bit of a fairytale life. First she was dumped in a bargain bin, whence along came a knight - could that possibly be changed to knightess? - in gardening armour and she was rescued. Phew!
Rhododendron GrahamRhododendron Graham...
Graham - you are a rhododendron. You are short, pink, and fat (makes you sound more like a piglet). You are one of the newest rhododendrons in my garden, and already (early in spring) you've flowered beautifully for me.
Rhododendron Blue JayRhododendron Blue Jay...
A day to remember in the Moosey Garden Calendar - I've finally found and photographed a bargain bin rhododendron which has been in my garden for at least four years and which has a proper label! It's called Blue Jay.
Deciduous AzaleasDeciduous Azaleas...
Two deciduous Azaleas were already living in the Moosey Garden when I first arrived. I suspect both are Ilam hybrids - bred in Canterbury, New Zealand - as are most of the older deciduous Azaleas in other local gardens. I've also planted new varieties...
Pink RhododendronPink Rhododendron...
When my beautiful large pink rhododendrons in Middle Garden start flowering the huge blooms seem to last forever. How large will these two shrubs get? Oops - I wish they had come with a label...
Late Pink RhododendronLate Pink Rhododendron...
This beautiful pink rhododendron grows in the side garden of the Pond Paddock. It flowers reasonably late in spring - at the same time as the Japanese Flowering Cherries in the nearby lawn. What a pretty sight!
Rhododendron President RooseveltRhododendron President Roosevelt...
This striking rhododendron is the popular hybrid 'President Roosevelt'. It was in the garden when I first arrived, and used to have yellow and green variegated foliage. Unfortunately a lot of this shrub (which grows in the Island Bed) has reverted to plain green. Oops...
Rhododendron KapongaRhododendron Kaponga...
One of the most well known and widely grown modern New Zealand red rhododendrons is called Kaponga. I suspect my biggish red shrub which grows near the glass-house is one of these. Naturally I have lost its plant label...
Large Pink AzaleaLarge Pink Azalea...
I'm going to include this pretty pink Azalea shrub in with the rhododendrons - I've always called it an Azalea. It flowers in early spring, and I can see it from the house windows - as long as the nearby Choisya shrubs don't get too pushy!
Creamy-Lemon RhododendronCreamy-Lemon Rhododendron...
Back in 2004 I wrote confidently that this beautiful rhododendron was a Whitney's Apricot. I reckoned that was what it's label said, but with its bargain bin origins, I couldn't be sure. Hmm.... Whitney's Imaginary Apricot, more like! There is no such rhododendron variety. Oops...
Bright Red RhododendronBright Red Rhododendron...
This is one of my bargain bin rhododendron specials, glowing red in the late-spring sunshine. It's planted over the water race in the back of the Dog-Path Garden between a variegated Dogwood and a red Maple tree.