Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I Never Give Up On Plants

I've had a rhododendron for over ten years and it's bloomed exactly once in all that time. And that was only because it had flowers when I bought it!

I apparently planted it in the wrong place.  The deep shade under our cherry tree was way too much shade.  Who knew?  I watered and fertilized and hoped, but nary a blossom.

When we remodeled the back patio I was able to move my sad little rhodie over seven feet.  She began to put on new growth and looked a lot happier in the partial shade.  I made a real effort last summer to fertilize regularly and keep her well watered, and crossed my fingers.

She finally bloomed this week and was totally completely worth the wait.  Her mouth-watering color reminds me of a delicious raspberry smoothie and was the reason I didn't give up on her.  It's as glorious as I remembered.

And she has sweet freckles.

There are only three blossoms this year but they just highjack your gaze whenever you are in the backyard. 
 
I'm determined to have an outstanding display next year so I'm already in fertilizer mode with Miracle Gro for acid-loving plants plus I've mulched with our homemade compost.  I love rhodies but they are a challenge to grow in the hot, dry, alkaline gardens of the high desert.  I appreciate them all the more when I do have a success story.

Of course that doesn't prevent me from rejoicing when my more-reliably flamboyant perennials bloom each spring. The bearded iris outdid themselves this year in the front yard.
 
I'm not sure how that sunshine yellow one snuck in.  Naughty iris. I'll be marking it for relocation when it finishes blooming.

The Nelly Moser clematis blooming by the front door is probably my springtime favorite.  The combination of low maintenance, huge flowers, deep color and abundant bloom is hard to beat.

Best of all, I get to share her with the neighborhood!
Bring joy!
 

1 comment:

  1. That Clematis is stunning! Mine are just starting to grow and have one or two blooms. I haven't been able to grow rhododendron. I tried again last year and this spring it was dead. That and rhubarb are my gardening nemesis!

    Your blooms are just lovely as are your iris - those are just gorgeous!

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