The rhododendrons this year were, in a word, spectacular. This was good considering the amount of time and expense that went into installing them!

One new bed was very small but important. This was screening for the firepit area. This is the view looking east; the firepit is on the other side:

may 016

I have a fellow who helps with gardening and he installed the section of fence and the crabapple tree to the immediate left of the fence. I put in markers for him to dig the holes and I dropped in the shrubs. We have a great working arrangement this way.  Some of the rhodys in this section are:

Victoria’s Consort:

may 003

Victoria’s Consort is interesting because it is billed as a white rhody with a yellow throat. Eventually, you do get a creamy white but they start out a very pale mauve with a darker bud. After a week or so, they go to this:

may 004

Next to those are some Capistranos, to carry over the yellow theme:

may 008

The Capistranos also get a bit lighter as the blooms age:

may 025

One usual rhody with the unfortunate name of “Calsap” is white with a distinctive eye:

may 017

Another variety with the colored center was a bit of a mix-up and no one is sure what variety it actually is. It was tagged as an Edwin Beineke, yellow with an apricot throat, but that clearly was a mistake:

may 009

Happily, even though this wasn’t the color I was after, I had purchased 3 of these, and they performed wonderfully well, whatever they are. The one in the front yard produced masses of blooms:

may 012

Nearby, we added a REAL yellow rhody, Buzzer Beater:

may 015

And next to that added a really interesting variety, Percy Wiseman:

may 014

We plugged in some azaleas, too, both evergreen and deciduous. Not sure of the variety on this evergreen one:

may 010

This is one of the deciduous ones, and it is fragrant:

may 011

And this is not fragrant, but who needs fragrance with this color? From the Confederate General series of deciduous azaleas, this is the “Stonewall Jackson:”

may 013

Again to the back yard, where I finally finished installing a raised bed. Not just a raised bed, but a two-foot slate wall filled with soil and containing a seating area that you walk up little stone steps to get to. My back will never be the same again:

may 022

This bed contains a variety of things, but mainly rhodys and azaleas, due to the shady location.  I think one of the showiest varieties we put in was the “Janet Blair:”

may 021

Another variety with a colored throat. This was labelled only as: smirnowii hybrid Sandy/Hank. The beauty of finding a nursery where the breeders can’t stop producing new varieties — this doesn’t even appear to be named yet:

may 005

This was another multi-color variety, Trinity:

may 018

An evergreen and a deciduous azalea and again, the deciduous one is scented:

may 019

And a lovely evergreen variety called “Ben Morrison:”

may 027

And that, good friends, wraps up the garden for May and after all these photos, I’m guessing you realize a.) why it took so long to post them and b.) why gardening has cut into my spinning and wheel restoration time!


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