#339–Rhodies especially glorious this year . . .

The rhododendrons were spectacular this year. Both the wild ones in the forest and the hybrids decorating yards and businesses simply outdid themselves.

The wild pink rhodies were sometimes just a plant or two peaking out . .. .

. . . .or sometimes whole stretches of road bordered by pink blossoms.

As if programmed, they peaked right in time for the Rhododendron Festival the third week in May. And I was here to enjoy them all during April and May. Now into June, they are still gorgeous. And all the rain we had in March and April didn’t seem to hurt them.

‘Jean Marie de Montague’ was spectacular, but the storm did a number on the blossoms. Every day, I pick up those that fall in the driveway. There were hundreds after the storm.

There are three ‘Jean Marie de Montague’ plants approximately 40 years old that have grown together. Here the sun is shining through the early morning mists. This photo was taken a few days before the storm.

However, the Memorial Day Storm on Saturday, May 28, was hard on blossoms. The fierce winds really whipped the trees around and blew off all blossoms that were starting to disconnect. And the rain was torrential at times. It was a genuine winter storm—except it’s almost summer??? What can I say? On the coast, the weather is hard to predict!

‘Mrs. Furnivall’ has tough blossoms. They survived the storm in great shape.
‘Mrs. Furnivall’ up close.

Even so, most rhody blossoms survived the storm. All the photos in this post, except one, were taken after the storm. And they are all from my yard except the wild ones. I’ve added some of my favorites that are still looking good.

‘Creole Belle’ is 37 years old and is just starting to peak. It lost some blossoms in the storm.
‘Creole Belle’ up close.
‘Anah Kruschke’ quit blooming a few years ago. I had the trees pruned up in summer of 2020, and this year I have wonderful bloom for the first time in ages.
‘Anah Kruschke’ up close
‘Naselle’ has a lovely blossom that also just started blooming this year with more light.

‘Lee’s Dark Purple’ is one that I brought from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California 37 years ago. It only bloomed the first few years. With the pruning of 2020, these are the most blossoms it has ever had. I love it!
‘Pink Walloper’ up close is just now starting to bloom.
‘Leo’ is another late bloomer.

‘Blue Ensign’ still has some lovely blossoms. When cut with a stem, a bouquet of these last and last in a vase inside.

Rhodies, glorious rhodies!

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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