Garden Photo of the Day

More from May’s garden on Vancouver Island

R. 'Rock Rose', 'Dora Amateis', and 'Unique'. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

Today we get to see all of those rhododendrons that May Kald mentioned in her post yesterday. She says, “I love rhododendrons. They look stunning when in bloom, cope wonderfully well with the spring rains, and keep their good looks year-round. When I lived in southern Ontario, I grew a few very hardy ones, but they always needed to be cosseted and never bloomed as well as I knew they could.

Front porch rhododendrons. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

“At first, when I moved to the milder climate of southern Vancouver Island, I still couldn’t grow them well because my property was too rocky, dry, and sunny. However, as both my neighbours’ trees and mine grew taller, and my shady areas increased, I began to plant more and more of them. Thanks to our very dry summers, the rhododendrons still need some cosseting, but now they reward me with as much bloom as I used to dream about in Ontario.”

Rock garden rhododendrons. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

Wow, May, I’d say you’ve been a total success with your rhododendrons. So colorful and gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing your garden with us these past two days.

Pink azalea and R. ‘Colonel Coen’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald

***I’m getting so many great submissions, but I can always use more! Dig out your cameras, take a big long walk around your garden, and SEND ME PHOTOS! I love having more than I could possibly process to choose from. Thanks!!***

***One more thing…..have you always wondered what your fellow GPODers are like in person? Never thought you’d get a chance to meet them? Check this out…. While the GPOD isn’t officially a taunton forum, it’s close enough, and I wanted to extend the invite. Anybody at all interested? I’d be willing to search for some gardens to tour…

R. ‘Ruth Lyons’, ‘Unique’, and ‘Cilpinense’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
R. ‘Purple Gem’ and ‘Mission Bells’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
R. ‘Rosamundi’ & gold-leafed bleeding heart . Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
R. ‘Blue Diamond’ and ‘Rosamundi’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
R. ‘Dopey’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
R. ‘President Roosevelt’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
R. ‘Saint Breward’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald
R. ‘Tiana’. Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of May Kald


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  1. user-1020932 05/30/2013

    wow, looks like you could just eat them with a spoon! i think i must have President Roosevelt

  2. bee1nine 05/30/2013

    Oh my! These rhododendrons are stunning and delectable indeed!! I'll take one of each in the last 3 photo's!
    May, thanks for this spectacular show!:)

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/30/2013

    May, you have created a rhodie heaven. It must be such a treat to gaze upon those glorious trusses to your heart's content. I have to admit that I zipped off for a quick google search to confirm that it wasn't a misprint when I read that one of the bushes was named 'Dopey'. It's described as "one of the seven dwarf series" so I guess a hybridizer was having some fun.
    Anyway, your selections are all beautiful and it's amazing to see the range of colors.

  4. Quiltingmamma 05/30/2013

    Lovely. Rhodos do so well on the Island. Enjoyed today's pics, and went back for an encore to yesterdays' as well. You have made a very beautiful garden.

  5. tractor1 05/30/2013

    Those rhodies encompass quite the palette of colors, I especially like the blue of R. 'Saint Breward'. And I like the design of that wooden fence in the 4th photo down on the left.

  6. pattyspencer 05/30/2013

    Beautiful! I love every one of them - the colors just pop and can seem to take your breath away. Went back to yesterday's - love all the variety you have - everything looks so lush and beautiful.

    @Tim - went back to see your side garden - gorgeous!! Still can't believe you're only a few miles from me and that I go past your neighborhood every week! Would love for you to copy that green thumb you have and send it over to me - lol

  7. Wife_Mother_Gardener 05/30/2013

    So, so beautiful, May! Thanks for sharing!!

  8. Vespasia 05/30/2013

    Just stunning, and that applies to yesterday's pictures too. I am so jealous, perhaps a move to Vancouver is in order!

  9. terieLR 05/30/2013

    Such dreamy photos May! Spring makes a huge statement in your gardens. Thank you for two days of enjoyment.

  10. GrannyMay 05/30/2013

    Thanks everyone! Though I now have 74 rhododendrons to enjoy, a lot of them are still very small. Time will tell if they will prosper in the spots I have chosen for them.

    This spring has not been a good one for a number of varieties, which simply failed to bloom or had very few blooms. I found that local friends had exactly the same problem with the same ones. Perhaps it was lack of sufficient sunshine or other weather-related issues. They're all looking very healthy and adding lots of new growth. Can't wait till next year's show!

  11. annek 05/30/2013

    I think I just died and went to Rhodie heaven (you're right Meander). What a glorious group of plantings. Based on the beauty of your garden, I'm going back to the internet to order rhododendrons!

  12. briandowns 05/30/2013

    For the other dummies like me:

    Cosset - Merriam-Webster‎Cached
    Definition of COSSET. : to treat as a pet : pamper. Examples of COSSET. The hotel cossets its guests with friendly service. She had a safe, cosseted childhood.
    May cossets her rhododendrons!

  13. schatzi 05/30/2013

    Gorgeous! I echo everyone else's comments - love it! Two of my favorites in my garden are R. Crater Lake (blue) and R. Top Banana (yellow). I planted them next to each other and usually they bloom at about the same time, altho Crater Lake is always earlier. Also love several small blossomed species - I'd have to look up the names. Also love what I call the sunset colors - combinations of yellow, pink, orange - stunning. What's not to love about rhodies?

  14. GrannyMay 05/30/2013

    Never dreamed I'd cause problems with my old-fashioned vocabulary. Thanks briandowns for taking the trouble to look up and share the definition of "cosset". Somehow, "pamper" just does not have the same feeling.

    Schatzi, I love the sunset colours too and have been adding yellows/oranges when I can find them. R. Gold Crown bloomed well this year, but most of my other yellows/oranges did not, e.g. R. Coral Mist, R. dichroanthum, R. Hotei, R. Honeymoon, R. Moonstone. Some are perhaps too young yet. Some of my favourite small-flowered varieties are R. Blue Tit, R. Blue Diamond, R. davidsonian Ruth Lyons and R. racemosum Rock Rose. The R. augustinii blues are also striking.

  15. cwheat000 05/30/2013

    May, I work part time at a nursery. I have had customers say, "oh, no thanks we already have a rhodie." Your yard is proof , if you have one rhodie you definitely don't have them all. You have a spectacular collection of all sizes, shapes, and colors. I am sure it is breathtaking in person. Do you have an issue with deer?

  16. tractor1 05/30/2013

    Here in the northeast US another native plant in lieu of Rhodies is Mountain Laurel.

  17. janeeliz 05/30/2013

    What a lush, lovely garden you have created with all those gorgeous rhodies, May!
    All are beautiful, but I especially love the blue one.

  18. GrannyMay 05/30/2013

    Oh yes, cwheat000, I DO have an issue with deer and with rabbits. Their populations are growing and the list of plants they devour here is also increasing. Many types of plants that they left alone when I first started my garden are now targets as well, such as the ornamental sedge grasses and a lot of the heathers. I used to be able to grow daylilies and lilies, hydrangeas and heucheras. I have tried many things to keep the plants safe from the deer, the latest being perimeter fencing (next to impossible for my rocky, hilly, partially vertical acre). Maybe I'll send pictures one day. There is NO WAY to keep out the rabbits! I do have a dog. Rabbits can run circles around a dog. Even the pots on my deck or front porch are not safe.
    Perhaps this is a good time to mention that my garden may have its moments of glory, its pretty areas, its successes, and its good points and I am proud of all the things that I did to make those areas wonderful, but it would never ever qualify for a garden tour. Overall, it is an ordinary place, with a long gravel driveway (that I never did like) to greet you, and plenty of weeds, overgrown areas, piles of mulch waiting to be spread, and so on.... it is one woman's ordinary, everyday garden. So please don't envy me for the wrong reasons. But it does have plenty of beauty to share.

  19. User avater
    meander_michaele 05/31/2013

    Very nicely expressed sentiments, May, on how we can thrill to our garden successes because we have invested our own sweat equity but we humbly know all is not perfect all the time. I think it's a club most of us belong to and that's why we appreciate each other's pictured successes so much. Ha, maybe Michelle should create a hall of shame and disappointment day where we share our failures. I get faced with one this time of year that annually nags at me but it's more work than I'm up for to correct it. It involves a beautiful lush pinkish clematis in the vicinity of a generous swath of Stella d'oro daylilies and the colors JUST DON'T GO TOGETHER...grrr! And it takes a lot for colors from nature not to go together if you know what I mean but this combo just bothers me.( and it's all my own fault).

  20. cwheat000 05/31/2013

    Regardless of the piles of mulch and the weeds, you definitely have a lot of beauty there, all the more impressive with the wildlife you battle. Your honesty is refreshing.

  21. cwheat000 05/31/2013

    I like the hall of shame idea , meander1. We all got em'.

  22. janetsfolly 05/31/2013

    Ah, May, your gardens are glorious and, like others here, I think I need some rhodies! And your modesty and admitted challenges make your lovely spot seem that much lovelier. I think Meander1's idea for a 'rogue's gallery' would be fun if anyone would be brave enough to submit! I'd have trouble choosing which mess to expose!
    BTW, tntreeman, it's nice to be missed. :-) I've spent several hours catching up over the last couple days...there have been some amazingly beautiful gardens displayed here lately. I just haven't been able to read gpod until late as I have just become a beekeeper and am trying very hard to treat the girls right. It's one thing to kill petunias or(God forbid!) a lady's slipper but I really want to do the right thing with my new 'livestock'!
    Happy gardening and happy summer, all!

  23. GrannyMay 05/31/2013

    Meander1, you always put words together so perfectly, I can't imagine that you would fail to do the same with your plants. But I know how easily colour discords can happen. Maybe you could offer to give the clematis to someone if they would cut it down and dig it out. I am assuming it must be a vigorous one like a C. montana, not a simple thing to remove.
    Tractor1, I have just discovered that a new shrub I planted outside the deer fence has been completely defoliated. Thanks for reminding me about Mountain Laurel. I will try that instead, though they don't seem to do as well here as they do in the east.

  24. user-1020932 05/31/2013

    came back this :am to see the rhodies again. i like knowing that your garden isn't always perfect in all areas, i love visiting a space where a "real gardener" lives , ongoing projects, research projects with new plants and horticultural experiments. mountain laurel must be a more northern plant for satisfactory growing as here it tends to get leggy and spindly/ maybe a bit too far south. one tip, May, that i have learned is that PlantSkyyd works wonders at keeping deer and rabbits at bay. it's a Canadian product and smells AWFUL when applied but after drying you won't smell it. lasts for 3 to 4 months and it is very effective but it is horrible upon first application

  25. tractor1 05/31/2013

    JaneEliz: um, Jane watch those superfluous commas... "What a lush"... LOL

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