Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Rhododendron lust

I happened by Cornell Farms last week, you know…one has to keep up on the latest at all the local nurseries. It was a terribly windy day, a bit rainy and quite cold, this never stops me from visiting the outdoor tables but I do prefer the covered spaces under those circumstances. Once inside I came upon this table of Rhododendron goodness...

I can’t guess how large this Rhododendron sinogrande looks to you, I wonder does it look as big as it really was (huge)?

Here’s my thumb for scale…

If I didn’t already own a struggling little plant I might have been tempted to scoop this one up, “only” $49.99! (okay I kid, I wouldn't be spending fifty bucks on this, but a girl can dream)

Oh the indumentum! Rhododendron pachysanthum…

I would have made the purchase ( $26.99) but for this...mention of pink flowers.

Pink flowers with that coppery indumentum? No.

So that was all on Tuesday, then I visited the Yard Garden & Patio Show on Friday. At the show I came face to face with this beauty (Rhododendron 'Ebony Pearl') at the Gossler Farms booth in the "Remarkable Green Market" ...

Back in March 2013 I took the photo below of a Rhododendron 'Ebony Pearl' in a friend's garden, and posted it along with several others. At the time I wrote "If I were to buy another Rhododendron (and I'm not) this might be the one..."

Well I bought it, of course I did, pink/purple flowers be damned! Just look at those luscious (dark) leaves...I can pick off the flowers right?

Tomorrow I'll share what else I bought at the show...

All material © 2009-2014 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

34 comments:

  1. You found a beautiful Rhodie. My R. sinogrande is struggling too. I actually really like the idea of pink flowers with that coppery fuzz. I'm planning to do pink and orange together in my front garden.

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    1. Check out this series of blog post from Shannon Lester: http://www.bloomingdesertsdailydirt.com/2014/02/the-lowdown-on-how-to-bring-orange-and.html and http://www.bloomingdesertsdailydirt.com/2014/02/orange-pink-its-good-thing.html. You're on the cutting edge Alison!

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  2. Oh, Danger I think I'm stalking you again. I was at Cornell on Thursday (mom at hospital, had to have a plant moment to clear the mind) and saw those fabby rhodies. Funny thing is I bought the Rhododendron pachysanthum online at Gossler farms two weeks ago. Love the Ebony Pearl, though and think maybe I might need one to replace my now fried Loropetalum chinense. Lovely selection you made! Can't wait to see what else you hauled away! PS the pachysanthum are said to take years to bloom, that's what I'm counting on! I may cut them off too if they do happen actually bloom.

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    1. Oh Tamara I hope your mom is okay and your stop at Cornell was good to you.

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  3. Love it! Funny you bought it at the "green" market. :)

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  4. Oh, that rhody is gorgeous! Is this going in the privet area?

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    1. I don't think so, perhaps right above the privet-lands in the border that separates the lawn from the patio. That way I can see it better from the house.

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  5. I've lusted after that dark rhody, but so far haven't seen it where I can buy it. I think the purple pink flowers will be stunning next to that foliage. I don't mind the flower color though, so that could be a factor.

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    1. Too bad you weren't at the show after the plant market opened, he had several others...small 1 gallons. I bet you could mail order it from Gossler...

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    2. I have to laugh! I have it already and planted it last year, but forgot! I have CRS bad! Hopefully this bout of memory lapse isn't permanent! I stumbled over it in my notes today and slapped my forehead!

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  6. That's one beautiful Rhododendron. With the exception of Azaleas, you don't see many here in SoCal. The nurseries occasionally offer one or 2 selections and I'm always attracted to the foliage but my experiments in trying to grow them here have all be unsuccessful.

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    1. If your water isn't too high in dissolved salts, you should try vireya rhododendrons. They do quite well in SoCal provided you prepare a suitable bed for them and the water quality is ok. This article might be helpful: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/JARS/v46n1/v46n1-moynier.htm and for more information you can check out Vireya Net: http://www.vireya.net/

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    2. Thanks for the heads-up and the link, Evan. It looks as though moisture requirements could be an issue as our current drought is far worse than that referenced by Moynier's 1992 article but maybe I could try one in a pot.

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    3. There is a nursery up here in Portland that specializes in Vireya (http://www.bovees.com/) they're beautiful!

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  7. NICE! We don't see many rhodies around here although nurseries carry them. Our climate must be too hot for them to survive long-term.

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    1. Darn, I guess you'll just have to stick with the fabulous succulents and Palo Verde trees...

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  8. Black Pearl is a beauty and Sinogrande has incredible foliage! Love them both and glad you found Black Pearl after lusting after it!

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    1. Wish me luck! All this talk of them being fussy has me worried.

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  9. I bought my 'Ebony Pearl' from Gossler when he did a presentation at Joy Creek. All of our Rhodies are struggling a bit, so a big spray day is coming up if we can find something whose label doesn't scare us off.
    I have a photo stashed away of R. pachysanthum in combination with Carex testacea that gets my blood moving. Hello, Cornell Farm.
    You shouldn't let the blooms stop you...they don't last long. It's a drawback to many, but a boon to folks like us.

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    1. Struggling with lace bug? Yikes!

      Good point about the blooms, they are rather fleeting.

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  10. Oh Team Fine Foliage LOVES that 'Ebony Pearl'!! I have it in a clients garden, she can be a bit touchy, but I love the risk.

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  11. That Ebony Pearl, fabulous purchase! I want one as well!

    The good news with the pachysanthum group is that there are others out there that has the same leaves with luscious indumentum that has different colour of flowers. Well worth researching for sources local to you. And I find it easy to believe how big those Sinograndes must be in person!

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  12. Those dark leaves are incredible! My last rhodies were maimed in an ice storm and later put out of their misery. I will have to just enjoy your rhodies, instead. :o)

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  13. Now you're speaking my language! I see a visit to Cornell Farm in my future. I actually like orange and pink together. I have an azalea called 'Mount Saint Helens' that is pink with an orange blotch. In fact I tend to snub pink unless it is combined with orange (or is a very special pink that happens to catch my eye, though there's no one specific shade that does so). I love all three of those rhodies, and since R. pachysanthum is mostly white with just a touch of pink (mostly the buds) I can forgive it to have that beautiful foliage. I adore sinogrande (and all the big leaf rhodies). If you like 'Ebony Pearl', I have to tempt you with 'Wine and Roses' and Everred. These are only available in the U.S. through the Rhododendron Species Foundation, and I would be a little surprised if there are any left available for this year. I'm still crossing my fingers that there will be some at the RSBG spring plant sale, though!

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    1. I really just need to embrace the pink and orange combination and go with it. Bits and pieces keep sneaking in, if I just went full steam ahead maybe it would look planned rather than accidental.

      Wow...'Everred' is crazy! (in a good way)

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  14. Weren't you looking for a dark/black leaf evergreen awhile back? Looks like you may have found one.

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  15. OMG. that Purple Rhody is a must have! I would probably have to grow it in the greenhouse though, in a tub. But I think I need to have it. Thanks!

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    1. Sounds like you might already know this but Gossler Farms does mail order...

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