Sunday, April 19, 2009

GGW Photo Contest: Town Mouse


Just a few days ago, the most miraculous thing happened. The buds of my Rhododendron marcophyllum (Pacific rhododendron), which I bought 2 1/2 years ago, started to open. This rhododendron had first almost perished for lack of water, and then some snails almost demolished it, but being a miracle plant, it somehow survived. Then it had a bud all winter. And in early April the bud showed its color. So this is my photo that I'm submitting to the Great Gardening Gone Wild Photo Contest.

This native habitat of Rhododendron macrophyllum is the coastal forests further north, and it needs supplemental water where I live. If you time it just right, you can see Rhododendron macrophyllum in the wild in Kruse Rhododendron State Park, a truly amazing experience.

Of course, this post would not be complete without the open blossom, which is here.



And for those who want the bigger picture, here's the blossom after a day of record breaking temperatures, clearly no longer quite so fresh, but miraculous none the less.

And now I invite all of you to go over to Gardening Gone Wild, where links to other wonderful plant photos are appearing just as we speak.

13 comments:

Tatyana said...

Charming, charming, charming...

lostlandscape said...

The photo should be a great addition to the contest. Hopefully the story can go with it. I'm always impressed by how tough some plants are--which of course is compensated by other plants that have no will to live no matter what you do...

WiseAcre said...

I've a similar problem. Rhododendrons are borderline with the cold we have and at best only the flower buds are winter killed. So when I do get a bloom or two they're all the more appreciated.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

You know, I didn't realize rhodies were native! You learn so much from blogs!

Donna at Suburban Sanctum said...

Beautiful bloom, Town Mouse! I'm so happy your rhododendron is recovering so nicely from a tough start. I'm not expecting much out of my rhodies this year, after the tough winter we had. The buds are teeny-tiny compared to past years. I'll be happy if they bloom at all.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

What a gorgeous plant! Rodies are something that just don't grow well around here, so I don't even try. Seeing well grown ones in bloom is such a treat.

ryan said...

Nice photos. I've never seen one blooming in person.

Gail said...

Waiting 2.5 years...with patience only a gardener can demonstrate to see a native plant bloom! That alone should give you the prize! gail

Daffodil Planter said...

Beautiful Rhododendron truss!

They're worth waiting for, aren't they?

Michelle said...

Ooh, what a fabulous reward for your persistence and patience! I haven't been to the park, but I do remember driving through parts of Mendocino one spring and seeing native Rhodies blooming by the side of the road.

another townmouse said...

Oh dear. I've spent all winter helping eradicate Rhododendron over here ... (but ponticum, which is a real pest)

Saxon Holt said...

Well the contest is done and results posted over at GGW early next week. Thanks for your entry and I am giving each photo bit of constructive criticism.
You are lucky to have such beautiful native Rhodies. The photo needs to be cropped a tighter for a contest and some expose adjustment would make it brighter. Would like to see it in a garden setting.

Town Mouse said...

Thanks Saxon! Yes, I agree. In fact, I realized I had not followed the "first clean up around the plant" rule and left some redwood branch to the right of the rhodie. But being just a beginner, the joy is in the journey.