I’m considering adding more rhododendrons to the landscaping directly in front of our Colonial Farmhouse.
I know it’s not necessarily newsworthy to tell you I’m thinking about doing a thing but I haven’t decided if it’s a good idea and even if it is I might chicken out and do something else.
Yet, here we are.
Honestly, if someone else wanted to take care of the landscaping decisions for me, I’d be so happy. It’s just not a topic that gets me excited.
Unfortunately, there is no one else. I double and tripled checked. I’m stuck with myself on this one.
We currently have three rhododendrons. One to the left of the sunporch and two to the right of our front door.
We have aggressively trimmed them back so that we can do basic things like see out of our windows.
I recently learned that all azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas. Did you know that?
In fact, most people either can’t tell the difference or easily confuse azaleas and rhododendrons.
Gee, I wonder why.
Maybe these descriptions will help clear it up.
Azaleas have appressed hairs.
Hmm. I don’t know what that means but I think I might have that too.
How about this one?
Rhododendrons are scaly.
This is probably TMI, but if I don’t use lotion, I can kind of relate to the scaly feeling.
Did that help? Are you an expert on azaleas and rhododendrons now?
I didn’t think so.
Here’s what I can say for sure. My rhododendrons are definitely rhododendrons because they are evergreen, meaning they keep their leaves year-round. They look good no matter the season. God bless them.
I am considering adding another rhododendron to the left of the sidewalk that leads up to our front door.
There’s nothing there now because I tore out the prickly bush that was taking over that section of the landscaping.
Here’s how the landscaping looked when we moved in. You can see the prickly bush, whatever it was, on the left side of the photo. You can kind of make out one of the rhododendrons on the right. It is hiding behind the ivy-wrapped lamppost.
Since I’m taking you on a trip down memory lane, here’s how the landscaping looked from the front door.
Please note that Handy Husband had already started clearing the forsythia so that we could see the road.
You read that last sentence correctly. This house, which is 20 steps from the road, was not super visible due to the overgrowth.
We’ve done a tremendous amount of clearing, weeding, and reimagining to get to the blank-ish slate that we have today with our front landscaping.
So my question is do I add another rhododendron to the left of the front steps?
Or do I not worry about things like symmetry? Or matching rhododendron species with what we currently have? Or how long it will take for it to grow in size to match the others?
Or if I can even keep a newly planted rhododendron alive?
That’s the real question, isn’t it?
My current rhododendrons are so pretty and they seem to be really happy in their locations. I imagine they’ve been there for decades. Heck, they might be older than me and that’s saying something!
Do you have any advice for me about rhododendrons? I’d be so happy if you shared it! I don’t know what I’ll end up doing, but you can bet in the spirit of oversharing I’ll let you know when I do.
P.S. There is an American Rhododendron Society with chapters all over the United States. Their website has all sorts of helpful information about rhododendrons.
I also found the Plants Addicts website to be helpful in learning about azaleas and rhododendrons.
P.P.S. I need you to know that rhododendron is not a word that rolls off the fingers easily when typing. I had to go all “hooked on phonics” to slowly and carefully type it out each and every time in this blog post.
Thank you for being here today. It can be a wild journey through my mind. Here are some other blog posts that might be a little less angsty but, no guarantees.