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That seems like a long time, I know that it can take 3 years but I'm not really an aficionado of growing things!
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Here is one side of my back yard, the Rhodies are beginning to fade in the current heat
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Here is one of my very favorite specimens, sweet shrub
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What species is that in the second pic, Steve?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
What species is that in the second pic, Steve?

Mike
Sweet Shrub is the Genus Calycanthus. The picture doesn't do it justice. It blooms from early May to late June with profuse, wine red flowers that kind or resemble magnolia flowers. I guess some varieties are also very fragrant but I can't smell mine.

My experience is they can be trained well. I hack the big one in the picture back every fall, and I have a smaller one I got last year that I am trying to grow into a tree shape with 3 trunks.
 
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Very nice. Cam you propagate by cutting?

Mike
 

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Here are some pics I've taken this spring...

Earliest bloomer is this azalea, flowers with the forsythias (early April).

20210411_084050.jpg


Next, one of my two PJM varieties blooms (no pic, not exactly sure when, but late April or early May).

Next to bloom is a pair of azaleas in front of the house (there were six at one point), and one separate one of a different variety (we had six or eight of those), in front of the mini Rhododendrons (next to the oak stump). Also the second PJM, no good pic, but it's on the foreground here, closest to the water valve. The other PJM is in this pic, but had already bloomed. This was mid-May.

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Can't recall when the four mini Rhododendrons bloom. No pics of those in bloom.

Took these pics of the Knockout roses today (they started a week or two ago). The big Rhododendron pic is also from today, that just started to bloom.

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Not ready yet, daylillies, a hosta, a hydrangea and a hibiscus (we think that's what it is). None of those are really in great shape.

The fruit trees (apple, pear and something that doesn't ever bear fruit) are done blooming (and are barely alive due to fungus attacks). No pics of those this year.


Yes, I'm way overdue for weeding and refreshing the mulch...

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Not even sure what this bush is but it blooms with the nicest red flowers every year:

View attachment 2507382
I can't enlarge the photo, but I'm going to guess that's a Weigela. I am trying to train some of those but they seem to have a mind of their qwn as to what they are going to look like.
 

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I can't enlarge the photo, but I'm going to guess that's a Weigela. I am trying to train some of those but they seem to have a mind of their qwn as to what they are going to look like.
Looks like you may be right, here are some close ups:

2507394
2507395
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Here are some pics I've taken this spring...

Earliest bloomer is this azalea, flowers with the forsythias (early April).

View attachment 2507353

Next, one of my two PJM varieties blooms (no pic, not exactly sure when, but late April or early May).

Next to bloom is a pair of azaleas in front of the house (there were six at one point), and one separate one of a different variety (we had six or eight of those), in front of the mini Rhododendrons (next to the oak stump). Also the second PJM, no good pic, but it's on the foreground here, closest to the water valve. The other PJM is in this pic, but had already bloomed. This was mid-May.

View attachment 2507355
View attachment 2507354
View attachment 2507356

Can't recall when the four mini Rhododendrons bloom. No pics of those in bloom.

Took these pics of the Knockout roses today (they started a week or two ago). The big Rhododendron pic is also from today, that just started to bloom.

View attachment 2507357 View attachment 2507358

Not ready yet, daylillies, a hosta, a hydrangea and a hibiscus (we think that's what it is). None of those are really in great shape.

The fruit trees (apple, pear and something that doesn't ever bear fruit) are done blooming (and are barely alive due to fungus attacks). No pics of those this year.


Yes, I'm way overdue for weeding and refreshing the mulch...

Mike
The yard looks great, especially the roses. I have exactly one knock out rose that I have been able to keep alive. It just bloomed yesterday.
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My most successful Weigela (wine and roses variety)
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Here is a serendipitus native. I don't know what it is, but I like it. Comes in white too.
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Thanks Steve.

The yard actually looks horrible, compared to how it looks when the beds are cleaned up and full of healthy plants. I didn't show all the empty and weedy spots, LOL...

Mike
 
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Seeing all the 'Rhodies" here is a poignant reminder of my Mom. She's been gone some 43 years, struck down by breast cancer. Back then, the cure was worse than the disease...

But she left an interesting legacy: She was a sought-after Flower Show judge for an area of several hundred miles in any direction, and she was the first person I knew who was a Master Gardener. On Sundays, the whole family would go off on a ride, and often enough, we'd go to what we called "The Forest" (surrounding wild woodlands) and go tramping about; kids less careful than adults. Often, Mom would come home with some prize cuttings of native plants, most often Native Rhododendrons.

You can tell a Native Rhody from this part of the country from its palest of pale-pink blooms. They're also REALLY hardy. You can maim them all you want and they'll reward you with better shaping. They're also really hard to kill around here - I have poor Alpine-type soil and they just thrive.

It should be noted that back in those times, if you got caught digging up wild plants, there was literal heck to pay, with anyone from Game Inspectors to Sheriffs authorized to make the pinch. So she was careful to only do cuttings, with one or two very rare times of dividing a native plant and hiding the evidence in the trunk... She'd get starts going, then give them away to her Garden Club friends, who would complete cultivating them, make cuttings and more starts, once the young plants could take it... The young plants were sold to nurseries, providing an income for the Garden Club.

I have a Native Rhody next to the front door, in memory of my Mom. Who knows, it could be a descendent of one of her cuttings. Here's a closeup of what the bloom looks like.



One of Mom's favorite Rhodies was an early hybrid known as "Sapho". They have a deep purple center to a creamy-white bell. I have one by my back deck; the pic is a bit washed-out but you get the idea:



ggsteve, that purple bloom you have there looks like a Trillium. If the leaves are shaped the same as the flowers, then that's what you have. White ones are native to this area, but very wild and hard to find in the wild. Around here, they have to grow from windblown seed, although IIRC they're a tuber. They're also really easy to accidentally kill; the wild ones, anyway. I remember from a Wildlands class that I took once that if you see a Trillium, first leave it alone, then second, count yourself really lucky to have seen one. Pot of gold kind of thing.
 
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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Seeing all the 'Rhodies" here is a poignant reminder of my Mom. She's been gone some 43 years, struck down by breast cancer. Back then, the cure was worse than the disease...

But she left an interesting legacy: She was a sought-after Flower Show judge for an area of several hundred miles in any direction, and she was the first person I knew who was a Master Gardener. On Sundays, the whole family would go off on a ride, and often enough, we'd go to what we called "The Forest" (surrounding wild woodlands) and go tramping about; kids less careful than adults. Often, Mom would come home with some prize cuttings of native plants, most often Native Rhododendrons.

You can tell a Native Rhody from this part of the country from its palest of pale-pink blooms. They're also REALLY hardy. You can maim them all you want and they'll reward you with better shaping. They're also really hard to kill around here - I have poor Alpine-type soil and they just thrive.

It should be noted that back in those times, if you got caught digging up wild plants, there was literal heck to pay, with anyone from Game Inspectors to Sheriffs authorized to make the pinch. So she was careful to only do cuttings, with one or two very rare times of dividing a native plant and hiding the evidence in the trunk... She'd get starts going, then give them away to her Garden Club friends, who would complete cultivating them, make cuttings and more starts, once the young plants could take it... The young plants were sold to nurseries, providing an income for the Garden Club.

I have a Native Rhody next to the front door, in memory of my Mom. Who knows, it could be a descendent of one of her cuttings. Here's a closeup of what the bloom looks like.



One of Mom's favorite Rhodies was an early hybrid known as "Sapho". They have a deep purple center to a creamy-white bell. I have one by my back deck; the pic is a bit washed-out but you get the idea:



ggsteve, that purple bloom you have there looks like a Trillium. If the leaves are shaped the same as the flowers, then that's what you have. White ones are native to this area, but very wild and hard to find in the wild. Around here, they have to grow from windblown seed, although IIRC they're a tuber. They're also really easy to accidentally kill; the wild ones, anyway. I remember from a Wildlands class that I took once that if you see a Trillium, first leave it alone, then second, count yourself really lucky to have seen one. Pot of gold kind of thing.
That is a touching story about your Mom. I lost mine too soon years ago as well. But things are looking up, this could be some white trillium!
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Wow, that's a great story about your mom. Mine's been gone for almost 2 years, she never was much of a green thumb, though.

There's a place in southern Rhode Island where the Rhododendrons grow wild in a wooded area. There are signs all over the place warning people not to touch them. I think it's a state park, but I don't remember.

I've seen some pretty nice ones on the sides of highways in RI as well. They plant them when renovating highways sometimes.

Mike
 

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I have had a dark purple Rhododendron in the ground for about 10 years. During that entire time I could on one hand the number of blooms it has produced. That was until yesterday when she bloomed for the year, in my opinion the nicest looking of my broad leaf Rhodies.

View attachment 2504884
Beautiful... like others have said sometimes letting them go "wild" seems to make them really blossom
 

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I'm a bit jealous of all the beautiful flowering landscape plants you guys have. I've tried planting some stuff, but the local deer population look at the plants the same way I look at a McDonald's.
 
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Between the deer and snow, I have a very hard time keeping the azaleas alive.

The deer love my yews, and don't even care that they're planted right next to the front door / stairs!

I should rip them out and replace them with boxwoods, as the deer don't seem to care about those.

The only reason that I tried the roses was hoping that the thorns would make the deer leave them alone. Seems to be working...

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
The only thing that gets eaten in my yard is the burning bush. I think it is deer. During the winter the 2 foot tall burning bush saplings get chewed back to about a foot tall. Nothing else seems to get bothered, and once they have another year of growth they are left alone.
 
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