Exceptional midseason and later flowering red selections include Rhododendron ‘Fred Peste’, ‘Markeeta’s Prize’, ‘Skookum’, and the sibling hybrids ‘Vulcan’ and ‘Vulcan’s Flame’. This is a good selection for a more upright habit. Among the other cultivars in the pink collection that flower in early May are R. ‘Dreamland’ (pastel pink), ‘Mardi Gras’ (white blushed pink), ‘Noble Mountain’ (pink), and ‘Queen Alice’, the latter with richly colored flowers of bright rose pink opening from cherry red buds. The Great Plant Picks team formed a Rhododendron Advisory Group to sort through the vast array and recommend a selection of outstanding rhododendrons for gardeners in the maritime Northwest. Rhododendron ‘Queen Alice’. ‘Ken Janik’ with rosy pink buds opening to pink and ‘Yaku Princess’ in pure white are some of the widely available cultivars. ‘Blue Boy’ ‘Fred Peste’ Bicolor Hybrid Rhododendron Collection ‘Elsie Watson’ ‘Fantastica’ ‘Hachmann’s Charmant’ ‘Manda Sue’ ‘Naselle’ All selections in the Great Plant Picks have been chosen for their suitability in USDA hardiness zones 7 and 8, which covers most of the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascades. ‘Skookum’ In early to mid spring, it bears a profusion of small clusters of light violet-purple flowers which contrast beautifully with aromatic foliage. ‘Christmas Cheer’ But there over 900 species of rhododendron and countless more thousands of hybrids that are not native to this area. Whidbey Island, WA, Frank Fujioka These shrubs look great positioned where the leaves can be viewed up close, such as in a patio setting or from the underside in a raised bed, slope, or hillside. In horticultural circles today, form and texture are much ballyhooed in landscape design; yet, flower color will always have a powerful allure—much like the mythical Siren’s song. ‘Vulcan’s Flame’, ‘Anah Kruschke’ Jul 14, 2018 - Rhododendron flowers are available in many shades of yellow that brighten up your garden landscape. Daintiest of the group is R. ‘Manda Sue’, with shell pink petals that are scalloped and edged with red. Any Rhododendron or Azalea prefers well-drained soil with an acidic pH. Dwarf Rhododendrons. Photograph by Richie Steffen. In spring, their colorful clusters of flowers range from white to pink, and they are available as hundreds of named cultivars in a myriad of color combinations. ‘Grace Seabrook’ Given the number of cultivars available, narrowing down the “best for the Northwest” list was no small assignment. They are an integral part of many landscapes, and their variety is astounding. In that narrow belt along the Pacific slope running from Vancouver and Victoria, BC, to San Francisco, the winters are tempered by warm waters, the air is moist the year round, there is very little extreme summer heat and the soil is naturally acid. Since rhododendrons are acid lovers, it is best to perform a soil test prior to planting. ‘Horizon Monarch’ Its funnel shaped flowers with ruffled edges are pale mauve to lavender-blue with a distinctive dark blotch. Dwarf purple rhododendron (Rhododendron impeditum, Zones 5–8) is a cute, compact rhododendron with unique, scented, tiny, silvery gray-green leaves that most people mistake for something other than a rhododendron. Rhododendron and azalea roots also need oxygen for healthy growth. The Pacific Northwest naturally has soil with low pH because of copious rain, but much of the area has heavy clay soil, so mixing compost to the bed before planting is advised. Kristi O’Donnell (chair) With all the bad that occurred, one positive for the staffers at FG was more time spent in our…, The main problem with many of the dwarf fruit trees available is that the fruit they produce rarely matches up to that of their full-size counterparts. In 1954 this fine low growing rhododendron was introduced into British Columbia coastal gardens by Len Living, a nurseryman/landscape contractor of Richmond, B.C. Here is a vigorous plant which typifies all that is good about rhododendrons. Tropical Late-Season Interest for the Northwest, 7 Easy Fruit Trees to Grow Right in Your Own Backyard, Traveling Plants | Letter from the Editor, A Fool and His Garden | Letter from the Editor, Dahlias Don’t Ask Much | Letter from the Editor, It’s Just Business | Letter from the Editor. ‘Odee Wright’, ‘Double Winner’ Winsome 2-3’, bright pink. There you will find photographs, fact sheets, selection criteria, and current evaluation reports. 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