Friday, July 15, 2011

Late Bloomer

Bee enjoying newly-opened bloom
Planted eight years ago along the property perimeter for screening,  the Rosebay Rhododendrons (Rhododendron maximum) have gone pretty unnoticed in my Hamptons garden.  Each season they grew a bit,  but didn't bloom. However, about a week ago, they ALL started blooming. 

I have no clear explanations.  The cold winter seems to have reset the flowering clocks for a lot of my plants.  Some are blooming earlier, some are blooming later, and some, like the Rosebay Rhododendrons, are blooming for the first time.

Their summer buds and blooms are beautiful.  And I have always enjoyed their big-leaf evergreen vegetation. They do have an ugly side in winter.  Freezing weather makes their leaves curl to prevent desiccation.  Like a thermometer, the colder it gets, the more they droop. (That's when I'm happy they're along the perimeter.)

Exotic-looking leaves frame blooms

I'm happy that this late bloomer has decided to no longer take a secondary role in my garden.  Welcome to the party. 

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