A ‘Scintillating’ Rhododendron
This week we step away from clematis – briefly – for those of you who are wondering if I grow anything else in my garden. The answer, of course, is yes – but some plants more successfully than others. One of my successes is Rhododendron ‘Scintillation.’ A hybrid developed by Charles Dexter, it has wonderful deep green, large leaves and beautiful ball-shaped flowers that open as deep pink streaked with white and turn a slightly lighter pink. Comme ca:
Here in the DC area, mine usually bloom mid-May. I planted two against my deck, one each in 1998 and 1999. Don’t they look kind of sad in this first photo, photographed from a garden journal I kept back then (because my scanner seems to be on the blink):
They are planted next to my deck, where they get morning sun only. Seven years later, they had matured quite a bit:
This year, they were over the top of the deck.
The only complaint – and it’s minor – is that in alternate years, for some reason I haven’t been able to fathom, they bloom relatively sparsely. The trade-off is fewer blooms to deadhead (sticky fingers are always the byproduct of this pastime).
I have to confess that this plant hasn’t always performed well in client gardens (true of most of the rhododendrons I’ve tried) – it often succumbs to phythopthora, especially in gardens with irrigation; and our temperatures here are not really conducive to rhodos (see my esteemed colleague Jane Berger’s recent post called “You Can’t Always Have What You Want” on her blog “Garden Design Online.”) But if you live in a climate where rhododendrons do well, give this ‘scintillating’ cultivar a try – you won’t be sorry.Explore posts in the same categories: landscape, photography comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.