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Posts Tagged ‘Rhododendron ‘Starbright Champagne’’

Thursday, 11 May 2017

As one storm passed over and another was due, with far worse weather predicted for tomorrow, we arranged to visit one of our favourite gardens a day earlier than planned.

While this Willapa Bay garden merits a visit at any season, rhododendron time is its peak.  Some of the rhodos had already bloomed, starting in February. (As I was looking something up for this post, I ran across this article that I think will please rhododendron fans.)

Join us as we walk with Steve and John from the house, down through the gardens and back.   In the photo captions, which we hope are correct, R. of course means Rhododendron.  All mistakes in identification are completely mine and will soon be corrected, because Steve and John will catch them.  I have virtually no expertise in rhododendrons.  Until I began to visit this garden, I had no idea how wonderfully varied they are.

close admiration of the tomentosum (soft underside of foliage) on a trio of R. pachysanthum by the front door

One of a curve of five or six Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Vintage Gold’

John at the start of a new path laid by local landscaper Steve Clarke

A well-built Steve Clarke wall guides the path around to the pump house.

chives in the kitchen garden (Allan’s photo)

A soft and misty space between rain storms.

Allan’s photo

To our left, R. loderi ‘Venus’ carried its fragrant flowers almost out of reach this year. Underneath is the white R. ‘Olympic Lady’.

looking up into R. loderi ‘Venus’

R. loderi ‘Venus’

new foliage on an old pieris

golden Taxus (prostrate yew) embracing several plants, including R. ‘Ken Janeck’

Allan’s photo

We are looking at an Osmanthus burkwoodii that is just recovering from the winter and early spring winds…

Garden bed to the north of the driveway:

Corokia virgata ‘Sunsplash’, center

textures

Allan’s photo

shapes, including Pittosporum kohuhu (nicknamed golf ball pittosporum).  Note the twirly conifer to the lower left.  My notes just helpfully say “little twirly yellow guy.’

Steve IDs for me as Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Lutea’
(Nana Lutea Dwarf Hinoki Cypress)

Allan’s photo

Walking into the upper north gardens…

two toned pink R. ‘Perry Wiseman’ and, in the background, the white R. ‘Pohjola’s Daughter’

a wealth of pink tones on R. ‘Perry Wiseman’

Allan’s photo

a variegated wiegela, I think (Allan’s photo)

an impeccably perfect hosta

the brightness of new growth

Allan’s photo 😉

new growth on R. ‘Winsome’, a word that we agreed has fallen out of use.

This area around a tree had been the dreaded salal just two days ago, and now look:

sword ferns

Walking down toward the irrigation pond….

Tall R. ‘Beauty of Littleworth’ blooming above a pair of new rhodos

close up of the young pair, R ‘Scarlet Wonder’, in the above photo, one blooming and one not.

twins with different personalities

R. ‘Butterfly’

Allan’s photo

looking back at the de-salaled tree

R. ‘Milky Way’ with flowers like powder puffs

R. ‘Milky Way’ (Allan’s photo)

R. sinofalconeri (species) with fuzzy new leaves

R. stenopetalum

Thujopsus dolobrata

Allan’s photo

Looking south across the driveway, you can see the same full grown thujopsis that the driveway was made to curve around.

more bright new calyxes

R. ‘Susan’

R. ‘Susan’

Crossing over to the south side of the driveway…

cinnamon fern

Allan’s photo

more fuzzy new growth on R. leucaspis (species)

Steve’s favourite, ‘Starbright Champagne’

Rhododendon ‘Starbright Champagne’ blooming a couple of years ago

Looking west, I gasped when I saw (below) a vasty new area that Steve and John had grubbed out of rough undergrowth:

I know this will soon be a display of wonderful new plants.

Below is a new area created last year:

looking east

The paths are delightfully soft and springy underfoot.

impeccably pruned sword ferns by the stream ditch that bordered the estate; you can see on the other side what they look like uncared for (just brown and tatty).

new area made last year

a handsome Disporum ‘Night Heron’

strongly textured R. erosum

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Allan’s photo.  The background of native meianthemum is not a favourite and will be controlled as time permits!

Podophyllum ‘Spotty Dotty’ showing off

Allan’s photo

Athyrium ‘Goliath’, Japanese painted fern

a soft and kind Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’, no prickles!

more of the new area

Kalmia latifolia 'Sarah'

Kalmia latifolia ‘Sarah’ (Allan’s photo)

perfectly trimmed deer ferns (Allan’s photo)

bluish new foliage on R. lepidostylum

R. ‘Little Carmen’

stunning new silver foliage. (The fuzz on the top of leaves is called tomentosum.) Steve says: R. sinofalconeri (like the other, smaller Vietnamese form we identified before, but this one goes 10-30′!))

(If you think I can read my notes on all these names, think again.  At least a third of these rhododendron identifications involved emails to Steve. Every time I visit this garden, I plan to spend the next winter making a proper database for my garden…and don’t.)

R. quinquefolium

R. quinquefolium , one of those you would not even guess was a rhodie!

Allan’s photo

looking back as we walk toward the house

a brief detour to look across the pond

drizzle begins (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

R. ‘Carmen’

R. ‘Medusa’

R. ‘Kodiak’

detail, R. ‘Kodiak’

Allan’s photo

mossy backdrop for R. ‘PJM Compacta’

looking back

Rain started as we approached the house…

However, despite rain, I had to see the ladies in waiting.

R. ‘Tall Timber’

Due to rain and over-excitement I only got a fuzzy photo of this amazing R. benhallii that looks like an enkianthus.

Steve told me that Professor Ben Hall at the University of Washington has finally had this rhododendron named after him.  You can read more about his research here.

a covetable euonymous

weird and wonderful R. spinuliferum

By now, the rain was quite serious.

from inside the house

the dell of evergreen huckleberries

from the north window: the succulent pump roof landscape had frozen out over the winter.

Steve showed us some photos of how the pump roof had looked in close up late last summer:

like a miniature forest, we all agreed

It was time to warm up with tea and a treat.

John’s coconut banana bread (Allan’s photo)

A torrential and noisy sheet of rain fell. (Allan’s photo)

Allan’s photo

As we finished our cake, tea, and plant talk, a beautiful light fell over the bay.

Allan’s photo

From the front door (telephoto), Steve pointed out the glow of the red maple in the far distance.

On the way down the drive, departing, we took a few more photos of the early evening light.

A silver shower of rain suddenly fell off this tree.

Allan’s photo 😉

north of upper driveway

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

Allan’s photo

a row of redtwig dogwood along the lower driveway (Allan’s photo)

by the entrance drive (Allan’s photo)

the entrance driveway (Allan’s photo)

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Steve’s photo

 

Allan cropped his photo because of raindrops on the lens.  I got the full view of the driveway, above, from Steve. I asked for the names, and here they are: “From the east, R. ‘Red gold’ — then two numbered (unnamed) crosses by Jim Elliott (from Knappa).  Next, four of R. ‘Gala’ — then two (low) R. ‘Naselle” — then R. ‘Lem’s cameo’  — then three R. ‘Nadine’ with  R. ‘Golden gala’ (not in bloom this year) on the very west end [closest to the highway].”

This rhododendron-lined driveway is shared with the home next door, which has just  been listed for sale.  It was once Clarke Nursery.  We all want to see gardeners buy it, and you’d have the best neighbors in Steve and John.  Here is the listing.  Here is the garden on the Rhododendron Tour.  And here it is on the July garden tour.  Just imagine yourself driving past that line of peachy rhododendrons to your own piece of bayside paradise.

We were glad to have found a time between storms to visit.  The next day began with a pea sized heavy hail storm that I imagine might have damaged some of the blossoms at the Bayside Garden, and rain and wind continued during the whole of Friday.

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Skooter enjoyed reading this blog post along with Allan.

 

 

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