Rhododendrons for the Small Garden
Wales Wood, St. Helens, Oregon
Talk given at Annual Meeting, May 13, 1968.
The topic, Rhododendrons for a Small Garden, was assigned to me by your program chairman with the thought that our modern homes and gardens provide little space for the large growing varieties of rhododendrons. The dwarf rhododendrons are ideal in the landscape design for the present day plan of living. The need is to make more people, including the landscape architects, aware of the dwarfs and their great possibilities in variety of habit, foliage, flower and extensive length of the blooming season.
Twenty-five years ago the source of this material was not as plentiful as today. Today, many of the nurseries have a large variety of dwarfs. The one thing that the American Rhododendron Society must strive for is the selection of the best forms of species. Species grown from seed collected in the wild usually prove to be satisfactory, but much care and selection should be exercised before distribution of plants from garden grown seed. Clones from selected forms will eliminate many disappointments. We should all work towards an exhibit garden for species of good form.
I believe that the greatest opportunity in the future for hybridization is in the realm of the small rhododendrons. Already many new hybrids are appearing using parents such as R. haematodes, williamsianum and yakushimanum.
Our own garden is located on an eastern slope overlooking the Columbia River. The site is 250 feet frontage by 200 feet in depth. We have left growing many of the native trees and plants such as dogwood, fir, cedar, madrona, Oregon grape, trillium, ferns, salal, etc. The older section of our garden consists of large hybrid rhododendrons and this section is now somewhat like a jungle as some of the following "over all" garden transparencies will show. During the last 15 to 20 years, we have added mostly small and medium growing species.
The intent in presenting the following transparencies, all taken in our garden, is to show a minute portion of rhododendron material that could be used in a small garden. Most of the plants shown are species with a few hybrids included. I have attempted to select transparencies of species that I feel are true and of good form.
Slides presented: moupinense, 'Cilpinense', 'Snow Lady', leucaspis, 'Valaspis', 'Quaver', ciliatum, pemakoense, 'Rose Elf', oleifolium, uniflorum, hanceanum var. nanum, keiskei, auritum, xanthostephanum, 'Remo', 'Bo-peep', fastigiatum, impeditum, russatum, chryseum, 'Racil', racemosum, mollicomum, spiciferum, saluenense, Pink Drift, calostrotum, keleticum, radicans, nitens, imperator, megeratum, camtschaticum, spinuliferum, tephropeplum, williamsianum, repens, trichostomum, glaucophyllum, brachyanthum, campylogynum, lepidostylum, ferrugineum, kotschyi, concatenans, flavidum x 'Roseberry', fletcherianum, johnstoneanum, burmanicum, lutescens, davidsonianum, metternichii, degronianum, yakushimanum, callimorphum, telopeum, aberconwayi, floccigerum, 'Adrastia', 'Humming Bird', 'Little Bert', 'Persephone', sperabile, neriiflorum, beanianum, 'Moonstone', 'Bow Bells'.