JARS v44n4 - A Northeastern Rhododendron Landscape

A Northeastern Rhododendron Landscape
Clive Justice
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Landscape plan originally appeared in "The Rosebay", a Massachusetts Chapter publication.

"Second Thoughts on Rhododendron Landscapes" by Clive Justice, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada appeared in the ARS Journal, Vol. 43:2, Spring 1989. In this article, Mr. Justice presented a detailed drawing of a rhododendron garden suitable for a typical backyard in the Northwest. Although Mr. Justice, a landscape architect and ARS District 1 director, is based in Vancouver, many Easterners asked for a similar scheme that would include plants suitable for their area. Mr. Justice obliged and created the garden plan reproduced below.

Rhododendron garden layout
A: VIREYA & MALESIAN HOUSE - Back walls rough faced rock 6' ht in front of brick back wall- with pockets & top ledge for hanging Rh. magregori-taylori & Javanicums. Roof & walls dbl large corrugation fiberglass or 2 sheets GE-Lexan w/ 8' fluorescents - rafters & spacers between. Hot water OH irrigation
B: STORAGE WALL TOOLS & EQPMT SHED - Along 12" x 8' brick wall with lean-to roof continuation of Vireya house roof. Hot water tank & heater w/ pipes & flues thru space between rock and brick in Vireya house.
C: Rh. Albert Close or leggy Maximum espaliered against vertical bamboo blind, screen for compost bins
D: BLUE RIDGE MTN LANDSCAPE - Rock ledges stepping up to peak with pockets for cliff hanging small leaved Rhodo's. Pockets drain to collector at base all with UG irrigation. Rh. species and hybrids oF impeditum, lapponicum, minus, racemosum & russatum, canadense, pruniflorum & viscosum.
E: DEXTER'S, GABLE'S & NEARING'S RUN - Stepped multi-Rhododendron hedge against 6' ht chain link fence w/ brown PVC covered CL fabric.
a. Rh. carolinianum all tall forms, Rh augustinii, Joe's hardy Form, intermix Conewego, Conestoga & Pioneer. Grow to 8' ht & tie to fence fabric @ 3' & 5'
b. Rh. mucronulatum, the Gable Girls, Louise & Caroline, Nearing's Mary Fleming. Pinch & prune to keep at 6' ht.
c. Windbeam & Yanokie, keep to 4'ht.
d. Lorna & Rosebud, pinch back to keep at 2' ht.
F: A BILLOWING CLOUD BANK - Rh. yakushimanum, caucasicum and hybrids, include Cunningham's White & Rh. smirnowii hybrids. Allow branches at pond edge to touch water.
G: STREAM WITHOUT WATER - 8" depth of graded 1" - 6" dia round river rock bed of gravel on filter cloth mat in swale draining to pond, continues in pebble beach at pond edge.
H: A TREE FOR ALL SEASONS, Choose one from Amelanchier canadensis, A. laevis, Betula lenta, Chionanthus virginicus, with multi stems, Cornus controversa, C. florida, Crataegus crus-galli.
I: POTTING COUNTER - soil, pots, fertilizers in plastic bins under and 3" thick timber shelves For Bonsai & potted Rhododendrons above counter.
J: SHADE HOUSE - 4" diameter poles over behind vertical pole screen with wavy top line above shade house.
K: NATIVE DECIDUOUS AZALEA SWARM - include Rh's calendulaceum, alabamense, atlanticum, canescens, nudiflorum & vaseyi with hybrids and crosses.
L: POND, PVC plastic liner on sand subgrade and round river rock bottom.
1 & 2 - Granite Balds
3 & 6 - Tony Shammerello's Spring Glory & other very dwarf Catawbas.
4 & 7 - Rh. Scintillation
5 & 8 - Parkers Pink, Brown Eyes, Catalga, Dexter's & Gable's Catawbas, & Ironclads.
9 & 10 - Rh. maximum & Dexter's Spice & other maximum fortunei crosses
N: ALPINE CARPET - 9" course sand &gravel on subgrade sloped to Pond. Use Robin Hill susuki's like Pink Panoake, Berg's Bees, also Rh. camplyogynum var. myrtiliodes, chrysanthum & prostratum. Try Rh. camtchaticum & lapponicum.