Tuesday, May 27, 2014



IT'S  RHODIE TIME, By Linda Hope Lee


Photo by LHLee
     The rhodies, as we Washingtonians affectionately call our state flower, the rhododendron, are out in their full glory during May and June. Many people have them in their yards. On a recent walk around the neighborhood, I photographed a dozen different plants, ranging in size from low-to-the-ground bushes to trees of twenty feet. 

Photo by LHLee

     Although the rhododendron plant is found elsewhere in the U.S., the one that is our state flower, known as the coastal rhododendron, is native to the western region. The blossoms range in color from pink to rose to purple.

watercolor by
LHLee
     Although it wasn't official until 1959, the rhododendron was chosen as our state flower in 1892 when the women of Washington wanted a flower to enter in an exhibit at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Six flowers were considered. The final decision was between the clover and the rhododendron. Voting booths were set up throughout the state, and when the ballots were counted, the rhododendron emerged the winner.

     What's blooming in your area now?














8 comments:

  1. Having grown up in Oregon and then also lived in Washington for a number of years, I love rhodies. I'm sorry they don't grow well here in the southwest. Right now we have cacti blooming, and butterfly bushes, and the Mexican Bird of Paradise are really coming out now. They are fiery orange. Our shortage of rain has kept many of the native wildflowers from blooming in the desert.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Roz, Thank you for your comment. I'm familiar with cacti and Bird of Paradise from my visits to the southwest. The Bird of Paradise, especially, is beautiful. Butterfly bushes I will have to look up. They sound interesting.

      Delete
  2. From my kitchen window I can see foxgloves and other wild flowers but all flowers are beginning to bloom.my favourite,bluebells,with their wonderful scent are filling all our woodlands.i love spring don't you?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi, Eleanor, Thanks for stopping by. I love spring, too. All the flowers add such wonderful color to our often gray days here in the Northwest.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lots of rhodies here, too, Linda! Around the corner from me is a bush everyone stops to photograph - it must take up a third of a block. If you could find the bottom, it's probably three or four old bushes, but it's gorgeous - the light pink one. My neighbor has lavender azaleas, we have pink honeysuckle and two struggling red roses (the deer love them.) In pots on the porch I have two fuschias and two Christmas cactus that are flowering! they must think they're in Australia. Yes! I love spring, too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Muriel, what a variety you have! Yes, I am amazed at how big some of the rhodies grow. And wild, too. The countryside is full of them.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Everything is blooming here! I can't stand the heat where I live, but I do love how green and lush everything is this time of year. The azaleas have already gone. It's funny. Usually, the hollyhocks are dying down by now, but this year because we had an actual winter that lasted until summer fell on us like a big, hot hammer, the hollyhocks are still just arrows sticking out of the ground. Can't wait to see if they bloom! Love the lavender rhododendrons!

    ReplyDelete
  7. How pretty! I'm in VA and we get a lot of blooming rhodies and azaleas...as well as spring trees like redbud, dogwood, cherry etc...Right now, I have a white clematis vine in bloom with purple perennials under it and some orange easter lilies starting to open next to it. There's also a sparrow nest with eggs nestled in the vine :).

    ReplyDelete