U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Morning In The Neighborhood

The last morning in May.

Clicking on the pictures makes the images larger.

Temperature at 7 a.m. was 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius).

Nice landscape:

It's not my house!

If I were a bird, I'd rent this birdhouse for the summer:

I knew you'd click on this image!
Side view:

There are several ponds in the neighborhood.
Some of them are stocked with trout and carp.

There are bald eagles here.
People saw them swooping down for a fish.

Otters are the other fish hunters.

Rhododendrons are native in this area.

Click! I love these two colors a lot!

While rhododendrons and their azalea relatives are often considered to be southern shrubs, many rhododendrons are cold hardy as far north as the Ohio Valley, into southern Pennsylvania and along the Atlantic coast into New England (zone 5). Many manage well where winter temperatures seldom dip below -10°F. The climate in the Pacific Northwest is proving to be ideal for these shrubs.

I don't like orange color, but this is pretty, isn't it?!

I heard that the darker the color is, the more cold resistent a rhododendron is.

Another shade of yellow:

Rhododendrons are slow growers. Dwarf types may reach only 3" at maturity. Standard rhododendrons often grow as tall as 15 or 20 feet, and will spread equally wide.

Rhododendrons are called broadleaf evergreens. They have elegant leaves which are elliptical and usually a dark glossy green above and lighter and duller beneath. Unlike those of their azalea relatives, rhododendron leaves are smooth on top. Leaves of individual types of rhododendron may be anywhere from 2 to 10 inches long. The foliage of most species is evergreen and is an especially welcome sight in winter.

Flowers of standard rhododendrons are tubular, with spectacular flaring petals. They grow at the ends of branches in rounded bunches of 5 or 7 blooms. These clusters may be 6 to 10 inches across (3 to 6 inches for smaller types) and literally cover the shrubs in a gorgeous spring display. Appearing from early April (PJM hybrids) through May into early summer, various types of rhododendrons offer many colors. Flowers are often magenta or shades of purple, pink or red, or white, sometimes marked with interesting speckles and splashes of color. Breeders are working to develop some with yellow blossoms and more summer blooming types that will offer a show in late June or even July.

Rhododendrons steal the show this time of the year,
but water views are beautiful as well.
It was a wonderful morning.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them

The Rhododendron information is borrowed from here:
***Copyright TatyanaS
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  1. Tatyana, thank you for the lovely pictures. It was a beautiful morning, so I was outside early,catching up on some of my gardening chores.

  2. Such great photos Tatyana, The lake photos are very dreamy. I have my eye on an Orange color Rhododendron.
    Good bye May and Hello June!

  3. Definitely a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. Rhodos grow well here in Toronto (USDA Zone 5; Cdn Zone 6), especially in sheltered spots.

    We also have the 'Northern Lights' Azalea, which is very cold-hardy, in a variety of colours. One of the two I have is 'Golden Lights' is even purported to have some scent -- one of the reasons I bought it -- though it isn't very evident in my garden.

  4. AnonymousMay 31, 2009

    Hi Tatyana~~ Having lived here in the PNW for nearly as long as the native Rhododendrons, I was surprised to learn about the flower color/hardiness factor. Very interesting!

    Aren't "summer" mornings the best? My husband thinks I'm nuts because I'm out of bed no later than 6:30 AM. I want to be outside, wandering my borders sipping coffee, listening to the birds...
    and remembering how lucky I am!

  5. Beautiful photos! I'm so amazed by all the native rhododendrons! Worth the wait, I'm sure, even if they do grow slowly.

  6. What great pictures. Happy June to you.

  7. Your neighborhood is beautiful. Nice information here. I too, would rent that bird house for the summer.

  8. What a pretty place to live! I love the birdhouse and would happily live in it too! I think it is great to have some ponds close by as they really are a big wildlife draw.

  9. Как же всё-таки приятно восторженно поохать на ночь глядя:-))) Спасибо, Таня!

  10. Lovely photos the landscapes refections are amazing.

  11. Hi!
    Beautiful walk in your neighborhood!! Thanks for the tour! Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great evening!


  12. What a beautiful neighborhood. All those Rhodies. I am jealous that they are not native grown up here.My poor yellow one looks so sad and dying. I want them all :-)

  13. Tatyana, a beautiful post of the different rhodies. I love the yellow unique! Nice tour of the neighborhood!

  14. Just some beautiful shots, Tatyana! Some of them look like paintings. You would think living in Portland, I'd have a Rhody- sadly I don't. I plan to have a few, someday :). I like what Grace said- 'Sipping coffee, listening to birds and remembering how lucky I am' that's the stuff great summer mornings are made for!

  15. What a nice way to end May Tatyana. It looks like it was a beautiful morning there. I love summer mornings too. That birdhouse is fabulous. I'd rent it for sure. Did you notice if anything was nesting in it?? So many gorgeous Rhoadies ~ I don't know which would be my favorite. They don't do so well in Colorado so I have to admire them on other peoples blogs!

  16. I'm all for evergreens! And if I were a little bird, I'd rent that one in a heartbeat!

  17. Nice pictures! It is so hard to believe spring is still going on in other parts of the country. It feels like August to me down this way, lol.


  18. Tatyana, great photos of your neighborhood! I hope you don't mind, but I would like to add your blog to my blogpile.


  19. Tatyana, you've written a wonderful, informative post here...and of course, your photos are terrific. I love your neighborhood and all of the info. you shared about rhododendrens and azaleas!!!

  20. Love your photos (the birdhouse is very inviting!)!
    Have you been to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way? This time of year is divine, with the plethora of blooms, many of them having wonderful aromas! Here's the link:
    P.S. Glad you had plenty of batteries for your camera so you could take all these photos to share with us!! ;)


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