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Rhododendron: “Blue Boy"

Being from the Pacific Northwest, the rhododendron is no stranger, and one of my earliest memories growing up is of the huge red rhody we had on the corner of our home, and the many photographs my dad took of them (along with his first love, roses). When my then-fiancee immigrated to the States ten years ago, the first place I took him was the Rhododendron Gardens in Southeast Portland, and in our last home in particular, we learned a TON about this everyday shrub that has helped us in the garden tremendously.

From my husband digging up and relocating two MASSIVE shrubs during dormancy that wer nearly blocking the entrance to the front door of our last home, to learning online how to do dramatic pruning and getting them down to a manageable size for the property they occupied (not actually that hard - these babies are tough!), to picking up five baby Pacific Rhodies at the annual native plant sale to create the start of a natural "fenceline" in the side yard, and now in the Valley where we are trying out new versions, there's a lot to take in. Along with trying out a dwarf red rhody in a mini raised bed I built on our front patio, I searched far and wide for one that I had kicked myself for not getting at the nursery in South Seattle a couple years ago - one with deep purple blossoms.

While many rhodies exist with lavender blossoms, the deep purple is not nearly as common, and so I snatched up this Blue Boy when I spotted it at a local nursery. It's not THE darkest purple one that I lusted after in the past, but it's still amazingly gorgeous AND only grows to 5' in height, perfect for the spot I planted it, and as you can see from the photo below, when it's preparing to flower? It's almost equally spectacular... kind of reminiscent of a budding lupine...on steroids...


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