2011-2018. Years of pleasure.
Winterthur, Delaware, legacy of Henry Francis du Pont, 1888-1969.
There are small-flowered rhododendrons which bloom in early and mid-April at Winterthur: pale pink and white.
One early-flowering rhododendron is a lavender variety.
It is paired with witchhazel: yellow and lavender/lilac being the favourite colour pairing of Henry Francis du Pont.
The flowers of all three are small enough to lead you to mistake them for azaleas. But they have ten and not five stamens and so are rhodendrons.
Witchhazel and Korean rhododendron in April, 2018
Most rhododendron bushes bloom in May and early June. They are planted mainly among Kurume azaleas under canopy of beech and American poplar.
The azaleas flower first and then the rhododendrons.
Best to be among them on a warm day, early, after rain.
The colours of the flowers run into each other and into the green in the haze of rain.
Then the colours emerge as the moisture lifts away.
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia Latifolia)
Winterthur and Mt. Cuba in Delaware; the Brandywine Conservancy in Pennsylvania
Famously fussy about the ground and community in which it grows, and the spacing of other plants around it, the mountain laurel, a native of the Piedmont of the eastern US, is the state flower of Pennsylvania.
Related to the rhododendron family, it has complex and spectacular flowers.
It comes into bloom in very late May and early-to-mid June.