Landscaping the School (continued)

First Blooms

By the end of four years, many of the rhododendron and azalea species from West Virginia had started to bloom. There were nice pink forms of R. minus from Doc Tolstead's "Top 'O the Hill", fragrant blossoms of white R. arborescens from seed collected in Tucker County, and yellow to orange forms of R. calendulaceum from Seneca State Park. The number of R. prinophyllum (roseum) seedlings from Dolly Sods had dwindled but remaining ones seemed vigorous. R. periclyminoides (nudiflorum) which we collected locally seemed very happy.

Among hybrid crosses, seedlings of rhododendron (Scintillation x Disca) were exceptionally robust and the first one to bloom set three huge buds opening to excellent frilled trusses of luminous soft pink. The cross (Golden Star x Dexter's Orange) was growing well and even though plants "looked" like they might be yellow, there were no buds yet. Other crosses of Scintillation, Wheatley, R. metternichii, and Golden Star seemed healthy.

Among fifty blooming seedlings of the evergreen azalea cross (Dream x Nancy of Robin Hill), we noticed tremendous variation. Flowers ranged from white and pale lavender, to all shades of pink including blush, rose pink, cerise, and deeper hues which almost approached red. There were single and double forms. To share the results of our project with the rest of the school, we selected the best seven plants from that cross and set up a display in the main office so that students and faculty could vote on their favorite azaleas and suggest possible names should one of the plants prove worthy of ARS registration. A double rose pink with red blotch seemed to be the school favorite, although it reminded me of several other azaleas on the market. I preferred the large, ruffled, semi-double blush pink with a pale green throat.

Seedlings from the Cross: Dream X Nancy of Robin Hill

Lavender seedling
Seedling in Recycled
Azaleas from the Cross
Some First Blooms
Best Pink
My Favorite Seedling
Pink Seedling
Pink Seedling with Blotch

Landscaping the School

  1. Introduction
  2. The Plant Preservation Club
  3. First Blooms
  4. Planting Things Out
  5. Closing Thoughts

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