A friend from another part of the country remarked last week that we have very different plants here.
If I had to describe the quintessential New England shrub, this is it: some version of a large rhododendron in pink, mauve, white or red. They’re everywhere right now in sizes from about 2 feet tall to ones like this that tower over my head.
They do grow in other places too but they do extremely well here in our acidic soil and normally moist climate.
As a general rule, they prefer at least partial shade, which most of us have because we are gardening under mature tree canopies.
And since many of those trees tend to be evergreens, oaks, or maples which compete with the “rhodies” as we affectionately call them for moisture, it’s a good thing that they tend to be shallowly rooted as well!
Here is a close view of the flower cluster. They are stunning this time of year.