Monday, September 10, 2012

Jeweled wonderland

One of the first things I did when I moved to Michigan was to find a local gardening club. I wanted to meet like minded people who also would obviously have experience gardening here.
The club meets through out the winter monthly with wonderful speakers and indoor slide shows from different presenters. One of my favorite gardens we went to was this Rhododendron garden..I was truly just blown away by all the varieties and the absolute beauty of them. Of course I immediately was also designing in my head just where I too was going to be able to use these at Frog Hollow.
John Miga is the president of the Rhododendron and Azalea society. He used to race sports cars and then somehow found his way into gardening as being very calming and therapeutic. Needless to say it has taken over! He keeps expanding his property and has a nursery right there where I can actually get all the plants I want!   Yeahhhhhh me... Which reminds me that I best get my order into him so I can have the start of a beautiful spring like this.

I've taken the pictures so that I can just send them to John so he will know which ones I'm looking for. He actually told me to do it that way rather then try to write down all the names and remember what colours they were etc.. I was just so in awe staring at all the beauty and getting lost in all the colours surrounding me. It was all very magical.

 There is something like 15 acres of all this beauty. We met at 7pm and then walked through all the different areas. The lighting did dim only  to create even more of a magical feeling with the brightness of the next grouping beckoning us forward. The ohhhh and ahhh's so audible from about a group of 20 people. I kept thinking of all those gardening friends back in Alberta I would of loved to of shared this with. Hopefully, they will enjoy waking through these photos.
I do have 5 or 6 large growth plants in around my garden and I certainly will be adding to them putting them into groupings.

I am a bold and bright coloured lover. But even I enjoyed the softer pastels grouped together in contrast to the bold beauties. Isn't that what it is all about? Placing the plants to their best advantage to show off their attributes as well as their surrounding plants.

I loved the speckled throats in these. Of course I'm able to "enlarge two" and then the silly thing won't let me enlarge any others!.. I've even tried to save and preview and go to the posts etc. nothing lets me select and enlarge the rest!  Anyone out there having the same problems?

I loved how John has also used the contrasting textures and structures of the trees. This is one I want!

This is my colour... absolutely love this! Isn't it a beauty.

there was what seemed and felt like complete "walls" of these blooms going on and on.

I even found some that were set back off the trails under the canopy of tall  mothering spruce. These are some that John is working on.  Im wondering when I will be able to get my hands on one of these!

These pictures are showing you a good 100 feet at a time of blooms.

I have an orange one already... but, I love orange and these are very beautiful on their own or put together in different colour groupings.

As you can see by the end of the walk we had certainly lasted longer then the light. We even went on to walk through what is Johns nursery. Again he has used to his advantage what mother nature spent years growing... A tall natural stand of very straight regal spruce limbed way up and providing a canopy of shade for all these beautful gems. I was afraid to ask the price of some of these knowing what I have paid in the past. Lets just say, buying them right from John rather then the nurserys he supplies in the area is just AWESOME...I will be getting bigger plants freshly dug up and for a lot less money. Although I have to say Im already very impressed by the reduced cost for this never satisfied hunger I have to be always expanding and searching for new plant materials.  Im calulating in my mind just what I can buy... I think I should go out and sell a couple more houses so I can feed this addition of mine.
Have a wonderful week in your garden. and remember.... Planting a garden proves you believe in tomorrow.