Friday, May 25, 2012

The Perfect Fit

Compact Korean Azalea
Last year, I needed a filler plant for a small area in the back garden.  I had extended a planting bed into the adjacent shady area where grass was too challenged to grow.  This bed is backed by a large Rhododendrons.  Since I liked how my native azaleas (Rhododendron viscosum) had grown into another large-leafed evergreen rhododendron nearby, I though adding a deciduous azalea here would work too.  But I also wanted spring color. (My native azaleas bloom in summer.) 

The new space was small.  So when I found a Korean azalea labeled "compact", I thought I'd give it a try.  Its mature size will only be four feet wide and two feet tall.  When I bought this small cultivar (Azalea poukhanense 'Compacta'), it was out of bloom, but the picture on the attached label showed a rosy-purple flower. 

When it bloomed this spring, it looked a bit more purple which I actually prefer.  Combined with a bright green hosta in front, this new addition really adds a bright punch to this once forgotten corner of my garden. 

More purple than pink blooms


Astrid said...

Hope it stays the size you want. Excellent colour combination of the rhodo and the hosta.

Jeff, Gardener in Chief said...

These grow pretty slow and a little pruning near mature height usually keep the size in check. However, I'm not one for cropping into a perfect shape. I think the natural shape of shrubs are usually much more attractive. Thanks for reading.