R is for . . . Rhodies

Here on the Oregon coast, color is bursting out all over as the rhododendrons spring into bloom. They’re coming out in all shades of red, pink, purple, white and yellow. It’s a spectacular display that only lasts for a few weeks, but Lord it’s beautiful. The rest of the year, the plants offer a sturdy green presence able to endure snow, ice, rain and wind. Back in San Jose, we had roses. I miss my roses, but they can’t stand up to the elements like rhodies can. Rhodies are tough.

The rhododendrons in my front yard were blooming when Fred passed away. The third anniversary is this Wednesday. I will always think of him when I see rhodies or when I hear robins singing just before dawn.

A few miles south of here in Florence, Oregon, the town celebrates rhodies in a big way with its annual rhododendron festival. It takes place May 16-18 this year, with the crowning of Queen Rhododendra, a parade, car show, craft fair, rhodie run, and lots of flower displays. For information, go to the website at www.florencechamber.com/chamber/105th-rhododendron-festival

I’m participating in this month’s A to Z blogging challenge. R stands for Rhodies. My alphabetical posts are distributed among my various blogs. Here is the schedule:
A Newsletter–A is for Annie
B Childless by Marriage–B is for Baby
C Unleashed in Oregon–C is for Crate
D Writer Aid–D is for Deadline
E Unleashed in Oregon–E is for Ear
F Unleashed in Oregon–F is for Fur
G Unleashed in Oregon–G is for Gunk
H Childless by Marriage–H is for Harley
I Unleashed in Oregon–I is for I-5
J Writer Aid–J is for Job
K Unleashed in Oregon–Key is for Keys
L Unleashed in Oregon–L is for Lick
M Unleashed in Oregon–M is for Milk-Bone
N Childless by Marriage–No is for No, I Don’t Know Children’s Songs
O Unleashed in Oregon–O is for Oregon Everything
P Writer Aid
Q Unleashed in Oregon
R Unleashed in Oregon
S Unleashed in Oregon
T Childless by Marriage
U Unleashed in Oregon
V Writer Aid
W Unleashed in Oregon
X Unleashed in Oregon
Y Unleashed in Oregon
Z Childless by Marriage

More than 2000 other bloggers have signed up for the challenge. For more information, visit a-to-zchallenge.com You might find some great new blogs to follow. I know I will. Come back tomorrow to find out what S stands for.

Take a look at these tulips

I just love bulbs–not the kind you screw into your lamps, the kind that grow in the ground. They hide under the soil all summer and fall. Just when you’re about to go nuts with too much winter, they pop up and start blooming. You don’t have to do anything. They just keep showing up.

Somebody planted tulip bulbs in my garden long before I moved to this house. I thought I dug all the bulbs out when I started my great gardening plan a couple years ago, but I guess I missed a few. Right now, I’ve got white tulips and some that look like rainbow sherbet. About the time they start to fade, the wild poppies will appear. Later in the year, if I’m lucky, the gladiolas will bloom. What a gift for someone who gardens about once every six months.

Some folks are more serious about tulips. The town of Woodburn, OR, about 45 minutes from Portland, hosts an annual tulip festival in April. I know, we missed it. Mark your calendars for next year. (But we’re in time for the rhododendron festival, which happens May 21-23 in Florence, OR.)If you’d like to get your own tulips planted for next spring, check out The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, which grows tulips by the acre and takes orders online.

It rains about 80 inches a year around here, but in the spring, when the sun comes out and everything’s in bloom, we look around and know we’re living in paradise.

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