Rhododendron by the Stair

Rhododendron -- Photo: Dorothy McDonall

In the garden,
By the stair
A Rhododendron.
Tarries there.

In pale shades
It bursts in bloom;
Adds lustre to
My garden room.

And offers critters
Sweet relief
From hot and humid
Late Spring grief.

Its beauty soft;
Expression grand;
The glorious craft
Of Omnipotent Hand.

And glad I am
To have planted it there,
My Rhododendron
By the stair.


A few years ago I did indeed plant a Rhododendron in the garden by the stair. We have a raised botanical garden with two tall Jack Pines at either end, a Sunburst Locust in the middle and in between a variety of flowers and shrubs which, at this time of year, blooms the garden its most beautiful.

Creeping Phlox in pink and purple hues, bright yellow Baskets of Gold, and delicate white Sweet Woodruff are among the perennial flowers at home here, accented by a generously creeping vine that trails aimlessly (and often invasively) over the edge of the raised garden wall.

The Rhododendron is quite sensitive. In the seven or so years since it was planted, it has bloomed only three times, including this season. The previous blooming periods were very short — hot, humid weather its undoing. Interestingly in each of the ensuing seasons flowers did not bloom as if to protest its previous flower-unfriendly conditions.

So, this year with the weather being more agreeable, I’m really pleased to see the Rhodo is back with a vengence and as beautiful as I remember — only, perhaps, more so because I haven’t seen it for a while.



Spring Flowers

Spring's splendour at the Keukenhof, Holland

Spring's splendour at the Keukenhof Gardens, Holland -- Photo: Dorothy McDonall


Such a happy flower;
Looks cheerful in
An April shower.
In colours bright
From mauve to red
Is splendid in
The flower bed.

Is pretty too.
A golden trumpet
All Spring through.
It bows to wind
And glows ‘neath sun.
In every way
My heart it’s won.

A fragrant crown
It wears amongst
The floral town.
Its petals small
And delicate
Incense the air

Dainty little bloom.
First sign of spring
In my garden room.
Flowers purple,
Yellow, white
Bid fond farewell
To long winter’s night.


It’s mid March and spring is in the air. I can feel it. Though the ground is still snow covered and there’s still the possibility of more of the fluffy white menace, spring’s proximity is betrayed by the earlier dawns and later dusks; by temperatures that creep slowly upward, and by warbling, expectant birds.

And soon, with the burden of frigid days but a memory, the floral garden will appear — a cheerful unveiling that puts the spring back in our steps and fills our grey matter with the resplendent colours, shapes and scents of a new and glorious season.

With the return of tulips, daffodils, crocus and hyacinth the air is lifted and fresh. The hibernating critters awaken and entertain as they scurry back and forth in search of food. Bird song drifts effortlessly through the trees — the neighbourhood is reborn and a collective sigh of relief is expelled — another winter survived.

My imagination is filled with the glory of spring to come.

I love spring flowers.

Dorothy 🙂


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