My husband and I are rank beginners at landscaping, but we know that there are rhodie and azaleas that do okay in our area, so I wanted to make sure that when we increase our collection, we get something that will survive our winters AND summers.
The local nurseries have not inspired a lot of confidence regarding advice - at the advice of someone on Dave's Garden (regarding tulips), I went to several local nurseries and asked if there was a Master Gardener on staff, and all said no - in fact, one owner said "I don't like Master Gardeners - they tend to have strange ideas". That same owner could not tell the difference between a species tulip and a Darwin Hybrid, so I was not about to ask for advice on Rhodies!
Okay - back to Rhodies and Azaleas. We currently have one healthy true red rhodie - we inherited it when we bought our house, so we have no idea what kind it is. It is on the east side of the house, so it gets morning sun. We live in Pasco, WA which is hotter than blazes in the summer and has been known to reach -10F in the winter (though, not often). The weather is bone dry in the summer and +100 for at least two weeks - sometimes three. We average only 6" percipitation per year, but have ample irrigation water to supply. Our winter and spring is primarily where our precipitation comes in.
We would like to add a bunch of true red Rhodies along the east side of our house by our existing red one, but the only ones I can find that claim to be heat and sun tolerant are more of a hot pink/magenta color. Does anybody know of a true red one that would work in our area? It would also be good if it was low-growing (3-4 feet in 10 years or so).
Also, we want to add some azaleas in that same area - out away from the house a bit - in a contrasting color of some kind (white, yellow, blue?), but we were hoping to get away from the deciduous azaleas because they are so bare-looking during the winter. I have found reference to some on-line, but I am going nuts trying to track all this stuff down - I am just not sure enough about what I am doing. Same kind of growth habit.
If anyone has any recommedations for my red rhodies and blue/yellow/white evergreen azaleas, I would really appreciate it - you folks are awesome!!