Saturday, May 28, 2016

Along the Garden Path: Rhododendron Quilt Top

My rhododendrons always bloom in time for Memorial Day weekend.  
We are fond of our "rhodies" because they thrive in our acidic soil and give such a wonderful show this time of year.  Up north in the Jim Thorpe area, the hills are full of wild rhododendrons in all sorts of colors.  So when I found this quilt top featuring our lovely bush, I just had to have it:
"The Rhododendron Quilt" was a kit quilt from the Progress Company.  According to Rosie Werner's quilt kit website, The top was featured in the 1952-53 Herrschner's Catalog.  
The center motif is surrounded by flower blooms and there is a nice cluster of rhodies at each corner of the quilt top:
I've read that the symbolism ascribed to the rhododendron is caution or to beware because of the toxicity of the plant.  From a literary point of view, Daphne du Maurier's book, Rebecca, (which both thrilled and terrified me as a youngster) featured the bush, perhaps in a way that foreshadowed the evil character of Rebecca.  The original Mrs. de Winter was said to have cultivated red rhododendrons and white azaleas (azaleas are toxic too).  My rhodies are all pink and purple (the red you see in the above photo are my roses).

It's hot and humid in Pennsylvania this weekend so stay cool and hydrated.  

1 comment:

  1. My mother-in-law lived in Johnstown, PA, and I loved visiting at this time of year because it seems that everyone in the city has huge rhododendrons in their front or side yards. They were almost exclusively the purple ones.