Want to plant a Rhododendron in your shade garden that is hardy to -40 degrees Fahrenheit?   Yep, -40 degrees.

What is commonly called the Northern Lights series offers several tantalizing opportunities in a wide variety of colors that are splendid additions to the residential landscape.

Over the years I have used Orchid Lights, Spicy Lights, Lemon Lights, Rosy Lights, Mandarin Lights and Northern Hi-Lights in my landscape designs.   Developed at the University of Minnesota, these Rhododendrons eliminate ‘Rhodo Envy’ for those of us designing in Zones 4 & 5.   And many of them are fragrant as well!

Like all Rhododendron, those in the Northern Lights series like shade or dappled sunlight and soil must be amended and well-drained.   Soil is the key.   Refer to one of my previous landscape blogs on the soil mix I like to use for Rhododendron.

Good shade and woodland landscapes deserve more than a raft of Hydrangea married to a few Hosta.   The Northern Lights series of Rhododendron afford us that opportunity.