May 12, 2008 - Rhododendrons take center stage in Dewey Cox's Union County shade garden
Purple, pink, lavender, violet, red, and white blossoms brighten up Dewey Cox's shady garden where over 130 rhododendrons are currently in full bloom. The rhododendrons range in size from one foot to over head high. They are a sight to behold!
Dewey has been planting and tending the rhododendrons for ten years although he has been gardening all his life. He asks, "What else can you get that blooms like this?" He adds, "They are the only thing in my yard that the deer don't eat. I love roses, too, but the cold or the deer get them." Dewey is trying out some knock-out roses for the first time this year. He says, "So far they are doing well." The Cox's also have apples, peaches, plums, blueberries, pink dogwoods, azaleas, lilies, and other perennials but it's the rhododendrons that take center stage this time of year.
Dewey got most of his plant stock from Ray Payne, Nelson's Ace Hardware, and Valley Nursery in Blairsville, Georgia. Rhododendrons are fairly easy to care for. Leaves make natural mulch in the fall. Sometimes rhododendrons must be treated for pests - occasionally wood borers attack.
Dewey and Marie Cox live in the Trackrock area of Union County. They have been married for 50 years. Dewey is former Assistant Pastor at Harmony Grove Baptist Church in Union County. He is currently "honorary pastor" and often teaches on Wednesday nights and Sundays. Marie says, "God comes first in our life but gardening is Dewey's main hobby." God's blessings are surely evident at Dewey and Marie's home where hundreds of rhododendrons brighten the landscape.