The story today is of a recent rescued 1950’s original $1.99 front yard Rhododendron from 3564 west 28th Avenue , that was once my family home , the little but now huge plant is a milky pink in colour , the name I think was “Shocking Pink” when the family received it as a gift in the 1950s ? Here is the history of the plant that I can remember so many years ago ! Our family rented a house at 7325 Blenheim Street , on the Blenheim Flats for $50 a month in the 1950s ! The strange looking house was called the “Castle House” and all of our mail from England was addressed to the “Castle House on the Flats ” somewhere in the 7,000 block and it got delivered by a great post man ! The 1930s built house , kind of looked like a Castle with Battle Turrets around a flat roof ! Yes all the Slack family that immigrated to Canada from England in 1948 , lived originally not too far from Nottingham Castle and near Sherwood Forest and our first very expensive 1950s rental house , kind of fitted in to our English Ancestry !
For sure Robin Hood is probably a family relation of ours a way back when and mom said I was conceived in the Blue Bell Woods , near “Robins Famous Major Oak Tree” ! Yes I do sign autographs as a blood relative of “Robin and his Gang of Great Guys and Gals from Nottinghamshire England ” Now the history of the $1.99 ” “Blushing Pink” named Rhodo !
My Mom , Dad and I worked part time for Murray and Wood Greenhouses in the 1950s , the huge green house was just across the Street from 7325 Blenheim Street on the Blenheim Flats ! I got a part-time job stapling together wooden border plant boxes , at 50 cents for every 500 , they were not plastic in the 1950s ! Dad filled them with composted “Turkey Manure” and Mom transplanted young flowering plants into them in the modern greenhouses ! It was hard in those days for Murray and Wood to make a profit and they watched their $ very carefully in those days ! When we moved “up the hill” to 3564 west 28th in Dunbar in the late 1950s , the good friends and business partners in the greenhouse , gave us a moving gift , of a very small $1.99 Rhododendron called “Blushing Pink”! We loved it , but planted it much too close to the front of our old but new to us , wonderful 3 mortgaged Dunbar home !
The soil was very, very poor at the top of the hill in Dunbar and we had no money to buy any good stuff for our new plant ! Dad and the rest of us , knew we’re all probably related to Robin Hood in England , some way or another , so we felt it was just fine for our leader to fill up his empty lunch bucket with , “unwanted composted , “good turkey fertilizer scraps ” every day , to put around the little plant ! The l Rhodo grew in leaps and bounds and had such huge blossoms that we had to sometimes “Sprag Up” the bushes branches every spring ! The Blushing Pink Rhodo at 3564 West 28th ave , was a favorite of everyone in the “Neighbourhood of Dunbar” for many, many years and when the house was sold a few years ago , I made a commitment to try to save our families now huge historic Dunbar “Blushing Pink” Rhodo , when the house came down!
Thanks to our good neighbours on 28th Avenue and some of my old retired fishboat equipment , the historic Dunbar Rhododendron was saved from being smashed up and sent to land fill ! A “Big Thank you for all your help , with the big Rhodo move ,
From the Slack family of Dunbar ! Terry