These lavender and purple rhododendrons are the same age, but grew up differently. (Describing plants can be so similar to describing people, sometimes.) They both have their stories.
One year, the lavender rhodie, was photographed by my mother-in-law every day for a week as she watched the blossoms open. I’m thinking it was her last visit here, she was in her mid-eighties at the time. Every morning she would go out and examine the wonder of flowers slowly opening, and take a picture with her little camera. She would get so excited, and later savored her photos after they were developed (this was before digital cameras and instant pictures).
The little purple rhodie on the right was one of the favorite nap spots for our old family dog. From when the plant was little, Rascal would wallow in the dirt, and make his bed there. Many times I tried to pry him from there or lure him into another spot, but no success. The soil there was cool and the area shady in summer afternoons. After he went to doggie heaven, I got more into gardening and have been working to revive this plant ever since.