At the garden center, I noticed some beautiful large-leaf rhododendrons covered in plump buds. They were in small pots — starter shrubs for a woodland-garden-to-be.

If I planted them in the landscape, I knew they’d be lost at that size. True, gardening is about patience — and dreaming of what will happen in, say, five years.

But gardening is also about instant gratification.

To showcase these irresistible rhodies, I made them the “thrillers” of a late-spring/early summer planter. They replaced a set of tulips and hyacinths that had gone by, while complementing the pansies, which were still going strong.

When the rhodies have finished blooming, I’ll replace them with another thriller — maybe tropical hibiscus — that can take summer’s heat and sun. The tiny rhodies will be transplanted to a permanent woodland home, where they can be magnificent again.