Although it didn't make the American Rhododendron Society's cut for "Best Rhododendron of the Year" until 2006, "Pink Pearl" (R. "George Hardy" x R. "Broughtonii") has been decorating gardens for over a century, winning several other prestigious awards along the way.
We purchased this shrub as a two foot toddler in 2006 when it re-emerged on the scene, popularized by it's Rhodie of the Year status. A truly pink (vs salmon or lavender-pink) rhodie, it does not disappoint. Although we planted it on the sunny edge of our shadiest cottage garden, it has filled out nicely into a four foot by four foot dense shrub with blooms that remind me of pink cotton candy.
This year it is blooming contemporaneously with both the white and red dicentras, creating a striking display in the mostly shady cottage garden. The buds are a deep true pink and open into a rosy pink blossom that quickly fades to the palest blush pink when fully open. The blooms are long-lasting - at least a couple of weeks or more. The shrub has been blooming now for nearly two full weeks and despite heavy rains and basically unspringlike weather, the oldest blossoms have just now started to fade.