I love rhododendrons, and have two in this beautiful shade of purple; however, they tend to get overgrown and "bushy." So, I trimmed out the entire bottom of mine, making the bush into a tree. I then planted some shade-loving plants beneath it. Everyone keeps asking me where I got those "trees!" ;)
3 Ways to Prune Rhododendrons: Here's how to maintain, shape, or rejuvenate rhododendrons. Learn how to do it right, here http://www.finegardening.com/how-to/articles/three-ways-prune-rhododendrons.aspx
Rhododendron A reliable plant that needs partial shade and well-drained or moist acidic soil to thrive, evergreen rhododendrons provide dense walls of color year-round. 'Golden Torch,' shown here, is popular for its flowers, which emerge as salmon-pink buds and open to funnel-shaped, pale creamy-yellow blooms. 'Kure-no-yuki,' a dwarf at 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, produces clusters of pure white flowers in mid-spring.