I often identify places I lived while growing up with flowers. Hawaii . . . the wonderfully scented plumeria; Maine . . . the gorgeous lilac that grew outside my bedroom window; Mississippi . . . the beautiful azalea. Around here, you know "Spring has Sprung" when the azaleas are in bloom. Azaleas are referred to as the "royalty of the garden". The Mississippi Gulf Coast is ablaze with color this time of year as well as many other southern destinations, thanks to this hardy plant. If you live in a part of the world still in the grips of winter, kick back, put on some cute flip flops, drink a glass of sweet iced tea, dream of warm weather, and enjoy the view compliments of my southern home . . . Mississippi!
Azaleas are best grown wild and free. Some gardeners try to make a hedge of the bush, but at a cost of losing the free flowing nature of azaleas and many of the blooms. The picture below is of the beloved Stanton Hall (circa 1858) in Natchez, MS. Just imagine sipping a cool glass of lemonade while sitting on the veranda.
And yet another lovely Natchez plantation in its spring glory. Natchez is currently hosting the annual spring pilgrimage. This year twenty-nine antebellum homes open their doors to guests. It is a wonderful event and a feast for the eyes. Stop by this link for more information. Natchez Pilgrimage
Azaleas and oaks are beautiful together. Kind of like peanut butter and jelly! Red azaleas take the lead here. One beautiful variety is the ruffled red known as the Rutherdordiana hybrid. I think the red fades quickly so at Still Woods we plant only the hot pink, pale pink, and the white varieties.
There are many varieties of azaleas. This is one of my favorite colors known as Formosa and is located behind the house. I can't wait until it grows up.
I am so blessed to enjoy azaleas on my way to work. It was a dreary day yesterday, but I snapped these photos on my way home. In fact, this photo was taken steps from the door to my office building. Lucky me!
I hope the drive to Still Woods looks like this one day! They have alternated several varieties including red, white, and the bright pink azaleas.
One last beautiful look at azaleas. Told you that oaks and azaleas are meant to be together. . . like two peas in a pod. I love the look of old gnarly oaks stretching against the sky softened by the beauty of azaleas. I think a spring picnic would be wonderful under the oaks. Please join me!