Monday, April 27, 2009

The Lowly Azalea

My mother always said that the problem with a lot of Charleston gardeners is that they just stick a slew of azaleas and a handful of camellias in the yard and call it a garden. There truly is an azalea overload around here and hence I vowed to never plant an azalea...way too common for me, I thought. Leave azaleas to the "garden variety gardeners".

Ha, ha, and ha again. It turns out, I'm no more immune to azaleas than the next person. They are just too beautiful and too easy. As spring rolls in, I find myself in the garden centers drooling over all those luscious colors and wanting to take every one home. So I've put myself on an azalea "diet" but when I first saw Elsie Lee, I couldn't resist. This has got to be the most feminine of azaleas: the flowers are ruffled, double, and the color is an absolutely ethereal shade of orchid. Very girly.

My Elsie Lee's started blooming about a week ago and are in full bloom now. I can't wait till they've gained a bit of stature and make a real statement in my frontyard.