Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Azaleas in Full Splendor
Maybe it was our colder winter. Maybe it is the consistent rainfall we've received during our usually dry season. Or maybe it's a combination of both. But the azaleas have bloomed better than EVER this year.
Each individual flower spans 2-3 inches in diameter. The leaves are everygreen when not in bloom.
A couple of weeks ago we looked at some close-up views of the azaleas at the beginning of their pretty show. And even though there are still some buds yet to open, I'd guess these winter blooming shrubs at Hoe and Shovel have peaked.
I'll admit ~~ it's only when they are in full bloom that I find myself wishing I had planted more of them.
The view from the front driveway (looking a little to the right of my house) reveals the naturalistic "old south" manner in which my azaleas grow. They don't get trimmed or fertilized letting them instead grow wildly and be nourished by the rich organics of the oak leaves all year long. The background shrubs are well over 10' tall. (Don't mind my naked xanadu and sparse shell gingers in the foreground~~ they are trying their best to come back after the freezes.)
"Too much color!" Those words from my 7 year-old granddaughter as she sees the brilliant hue of Azalea indica 'Formosa' flowers in their deepest pink array. Granted, at this age she can be a little silly and sometimes dramatic as she covers her eyes while making her proclamation. Oh well, she keeps me smiling anyway.
The deep magenta Formosa variety has withstood the test of time. Although no question there have been years with very sparse bloom rates. They were here when we moved in over 25 years ago. One of the few original plants I've kept ~~ other than the native palmettos and of course oak trees.
There is a pathway winding from the front walkway leading to the back garden that separates the light pink and the magenta shrubs. Rhododendron x ‘George Tabor’ was planted after we had lived here a while. My memory escapes exactly when but that means it was back when life was too busy to write these kinds of things down. Suffice to say at least 15 years ago.
The light pink blooms with their freckley magenta throats are probably my favorite variety. Although I am really partial to the pure white variety Azalea indica 'G.G. Gerbing' that borders the other side of the driveway, too.
We woke up this morning to showers still dripping from the sky. In the overnight we had 1.5" of good rain. It's beneficial for me that it rains occasionally forcing me to adjust my outdoor plans. It keeps me indoors to get a few things checked off the endless paperwork list.
Not as bad as it could have been.
My organizational mojo kicked into high gear with the windows open and a cool breeze coming through. Although I did find myself feeling a bit like a daydreaming school girl at times staring at the profuse blooms of the azaleas situated right outside my window.
When backlit by the crisp Florida sunshine, once the rain cleared away, the deep magenta illuminates to an even more intense and indescribable hue.