Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Winter's Redemption: Azaleas Blooming
Those of us with our roots planted deeply in southern soil and the southern way of living might take these beautiful rhododendrons for granted.
After all for most of the year the shrubs are not much in the way of lovely.
Until they bloom that is.
When the blooms start popping out in bright magentas and pinks and corals and even brilliant white it's as if the whole world is gleeful.
From the effects of winter. The sting from perennials frosted back to the ground and brown sticks of dormancy not as noticeable as all this color emerges.
Azaleas are one of the first signs that the seasons are transitioning.
They light up the garden with hundreds of bountiful flowers radiating the glistening sunlight and standing proudly underneath majestic oaks. Truly the glories of late winter.
An icon of the south.
Southern Indica Azalea prefer acidic soils rich in organics.
I prefer to let mine grow naturally utilizing soft pruning occasionally; refraining from buzzing them into straight-edged hedgerows.
Spring visits us first down here in our southern peninsular and winter shows up for us last making for a very short dormant season.
It is what we love about Florida. Mild, brief winters.
And azaleas that bloom before winter's end.
Classic Caladium post still forthcoming. :-)