Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Fabulous Azalea

Well it's the day before Friday and I am ready for Friday. I have been wracking my brain for some good stuff to write about since my yard is so desolate right now. The Azalea. A lot can be said for the azalea. It is resiliant, requires little or no maintenance and can grow in less than full sun. Mobile Alabama is know for its azaleas and the azalea trail and of course the Azalea Trail Maids. Mobile is the "Azalea City". And of course I have 4 azaleas growing (I know that isn't many-more are coming) and very much in bloom right now. The azalea will be in bloom for at least another 4 weeks maybe longer as some areas are just starting to bloom. The azalea is an indispensable part of the city's character.

The azalea is an oriental plant and was first imported to Mobile in the 1920s to create a tourist attraction. A local Mobile business man, Sam Lackland spearheaded the effort in 1929 to plant these shrubs along the local streets. As a means to encourage citizens to plant them, locas gas stations gave the plants away with a tank of gas. After a few years the streets were lined with azaleas. The area came to be known as the Azalea Trail and the streets were painted with a pink line as it followed through the trail. Thousands of tourist flock to the city this time of year to view these beauties. The azalea comes in many colors. In the 1950's a hybrid was born that would grow in the northern states. Bellingrath Gardens is a beautiful place to visit and has thousands of azaleas.

6 comments:

gardenerprogress/Catherine said...

I'd never realized that the south had areas known for azaleas! I love them, but for some reason don't have a lot of luck with them. I really like the pink one in your picture.

April said...

A piece of Mobile history with which I was not familiar! Very interesting! I do miss the azaleas. There are some here, but nothing like Mobile!

Susie said...

Just today I noticed azaleas blooming in our area. I do think they are so beautiful!

Creative Gardener said...

Thank you for following Garden Thyme!
Debbie

Hostabuff, Zone 6a said...

I love azaleas and have a few varieties in my garden, including some iwth a salmon pink flower and another with a brilliant pink that glows in the shade. I'm about 2 months away from the azalea blooms - and look forward to that day!

bennie and patsy said...

I have always had azaleas in every house and garden. This house there are no plans for azaleas, now that is sad.
Patsy