A Mountain of Azaleas

My azaleas have been slowly opening and I think they have reached their peak.  I have let them grow out over the years and now they are small mountains of pink.

The landscaper supposedly planted all the same color, but as you can see there are various colorations.

Including this one I can never figure out.  The pink one is on the same branch as the coral ones.

If you enjoy looking at azaleas, visit my most viewed post Azaleas.

Too Soon

We recently visited Bayou Bend gardens and mansion which was owned by Ima Hogg, a philanthropist, patron and collector of the arts.

Ms. Hogg also collected plants. The gardens are filled with azaleas, camellias, magnolias and other spring blooming plants.

Our winter has been so warm that many of the flowers have opened.

The garden’s Azalea Trail is nearly a month away.

None the less, it was an absolutely perfect day on the Bayou.


Update on Looking Like Spring

After posting today, I took a walk around the yard and found Azaleas blooming.  Normally, they do not bloom until the second week of March.

Back Home

I arrived back home to find wilted plants including this azalea.  My area had about seven days of temperatures in the 100’s.  The semi-tropical garden loved the heat and returned to a jungle-like state.  It is too overgrown to take pictures. I also pulled up a couple of bushels of weeds from the front yard before the neighborhood association came by.

I always leave my clogs on the back porch and one of them was missing.  I found it in the wooded area.

Later I found the sole insert that was all chewed up.  I blame the usual suspects, which are the squirrels, that like to use my stuff to build nests. I learned to put my chair cushions in the garage, now I guess I learned my lesson to put my clogs away.

It turned out that the story was not over.  I ordered a new shiny pair of clogs and was throwing out my old ones, when this big toad hopped out.  The toad was not thrilled to have his picture taken, but I managed to get one shot.  Not only do the clogs protect my feet, they also could make a nice addition to a squirrel nest and a cozy place for a toad to sleep.

Azalea Time

I usually make a post on Azaleas every year.  The reason being is that my most popular post is Azaleas, which leads me to believe people really like looking at them.  Check out the post and keep it at the top of my most viewed.

The Azalea buds are just about as pretty as an open flower.

This year a long stem wrapped around a pine tree for a nice contrast.

My nearly 20 year old bush has grown to 6 feet tall and it always puts on a great show.


Spring Has Begun Part II

More early Spring bloomers include this red Canna.

A surprise blooming plant for this time of year is Oenothera grandiflora or Evening Primrose that was collected by William Bartram in 1775 in Alabama and grown in his Philadelphia nursery.  Normally, this plant blooms in the late summer or early fall.  I think some of the seeds germinated early during this warmer winter.  I found it blooming in three locations and the plant was shorter than usual.

The orange Tassel Flower, Emillia coccinea, has been maturing all winter and is now blooming. I thought I read somewhere that it was related to a dandelion, but it does not reseed like one.

A true Spring ritual in this part of the country is the blooming of Azaleas.  I was surprised to see some opening already.  All our big Azalea Trails are usually the second week in March, so hopefully they can hold off until then.

February is the start of Spring around here and a time to trim back Crepe Myrtles, Roses and start cleaning out beds. The trees that lost their leaves are budding out.  And best of all the days are getting longer and evenings on the patio can be enjoyed.

Azalea Splendor


One of my most viewed posts is Azaleas.  This year has been a spectacular year for these flowering shrubs.  It may have been the record breaking rainfall and also a cool start to Spring with cold nights causing the blooms to stay longer.  I have taken pictures over several days to get the Azaleas at their best.  Enjoy their splendor!


Confused Azalea

I was surprised to see two Azalea buds next to each other that were two different colors.  Of course I thought another bush had just sent out a really long branch that got mixed in.  But, no both buds were from the same bush and on the same branch.

I watched the buds over several days thinking the bud would change to the more orange color when it opened.  As you can see, it stayed pinkish.  So dear readers, does anyone have an explanation for why these two flowers on the same branch are two different colors?

Azalea Preview


One of my most viewed posts is Azaleas.  I can only take that to mean that gardeners really like looking at them, so I am doing several posts. Azaleas do well in my area and are planted in just about every yard.

More Azaleas are opening and this coming week should have them in full bloom. I am a little concerned about the heavy rain that is coming, but fingers crossed the Azaleas won’t be ruined

These two Azaleas are Judge Solomon and are supposed to be pink.  One is much more orange.  Luckily that one was planted in the back of a hedge of Azaleas.

The first Azalea is a much darker purple than the photo picked up and I have lost the name of it.  The next is an Encore Autumn Embers, which blooms several times a year and the last is a George Tabor.

The final photos are not Azaleas, but they are planted near by and compliment them.  The Tulip Magnolia is in full bloom (I love the star shape on the inside), as are the Loropetalums.

Azalea fans can click on the photos to make them larger.

Much Needed Color

Normally, The Automatic Garden has quite a few flowering plants during the winter, but not this cold winter.  Thank goodness for the sturdy Camellias that grow in the garden and have provided much needed color.

A couple of days of warm weather prompted a few Azaleas to pop open early and add a little more color to this dreary winter.