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Azalea Trail 2014 

SFA Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden Bloom Report for April 14-20, 2014

In spite of rain and temperatures in the low 30s, the garden is still at 75-80 percent bloom. Large plantings of Southern Indica azaleas are filling some of the big beds (10, 6, 7, 8, 14, 26, 33, 38, and 39). Look especially white ‘Mrs. G.G. Gerbing’, deep purple ‘Red Formosa’, rose-pink ‘Judge Solomon’, lavender-and-white ’George Lindley Taber’, and salmon ‘Daphne Salmon’ and ‘Salmon Solomon’. Expect great blooms for the next two-three weeks at least, since we have late-blooming Robin Hill hybrids and Satsuki azaleas yet to come.

Some of the old-fashioned Kurumes—pink ‘Coral Bells’, white ‘Snow’, bright rose/red ‘Hinodegiri’ in the northern end of the garden (Beds 5, 10, 14, 25)—may be fading a bit, but double lavender ‘El Frida’ is in her prime (Beds 7,10) as is scarlet-red ‘Trouper’ (Bed 7).

Girard hybrids are taking the spotlight now in Bed 10, ‘Girard Caroline’ and ‘Girard Hot Shot’. Double pink ‘Pink Ruffles’ is open fully to greet visitors entering by the main entrance from the Coliseum parking lot (Bed 2) are in full flower by the entrance as well.

In the southwest corner (Beds 29, 31) all 18 the numbered Chinese Huang hybrids are blooming in bright pink, rose-red, even some pink-and-white blooms on the same plant as well as warm salmon, white, and red ‘Break O’Day’. Double salmon-rose and white Pericat hybrid ‘Hampton Beauty’ azalea is in full bloom in Beds 19-20. Stroll by the Boxwood collection in Bed 24 to see a large planting of a large-flowered lavender azalea (Rhododendron poukhanense) in Bed 35. ‘Glacier’ is ice-white against orange-red ‘Fashion’ in Bed 10, showing why we like this azalea hybrid group.

More deciduous azaleas are blooming, including bright red ‘Red Pepper’ and ‘Jeb Stuart’. Bright yellow-and-rust ‘Aromi Sunrise’ in Bed 26 is blooming for Tax Day and ready for early Easter photos. Look for other fragrant yellow, orange, rose-pink, and white deciduous azaleas sparkling on tall shrubs in Beds 25, 26, and 28. And, if this isn’t enough color, look for the tall, brilliant rose-red Carla hybrid ‘Sunglow’ in Beds 25, 16, and 22.

Docents will be available April 19 from 1-4 p.m. to show visitors the sights, including five new sculptures from the 2014 SFA Sculpture for All Competition, a project of SFA’s Art Department and SFA Gardens.

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