An Azalea Garden

'Rosy Lights' AzaleaEnlarge photo

The Azalea Garden, one of the newest botanical gardens in Springfield, Missouri, came into being April 21, 2011, when a small group of volunteers set to work in a felicitous spot amidst the trees in Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park.
      At the end of the day the Garden displayed 200 azaleas in some 20 varieties.
      The basic landscaping for the Azalea Garden is funded by a generous donation from Ruth Arenson. The Garden is designed and the azaleas all provided by Dow and Linda Whiting of Garden Adventures Nursery in Nixa, Missouri, who also host the region's annual Azalea Festival in Nixa.
       Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park is located at 2400 S. Scenic Ave. in Springfield.
      The photos here all are from the Garden's first year.
The Garden
the-azalea-garden-jpg.jpgSituated within an unusually lovely grove of trees that provide needed shade, the Azalea Garden is designed to provide what a beautiful expanse of color that can the-garden-jpg.jpgbe viewed from the parking area of the nearby Botanical Center. The Garden should be in peak bloom at about mid-April, but many of the azaleas will be blooming long after its peak.

The Planting
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Shown here are the folks who dug in on April 21st, 2011, and, believe it or not, planted 200 azaleas and 8 small trees to make up the new garden. The berms at first glance may seem a bit high to some gardeners, but they have the virtues of providing a more prominent display and also ensuring good drainage, an absolute must for healthy azaleas. Note: These three photos, all enlargeable with a click, were taken by Dow Whiting, who donated virtually all of the plants. We thank him for their use.

another-view-jpg.jpgThe view from the Azalea Garden toward the Botanical Center reveals the serenity of the location.

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 'Rosy Lights'
The 'Rosy Lights' Azalea (Azalea x atlanticum 'Rosy Lights') stars in the garden and landscape for its abundance of exquisitely lovely, highly fragrant pink flowers. Open and multi-stemmed, the plant thrives in full sun to partial shade and can grow as tall as 5 feet with a 4-foot spread.

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'Fashion' (Rhododendron x 'Fashion') is a Glenn Dale hybrid, a collection of vigorous, evergreen, semi-dwarf azaleas with lush green foliage and very colorful flowers. 'Fashion' features salmon-red blossoms and in part sun or shade grows to 6 feet tall and as wide. Its upright habit makes it highly effective in mass plantings or as a hedge.

'White Lights'
white-lights-azalea-jpg.jpg'White Lights' (Azalea x 'White Lights') is white-lights-up-close-jpg.jpgone of a group of extremely hardy deciduous azaleas developed at the University of Minnesota for areas with severe winters. The flowers are abundant and bud with a delicate pink hue then open to a pristine white blossom with a bit of yellow. It grows to 5 feet tall and as wide. Note: 'White Lights' is hardy to 35 degrees below zero.

'Sandra Ann'
sandra-ann-azalea-jpg.jpg'Sandra Ann' (Azalea x 'Sandra Ann') is an sandra-ann-up-close-jpg.jpgexceptionally lovely, open, multi-stemmed azalea that bears exceptionally lovely lavendar-flowers. Striking as an accent plant or in mass plantings, it can grow to 4 feet tall with a 5-foot spread. 

The Bloom-A-Thon Lavender Rebloomer
rhodo-x-rlh1-4p19-jpg.jpgThe Bloom-A-Thon Lavender Reblooming Azalea is known horticulturally as Rhododendron 'RLH1--4P19'. This evergreen azalea from the Proven Winners company produces an abundance of beautiful deep-lavender flowers first in spring and then once more in the fall. In partial sun it can reach 3 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide. It can be pruned to shape after flowering, which, with its height, makes it also a superb container plant.

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 Korean Azalea
The Korean Azalea (Rhododendron yedoense var. poukhanense) is a semi-deciduous azalea that in April bears a great profusion of fragrant flowers bright rose-lavender in color. In part shade to full shade it can grow to 6 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Note: It must have good drainage.

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 A Red Mystery
We've no idea of the variety name of this colorful Azalea, but we'll do our best to find out. (If you know, please help us out.) We just had to include it for its extra-vibrant color.

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 Another Mystery
Here's another beautiful Azalea whose varietal name we'll have to track down. Again, if you have a clue, let us know. Otherwise, watch this space.

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