Azaleas - A memory of colour

My midyear resolution is to look through some of the old photographic slides we took during our first sojourn in New Zealand. Well, that is if I can be bothered schlepping through the attic manage to find the time, It may have to wait until Cat returns here for the next rugby world cup!

What I would be looking for, is a fabulous garden, I don’t even remember exactly where it was/is, but somewhere in the South Island of New Zealand there was a wall of deciduous azaleas in full colour, backing onto a still pond. It took my breath away.
Azalea Luteum (Yellow) and Azalea Persil (White)
I think many gardeners have moments like that and these sights burn themselves onto our retinas and we find ourselves trying to replicate them over and over. Of course there are many gardens in Scotland that have Azaleas, and there are places on the far west, Arisaig and elsewhere that have Azalea lutea naturalising and thriving, but that wall of colour was the moment for me.
Azalea Golden Eagle
It was orange, red and yellow and that is what I have tried to replicate at Abriachan.
We have Azalea Gibraltar and Golden Eagle doing very well , and they are large enough now to make real impact.
Azalea Gibraltar
When I don’t know what varieties to choose to plant, I go to the Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs and look for ones with First Class Certificates or the newer Award of Garden Merit. And they have never let me down.
From there I planted Persil, a lovely white with yellow markings and my very favourite - Irene Koster. She is a soft pink with yellow makings, but best of all, her fragrance is wonderful. I have planted several amongst the upper woodland section of garden and she is sublime this year.
Azalea Persil
Azalea Irene Koster
Azaleas are one of those wonderful plants that lift their fragrance into the air, so if you have one or more, visit them in the evening or even in the middle of the day when any warmth will intensify the scented air. 
Just lovely, I must plant many more, and that's a resolution I will definitely keep.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

1 comment:

  1. The exuberance of Azaleas in bloom in the spring is unbeatable, not to mention the evening fragrance! Must plant a few more in the garden ourselves :)


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