A pink Carnation


Ideally, the gardener will love plants in his garden, or at the least he should not despise them. So, what to do with ‘Autumn Carnation’ Encore azalea?

Unquestionably, ‘Carnation’ is a flowering machine, with first blooms in early August and now into the second week of October with no end in sight. I believed flowers were fading in mid September, but it was just the heat and lack of rain. After a few cool days, ‘Carnation’ was back to full bloom. Perhaps this lengthy bloom is a bit monotonous, but I can live with that.   

The problem is (and thankfully my life is unburdened by real problems), I dislike the color of the flowers. A lot, or at least badly enough that I would chop the azaleas out if they were in a more conspicuous spot. But they’re not, and in fact my wife and I are the only ones who can see them. I haven’t asked, but she probably adores the bubblegum pink, which seems to me to be a completely unnatural color. Other pinks I can live with, though I much prefer purple and red flowered azaleas, and of the reblooming Encores I particularly favor ‘Royalty’ and ‘Twist’.

Almost certainly I will do nothing about this, though if you check back a year from now it’s likely I’ll be whining again.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. BillP says:

    Bubblegum or otherwise Dave, could Encore work in partial sun,
    Largely shade? Could they be planted now? How about as a container
    Plant, as our soil is difficult to rocky…

    1. Dave says:

      Azaleas in general prefer a break from the sun, but Encores tend to flower better in more sun. Several of the early ones I planted in a shadier spot flowered sparsely for the first few years, but now there’s little difference between ones in sun or shade. There are notable differences in autumn flowering from one variety to the other. Some develop buds, but the mild temperatures in northern Virginia are obviously too short in autumn months for buds to open.

      I am always hesitant to plant in containers. It is difficult to maintain proper moisture, and there are problems with winter protection. Most plants will adapt to a range of soils, and azaleas are relatively easy.

  2. Bridget Evans says:

    You are too funny!

  3. Anne says:

    I love reading your blog Dave because you’re so smart and funny. I think some gardener whining is good!

  4. Lynn says:

    Sorry, but I LOVE the color!!!

  5. Dave says:

    I confirmed, my wife likes it too. Guess I’m the oddball. Certainly, it is a good thing that tastes vary.

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