Big and beautiful

I suppose it’s possible that the brilliantly colored and fragrant, deciduous Exbury azaleas could be chopped to fit a smaller garden, but this would curtail the extravagance that makes them a mid-spring favorite in this garden. While the white flowered Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus, below) in the background fades after a long week, the orange, pink/ red, and yellow azaleas are colorful from bud to fading flowers for most of a month.

The native fringetree in its moment of glory

The orange ‘Gibraltar’ is first (below), with the others following close behind. Among many spring highlights, the scene of the white fringetree fronting three huge azaleas is the one I enjoy most.

When first planted I had no clue the Exburys would grow much taller than the six to eight feet (or even shorter) claimed by references, but everything in this garden grows taller and wider than references admit to. At fifteen feet in height there’s more to love. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

While the common, evergreen azaleas must be shaded from the late afternoon sun, Exburys prefer sun. I’ve never seen a bit of scorch, and even if I was inclined to provide special care, they require none.

Klondike azalea
Mount Saint Helens is the last of the three to flower, though there are several in shadier spots that flower later and more sparsely.
Several Cannon’s Double are scattered about. All are smaller, but it won’t be long.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Edward Barker says:

    Everything looks beautiful Dave!
    Thank you for sharing your garden with us.
    It brightens our days!

    1. Dave says:

      The fringetree and azaleas are visible as I pull into the driveway and from anywhere in the rear garden, so I enjoy the color for half the spring. The azaleas are also one of the few things I can smell.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    They are not easy to keep down anyway. They are defiant to pruning for confinement. In our climate, they take a while to get too big, but leave fewer lower stems to prune back to. If I remember correctly, ‘Gibraltar’ was the most popular cultivar that we grew. I happened to like ‘Mount Saint Helens’.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s