May 4, 2008

Wish You Were Here

When we visited North Carolina recently, azaleas were in full bloom. Now it's our turn! Vibrant colors are bursting forth from the legions of azaleas that grace our landscapes here in Northern Virginia.

Some folks manicure their azaleas into boring bush blobs or awkward hedge-like formations. What is up with that? Personally I think they look best when left to their own devices, to grow as nature intended. Azaleas aren't meant to be controlled!

Last spring, we began working in earnest on our landscape. One project was to relocate several mature azalea bushes whose existing locations did not fit in with Our Grand Plan. We did, however, have a barren corner of the backyard screaming for embellishment.

Digging up a mature bush is no small feat, but my woman is nothing if not determined. An afternoon's labor resulted in the first subject out of the ground, into the wheelbarrow and gently replanted in its new home. Love love love that pink, I do.

A few weeks later, The Boy tackled one from the front yard. It blooms white. A smaller pink one from the backyard and a fourth procured from a local nursery (vibrant red blossoms), supplemented our new azalea garden.

Perhaps you remember last summer and the drought parts of the East Coast experienced. We babied those transplants, watering them lovingly throughout the long, dry, hot summer. We endured an outbreak of lace bugs, which Wendy diagnosed and eradicated. Those bushes stayed alive... somehow (which is more than I can say for the rhododendron we also planted that spring. I've got shitty rhododendron karma).

Throughout the winter, I daydreamed about the coming spring and those azaleas, imagining the beautiful blooms set against the backdrop of the fence, contrasting with the greens of spring above and below, the flowers mingling in and around each other to present a blast of color perfect for enjoying while relaxing on our screened porch. My mind's eye, she is active.

As spring arrived, I inspected our azalea garden periodically, watching for new growth and being rewarded by delicate new leaves sprouting energetically. Soon, I thrilled! Soon they will bud then bloom into the riot of color I have anticipated!

In my fantasy, all the bushes bloom at the same time. Riot of color and all. Seems our corner azaleas have a different plan. It troubles me not. They are pleasing all the same.



R said...

I would LOVE to have a yard that well manicured!!

Middle Girl said...

Ahhhh, beauty.

Lee said...

the azaleas are beautiful!

weese said...

grass is looking perky!
(o ...nice shrub too)

sporksforall said...

Put your coffee grounds in the azalea bed. That plant family loves the acid in coffee. That is literally the only gardening tip I know and I'm sharing it with you.

Jesse said...

You two are my back yard inspiration. Very nice job digging up that bush, Wendy.

Are you free to come help me dig up our bamboo any time this summer? I can't pay you, but I can supply the pizza and beer. I'm only half kidding.


SassyFemme said...

I love the way that corner looks!

Sporks I'm going to have to try that coffee grounds trick!

Val said...

Very nice... lots of work, but the end result is always so satisfying. However, it's also nice to just read about it, versus DOING it!!!! Glad you guys like it!

weese said...

oo coffee grounds for acidity...good tip!

Anonymous said...

Our camelias are like that. They are planted just across from one another, but the red one refuses to bloom until the pink one is totally done for the season. And they like the coffee grounds too!

nina said...

wow they are beautiful!