I always wondered why people would make such a big deal out of "when the azaleas are blooming." They don't grow in the U.P. so I'd never really seen them outside the context of a potted plant in a florist's shop. They did grow in some of the places we've lived, but not in the masses you find in warmed climates. Yesterday we visited Callaway Gardens, a private botanical garden/recreational area over near Columbus. Now I know why people rave about azaleas. A few photos the S.O. took:
These are from an area known as the Overlook Garden. It was the original azalea garden at Callway so the bushes have had 55 years in which to grow. They have a newer space, too, that covers about 40 acres and is quite pretty but it hasn't had as long a time in which to fill out. I didn't know azaleas could form clumps twice my height.
This bush isn't an azalea, obviously, but it does have interesting flowers.
Callaway Gardens was an interesting place. I'll do a compare and contrast (private recreational area vs public spaces) later in the week.