Other azaleas have come and gone. Like the beautiful 'Golden Lights' I tried four years ago. She was beautiful the first season, by the second merely pretty and then gone by the third spring.
I met 'Rosy Pink' last year while strolling through a favorite garden center. The yellow tag simply read: 'Rosy Pink Azalea'. The deciduous azalea was covered with big, fat buds ready to open and welcome the spring! I bought three and planted them in the Garden of Benign Neglect in an acid soil enriched bed along with Leucothoe axillaris 'Sarah's Choice' and an underplanting of Iris cristata and trilliums. While planting them I discovered a tag buried under the mulch that identified Rosy as Deciduous Azalea R. periclymenoides Bloom: Rose/Pink. Go here to read the original post.
'Rosy Pink' was beautiful from her first swollen bud until all the blooms dropped off weeks later. The garden smelled delicious every time the wind blew. Then summer arrived and with it came a drought that lasted till late fall. I was able to keep all the Rosy Pink azaleas alive, but, they didn't set many flower buds. This spring there were only a few beautiful blooms.
Naturally, I bought more. The experiment wasn't nearly over! **
|Flowers range from soft pink to dark pink and are sweetly scented and very beautiful.|
This time I planted them in the front garden where several Rhododendron canescens already resided. They were planted last fall, rescues from the late summer sale table. Of course, I didn't plant any of them in my "pretty darn close to a cedar glade micro-environment" without amending the soil! (More about this micro-environment here) Dozens of years of decaying leaf litter had made it rich and humusy, but, soil conditioner and a Woodland Soil Mix created for acid loving plants made it even better. Azaleas might like moist soil, but these also want sharp drainage. In my clay soil that means planting them high and mulching them with pine straw. I want these beauties to have the best chance to survive.
|The delicate petals curl back exposing long stamens and styles|
** Thanks to Frances of Fairegarden for inspiring me to plant our beautiful native azaleas. Hers really rock!