Azaleas in Bloom

It’s approaching four years that I’ve been living in Fairhope across the Bay from Azalea City…Mobile, AL. I’ve heard from time to time that I should see the azaleas in bloom at the Botanic Gardens so this year I went.

The website claimed “peak” for the azaleas and other flowering plants so the boys and I took the day off from school and went over for a visit. The sky was clear, the air was crisp and in the 60s. Quite a pleasant day.

There is a major plant sale event this weekend and we saw the operation setting up but scooted past in search of the “peak” azaleas.
Although there were plenty of flowers, I was wondering if we had been a bit early for some varieties or a bit late. The first group of azaleas had a ton of buds on them. Passing those, we spotted a large walkway lined with blooms, followed by plants that were obviously past peak with dried out, brown flowers stuck to the leaves. I guess we missed peak.

But there’s a silver lining…I got to see the azaleas at the Mobile Botanic Garden.

The boys and I walked throughout the whole garden, visiting the camellias and the fern garden as well. We spotted birds, and bees. We saw two metal sculptures and had a great time discussing the environment around us. We had a good time.

bug sculpture 1

bug sculpture 1

Bug sculpture 2

Bug sculpture 2

Camellia

Camellia

Fern Garden

Fern Garden

After we left the grounds I spotted white pelicans in the lake across the street. They were in a feeding frenzy in the center of the lake. Poor fish!

Insect art sculpture at the art museum near the Botanic Gardens

Insect art sculpture at the art museum near the Botanic Gardens

I’m glad I got to the Botanic Gardens but have to note that I saw more blooms and brilliant colors and variety in my neighborhood and the ones we drove through in Mobile, on our way home. This area loves its flowering plants and right now the azaleas are in bloom.

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Mobile’s Azaleas

(c) eileen saundersIt’s still a little early for our azaleas, according to Mobile Botanical Gardens website, but they’re starting. I have some around my home that have been blooming for the past month. There are still a ton of blooms to come. Can’t wait to see them at peak.

Mobile, AL has been named Azalea City and has been well know for these plants since the mid-1700 when they were reportedly brought over from France.  Those several plants inspired many more plantings around the city and now Mobile is in gorgeous bloom of color in March (sometimes earlier, sometimes later depending on weather).  Mobile has established an Azalea Trail which you can read about here.  Azalea Trail Maids act as ambassadors for the city and attend a wide variety of events in the area. 

Azaleas can be viewed at Bellingrath Gardens, Mobile Botanical Gardens and just by driving around town.  Check out the gardens’ websites for their schedule.  While I’ve been to both the Mobile Botanic Gardens and Bellingrath I have never seen the azaleas in all of their glory. This year I plan to get there in time.  Who wants to go with me?