Friday, April 20, 2012

The Most Amazing Azalea-Mount Saint Helens & Other Spring Photos

I have to say I think the most stunning azalea I have ever seen is this Mount Saint Helens deciduous azalea. It is literally a beacon of sunshine (lava) in my garden. The infloresences are huge! Not only are the flower clusters huge but this azalea is not a one week wonder. It has been in bloom for at least two weeks now and still looking strong.
This is the first year of bloom even though I've had my three shrubs since the spring of 2010. I purchased these commonly found shrubs at Lowes as mark downs. I had visions of them lining a privacy fence here in Tiger Gardens but that idea did not pan out due to the severe drought conditions in the area intended for their planting. Instead, the three small shrubs spent that whole summer and most of the fall living in a kids wading pool in the backyard. I finally planted them in the Non Pool Garden and wow are they happy. When I took these pictures I figured I'd Google this azalea and see what I could find on the web about them. It seems at least one other blogger finds this azalea to be the most stunning one he has ever seen too. I am afraid the above picture does not do the shrub justice but take it from me Mount Saint Helens azaleas is quite the fire hot azalea!
And, since it is spring and I like to do big posts on Fridays I thought I'd throw in a few photos of some of the gardens. The two irises above wound up being a perfect match in the Overflow Garden. They share this space with tons of different things and sometimes I think it is one of my best gardens. Weird since I don't do anything to it. The light purple phlox looking plant to the left is Dames Rocket. Darla sent me some seeds and I sprouted them out last spring. This past fall I planted the seedlings in the ground and wow on the blooms and large plants. I think I shall have to watch Dames Rocket because I think it can seed around a bit but I really do like the lovely purple blooms. The dark purple is columbine. This columbine spreads itself around all too readily but it is a sweet plant.
The eastern edge of the Overflow Garden has some PPP compliments of Gail, Sheffield mums from Frances, and St. Johns Wort from my friend Naomi. I'd say this garden must be my friendship garden-what do you all think? Maybe I should rename it to the Friendship garden instead of the Overflow garden.
The Rear Center Garden sees deutzia 'Chardonnay Pearls' still blooming but now it has been joined by 'Edith Wolford' irises and some medium yellow bicolored irises. 'Chardonnay Pearls' is a Proven Winners selection and I tell you I adore this small shrub. I saw two pots at Lowes in Nashville just the other day and they were marked down to $5 each. That is not a bad price but I have no room for anymore shrubs so I passed on them. I hope they find a home soon as the owner will adore 'Chardonnay Pearls'. The large green plant behind the 'Edith Wolford' irises (the purple and yellow iris) is Carolina Lupine (Thermopsis villosa). This is a native plant I purchased last spring from the Cheekwood Wildflower sale. This plant has grown at a phenomenal rate and I am ever so excited to see it bloom this year. If you don't have this plant I would highly recommend it as it is very drought tolerant and looks good most of the growing season. The blooms are beautiful. I'll be sure to post a few photos once it blooms.

I close with a landscape shot from the front sidewalk looking toward the road across the Front Sidewalk Garden and Front Center Garden. It looks like one large garden but there is a ten foot grassy area between the two gardens. The irises were planted along the edge of the Front Center Garden under the old pine tree and they have all done wonderfully this year. Spring is such a grand time....

in the garden....

I know it is gardening season when I start getting busy with landscape designs and it is looking to be a busy year! I wanted to tell you I am also busy touring gardens and will post at least one of the gardens next week sometime. I hope everyone is busy in the garden and enjoying this most wonderful spring!!

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. That azalea is gorgeous!!!! Your other garden blooms are wonderful too especially those rusty brown irises in the second picture.

    Enjoy your lovely gardens ~ FlowerLady

  2. That is clearly an azalea, I can see the leaves BUT doesn't it look like a Rhododendrom (sp)? I would so be taking cuttings and rooting it. That's how I get most of my azaleas. My family would love the garnet and gold combination of the Irises, for FSU. Kudos on the Dame's Rocket...uh, if you happen to gather seeds, keep me in mind plants are all gone. I believe "Friendship Garden" is a lovely name!

  3. Fantastic Tina. I love your garden. I love that azalea. The combination iris are so pretty. Friendship Garden sounds like a winner to me.

  4. WOW! So beautiful and so gorgeous your azalea blooms are! I love their color shades. I have always enjoyed seeing your irises. All of them are really lovely this year just like last year. Looking forward to your garden tours!!

  5. You really do have a beautiful spring garden girl... Love love love that azalea! I just adore blooms that glow with the sun shining through them. Our azaleas came and went way too quickly this year as did most of our spring beauties. I divided the Iris you passed along to me and I think they may not bloom this year. Oh well, they shall take and bloom in many spot next year if I have missed out on them this year. I shall not divide in the future until the blooms have come and gone. Sigh, lesson learned. I recently picked up a yellow iris but have yet to get it into the ground. Too much going on at our B&B. More company coming again for the weekend! Yikes, I shall never get all my plants into the ground. Plus have 2 projects that have been stopped in the middle of progress. The last picture does look like one huge garden. Great shot with the camera. I take it you are getting the hang of that new camera since you pictures are wonderful these days....

  6. That is a very stunning color azalea. Do you remember the orange one along with a yellow one in the yard below me (the house that Patrick Dempsey now owns but was McGee's house)? Yours looks like that one and I always loved it.

    As I was reading but before you mentioned maybe it should be the friendship garden, that is exactly what I was thinking.

  7. Tiger garden is looking splendid Tina! I love your Friendship Garden, too. Pass-along plants and the friends who have shared them mean the world to me! I just planted celosia seeds fromDarla! I need to let her know that! Have a great weekend.

  8. So many years ago, I can't remember the magazine, but likely it was Southern Living or Fine Gardening--I saw that azalea underplanted with columbine that echoed the bloom color. I fell in love with the combination, but have never had a place to try to replicate it. You've got a winner there!

  9. The color of the azalea is creamy looking like a sherbert. It is pretty!!!!
    Sometimes overflower gardens can be the most interesting especially if the plants find their own spaces. I have dame's rocket too. It does seed around but is easy to pull out if you find one where you don't want it. I like how they tuck themselves in to places and the finches love the seeds. They are fun to watch eating out of the pods.
    That last shot is so pretty. It really shows how everything layers together. Nice sundial!

  10. Beautiful blooms!
    The azalea is stunning, and I especially like the two iris together.
    Happy gardening!
    And have a great weekend!
    Lea's Menagerie

  11. We may be the same zone but you are way ahead of us. That azalea is an amazing color.

  12. Mount St. Helen's is aptly named. The most beautiful azaleas I've ever seen were in the Pacific Northwest. But then I've never been south in the springtime, so maybe I should reserve judgment until then:) Dame's Rocket is a pretty plant, but I've heard it can be invasive, so you do want to watch it. I'd love to have more columbines self-seeding like yours, though!

  13. Your iris are beautiful and I love the idea of the overflow garden. I'm guessing it is your most interesting garden.

  14. Mount St Helen azalea...absolutely breathtaking. My grandmother would have loved it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. I love the color of that azalea. Too bad that for some reason azaleas don't do well for me. I think the Friendship garden is a much better name than Overflow garden. And I love the colors on the Edith Wolford irises! Everything is looking very pretty.

  16. It doesn't matter how many photos you post of your garden and surrounding, I never tire of seeing them. Those close-ups are what I call nature's cards, ready to be snapped and appreciated by everyone. Many thanks.

  17. oh Tina ~ I'm in LUST over that azalea!! It's totally spectacular ~ love, love, love the coloring. I bought an azalea at Lowes last year too (it was supposed to be a peachy, orange color) I'm hoping against hope, it's this one but I don't think so. Surprisingly it survived the winter (which I wondered about) but now it's leafed out without blooming. :-(
    Also, I must have missed the post about the dogs digging up the Culver's Root. What a bummer. I hope it isn't totally lost. Let me know if so. I'm sure I could come up with another piece!

  18. Hi Tina,
    I enjoyed seeing spring in your garden. That azalea is a beauty! The irises sure are putting on a show right now! The deutzia I planted in my garden across the street did not survive its second winter.