Garden Wisdom

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.."  -Alfred Austin



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Jeff, Gardener in Chief

Contrary to popular opinion, some people in the Hamptons enjoy getting their hands dirty. I'm a self-taught gardener in East Hampton, NY that enjoys sharing my gardening experiences and inspiration with others. Hope you enjoy my blog and galleries.

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Summer Blooming Azaleas

Sweet Azalea growing among big leaf rhododendron.

Beautiful blooms with a sweet fragrance.

I was unaware of summer blooming azaleas when I was growing up.  In the South, the most prominent were the Japanese evergreen variety that bloomed in spring.  In my quest to find colorful, fragrant plants native to the Northeast, I discovered swamp azalea (Rhododendron viscosum).

I've added several more native American varieties since then.  Ironically, my favorite, Sweet Azalea (Rhododendron arborescens), grows wild in the South.  The fragrant white flowers are in bloom now.  Blooms are white with red filaments.  They bloom better with some sun.  The growth rate is slow which I like since I want them up front and center.  With a little pruning my Sweet Azaleas are about four feet after seven years.  Meadowbrook Nursery is a great mail-order source for these and other native shrubs.

I bought the book, American Azaleas by L. Clarence Towe, a few years ago.  Great pictures and descriptions of some native azaleas as well as good advice on growing these.

I have already picked out some new ones for next year!

Reader Comments (2)

Beautiful! Never knew about them and I've always lived on the Gulf Coast. I dirst heard about native Azaleas about 6 years ago but the ones I've seen are orange...ick. My least favorite flower color. Love love the white though. Thanks for sharing. Leslie

November 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlilwhitelife

My favorite source for these is Meadowbrook Nursery ( They have many that should grow down there. In fact , I'm looking at an Alabama native that grows from zones 6-9." rel="nofollow">Alabama azalea

February 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJeff, Gardener in Chief

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