Sunday, June 03, 2007

That Little Azalea that Could

I finally got to see blooms on my "Orchid Lights" Northern Lights Series azaleas after two years of waiting. This is the hardiest variety of the northern lights series, but a late May frost killed the buds last year. This year, I burlapped the two plants over winter until early May and I protected them from a mid-May storm with some overturned pots. While I have the gardener weakness called "pushing the hardiness zones", I didn't figure that this shrub was much of a stretch for our area. Besides, we already have acidic soil, which azaleas should appreciate. I laughed aloud while reading Des Kennedy's book "Crazy About Gardening" recently. It was loaned by another gardener who thought I'd appreciate it. How sad that resident-lawnmower-man couldn't understand any of the brilliant humor I saw in this book (clearly, he's no gardener). With regards to the weather and gardeners who challenge it, on page 55:
"These aren't people to be daunted by permafrost, and they're certainly not about to be intimidated by threats of premature thawing or winter sun scald. However, too many years spent in brutal growing conditions can induce in certain gardeners a brash combativeness, a refusal to acknowledge that their microclimatic cleverness has its limits. They become weather vain. It's disconcerting to encounter a seasoned grower in northern Saskatchewan seriously contemplating the cultivation of mangoes."

To this I say: mangoes no, azaleas yes.

1 comment:

the Red Scot said...

Love the azalea and the tulips. Looks like spring is in full swing!