Apr 2, 2008

A Snippet

It took me a long time to figure out how to spell "azalea," but I've lived around them all my life.



My mom planted them everywhere when my father and she first built this house, and she tended them with the sort of careful zeal that is a hallmark of an old southern woman. Now, some 36 years later they're huge. Ten to twelve feet tall and at least that wide, grown together in huge mounds of green foliage. When spring comes around the riot of colours happens. The plants literally cover themselves with flowers, looking for all the world like spun sugar mounds, not a speck of green visible.

There's several growing along the back wall of the house, at the corner where the master bedroom is. Careful inattention to pruning them last year on my behalf resulted in this year's plants growing tall enough to not only block the windows but to grow tall enough to reach the roofline. I've been waiting for the narrow window between flowers falling off and new leaves appearing to prune them this year, but I think I might leave those around the back windows alone.

(That's the pair of windows in the master bedroom, the one just below the dish and the one closest the corner. This was taken two years ago, so you can imagine how big they are now.)

This weekend past I was futzing around hanging clean laundry up and wandered into the bedroom to hang up slacks and polo shirts. The early morning light was shining through the thicket of azalea that blocks the window, and the room was filled with the most delicate rose-coloured light, washing through the window and the masses of flowers, tinting everything with a soft pink wash. Now, pink isn't necessarily my colour but the soft gleam that filled the bedroom made me simply stop and stare.

It didn't last long, the sun worked it's way up into the sky and behind the big spreading crepe myrtle tree in the back yard, and the pink changed to the uniform butter yellow glow of a spring morning, but for that one moment...

7 comments:

meno said...

Azaleas are one of the constants in my life. Virginia, California, Washington.

Beautiful.

Nancy Dancehall said...

Amazing. I wouldn't trim them either, just so I could see that light fill the room once a year.

theysaywordscanbleed said...

pretty flowers!

Arlene,
Lakewood florist

mickelodeon said...

Those are gorgeous! I love their shades of pink.

Gordo said...

Some day, when it's warm enough, we'll have flowers outside again. Gorgeous azaleas.

I'm torn between thanking you for the peek and cursing you for rubbing my nose in it. LOL

Bob said...

When the ones out front grew higher than the roof line I finally had to wack 'em down to size.

They haven't been as gorgeous since.

Irrelephant said...

meno, I'll forward the compliments to me mum. *g* I'm pretty taken with them myself.

Nancy, I think I'll trim the front ones back, and the side ones, but those few I think are going to stay just like they are. It's also terribly cool to look out the window into the bare skeleton of limbs and see birds roosting and hiding out and singing.

Thank you, Arlene!

Micks, my mom wasn't good at matching or planning or making an effective whole but she could certainly pick some good colours out.

Gordo, it's not my fault you live within walking distance of the Arctic Circle. *lol* Come for a visit--it's been in the mid 80's all week. I've already started wearing shorts and sweating while i work.

Bob, I have the benefit of a mum who warned me on pain of death that I had to trim no more, NO MORE than 1/4 off at a time, and always just after they flower but before they start putting on green growth.