When the 15-acre Azalea Garden at Biltmore bursts into bloom, the color shimmers and sizzles. The azaleas usually pop toward late April and fill May with vivid flower hues. When adding azaleas to your garden, try to buy plants with a few open flowers, so you can be sure you’re getting the color you want. Pair azaleas with an evergreen groundcover like vinca vine, which blooms in tandem with azaleas in spring and adds green color to the planting all winter long.
A Canadian horticulturist named Chauncey Beadle is responsible for the epic azalea show at Biltmore. Beadle was hired in 1890 by Olmsted and served as estate superintendent from 1909 until his death in 1950. His greatest passion was the native deciduous azaleas, which deliver a second season of color in autumn, when leaves of many species provide dependable fall color. Native azaleas prefer morning sun and afternoon shade in a spot with rich, moist woodland soil. To continue your tour of Biltmore Gardens and keep track of what’s blooming, check out the Bloom Report.
Pine straw is the mulch of choice in the South simply because it’s readily available and cheap—or even free. Choose pine straw for areas where you’re trying to deter slugs (they don’t seem to like crawling through it). It’s a natural pairing with azalea, camellia and rhododendron, which often grow in the high shade of tall pines. Expect pine straw to last one to two years.
"This is a kind of typical Charleston garden," says Peggy Rash, filled with classic Southern plants like crape myrtle, camellias, sweet bay magnolia, azaleas and tea olive as well as pittosporum, boxwoods and Italian cypress.
Landscape designers gave this front garden a pretty palette of purple, yellow and white. For purple: Salvia, Allium and Geranium 'Rozanne.' White comes from: peonies, Viburnum, Azalea, Rhododendron 'multimaculatum' and Cornus Kousa. The yellow is: Chamaecyparis and Alchemilla.
Turn your own backyard into a Zen paradise with a little elbow grease or, in this case, a great landscape architect. The look is accomplished with plants like Japanese maple, dogwoods, azaleas, ornamental grass and artfully placed rocks.
Surrounding the stone court, formal masses of pachysandra, crimson barberry, azalea, and oak leaf hydrangea flow among sculpted boxwood hedges, sugar maples, and spruce offer a full range of color, texture, and seasonal interest to the home's landscape.
Playing off the "old" Washington flavor of the Spring Valley home, D&A Dunlevy Landscapers added azaleas and deep-colored pansies to accent the boxwoods bookending the front entry of this stately Washington, DC residence. The entryway has a stone step walk-up and white columns.
Inspired by the Louisiana architecture of A. Hays Town, this project replicates a Louisiana courtyard in the midst of this creekside estate. A pool is the centerpiece of the design and is anchored by an antique brick-clad spa. Boxwood hedges, ferns and azaleas add life to the space.
A charming stepping stone path leads from the front lawn around to the back of the house. The garden includes purple salvia, allium and geranium 'Rozanne'; white peony, viburnum, azalea, rhododendron 'multimaculatum' and Cornus Kousa; and yellow Chamaecyparis, and Alchemilla. For year-round interest, there are evergreen Ilex Glabra and ornamental grasses.
The landscape design for this Tudor home's front garden used a layered planting plan of evergreen and deciduous shrubs, perennials and bulbs. Plants include purple Salvia, Allium and Geranium 'Rozanne'; white peony, Viburnum, Azalea, Rhododendron 'multimaculatum' and Cornus Kousa; and yellow Chamaecyparis and Alchemilla. Evergreen Ilex glabra and ornamental grasses are attractive in multiple seasons.
This Louisiana home features the architectural style of A. Hays Town. To compliment the home, specific materials, like reclaimed brick, limestone and stucco are used in the outdoor space. The vegetation includes a mixture of trimmed boxwood hedges, ferns, and azaleas, as well as a variety of other broad-leafed plants.
In the Shrub Garden, spring tiptoes softly across the landscape, revealed in the softly tinted new leaves of a Japanese maple or the bright blooms of an azalea. Massive curves accentuate Shrub Garden planting beds, creating carefully crafted views. “The basic design features double rows of shrubs fronted with an iris or peony or something that’s going to help hide stems of a large shrub,” Andes explains.
On the grounds of Christ Church, one can enter Wesley Gardens. The two-acre garden is adorned with 4,000 azaleas and 60 varieties of shrubs, of particular interest to visitors with green thumbs. But the garden’s centerpiece remains the 18-foot Celtic cross made of Georgia stone to honor the early ministries of John and Charles Wesley. The brothers came to Georgia in 1736. While Charles was revered as a poet and writer who penned well-known hymns like "Hark the Herald," and served as Oglethorpe’s secretary of Indian Affairs, John would be remembered as the founder of American Methodism.