The warmth at the weekend encouraged a few more azaleas to pop their buds.
Deep in the depths at the bottom of the garden I planted ‘Soir de Paris’, chosen almost as much for its name as the fragrant pink flowers. It dates back to 1938 and has smaller flowers and leaves than some but is very fragrant.
Larger and newer is ‘Anneke’, raised in the UK before 1987 when it received a Gold Medal for outstanding new Azalea in The Netherlands. It has large, fragrant golden yellow flowers and good autumn colour.
‘Silver Slipper’ is the third and has an AGM. The buds are very pink and the flowers open with a pink flush but they are supposed to become white with age with a yellow flare.
Lastly, a little evergreen azalea. I planted this on impulse last spring. I am not overly fond of these azaleas. They are a bit dumpy when young and are so densely covered in bloom that they look unnatural. With age they become more elegant and have interesting shapes so perhaps I was planting for the future. But the little pink dumpling is a bit strident. And yet, I have been pleased to see it this spring and it is very cheerful. A guilty pleasure.
And as the surroundings are filling in I can see that it will work. It was sold as ‘Pink Panda’ but I can’t find any reference to this so it may not be. Whatever the name it is a cheerful thing and has survived where other plants have struggled. When the yellow magnolia ‘Daphne’ (which has been in two years so looks like a stayer) gets bigger it will make a good contrast – ‘Daphne’, being a yellow ‘acuminata’ hybrid, blooming later than most. These beds are still in their infancy.