Peak garden color past prime this year

  • Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Benches are nestled throughout the park for visitors to sit and enjoy the beauty of the flowers, ponds, and sculpture in an atmosphere that make Summerville a great place to live and for visitors to enjoy as well. JUDY WATTS


Although many of the park blooms will be past their peak for this year’s Flowertown Festival, remnants will still be visible hiding in shady areas. Red Bud I all but finished putting on its lavender-pink show and there are only a few camellia blossoms left for visitors to see.
Visitors may spot a few of the local azalea favorites still adding interest to the landscape:
G. G. Gerbing, a medium size white bloom, adds great show to any garden. Good examples are in many yards, in Azalea Park behind Bethany United Methodist Church in Summerville and in Cypress Gardens.
Coral Bells is a small-leafed compact evergreen azalea with pink hose-in-hose blossoms in April. A hose-in-hose azalea is one for which every trumpet-shaped flower has a second trumpet-flower inside it. The Coral Bells variety is also known as Daybreak & Pink Beauty.
A softer lavender azalea, the George L. Tabor, puts out a pastel bloom with a splotched deep purple throat. It is reminiscent of an orchid in shape and effect. It’s a good addition to any landscape and can grow about eight feet tall.
President Clay with its brick red blooms are putting on the best show this week with their full bushes lining the Azalea Park sidewalks that run parallel to Main Street.
Formosa azaleas may be one of the most popular because of their hardiness, but they also put on one of the best shows. With medium to large brilliant magenta blooms and full bushes, they are a favorite in large parks and gardens.
Dogwoods are also still sporting a few blooms, but if you find them to be somewhat less spectacular than you remember, your observations are correct. The dogwood show has been diminished in recent years by a blight. The blight came down from up north, through North Carolina and has been difficult to eradicate. The blight causes the blooms to be smaller and look dingy, lessening the impact of the brilliant white of affected trees. Those without the blight are relatively obvious because the show is so much brighter.
Wisteria is beginning to bloom and some examples are in the park. There are also good examples of wisteria along the Berlin G. Myers Parkway.
Among the more popular flowering trees is Red Bud, with examples not only in gardens but in the woods as well. Although it’s called Red Bud, the effect is more of a strong lavender with tight little blooms covering the branches, the trees practically glow with color.
Yellow jasmine is also finishing its blooming season, trailing along the tops of other bushes and trees.
The town’s parks department has the parks ready with green winter grass brightening the gardens and seasonal color planted near the gazebos.

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