Description: Although few plants evoke the lazy gentility of southern gardens or the lush tranquility of woodland glens the way azaleas do, for most gardeners they remain an unattainable goal, a shrub desired but seldom incorporated in landscape design. Miscast as being temperamental or confined to precise pockets of geography, azaleas are, in reality, remarkably suited for most garden settings in all but a few parts of the country. Towe, an azalea breeder and dedicated azalea aficionado, speaks from a quarter-century of observational and practical experience. Writing with a folksy good humor about the charm of collecting azaleas, Towe can be professorially fastidious when relaying information about nomenclature and hybridization. Along the way, he covers all the basics of azalea culture, from planting and pruning to selecting and siting. Helpful information outlining appropriate companion plants aids in developing a pleasing landscape design, while precise propagation details and appendixes listing azalea organizations and nurseries offer valuable information.
Other than a few Asiatic and one European species, North America is home to all the deciduous azaleas, members of the genus Rhododendron. There are native American azaleas suitable for a wide variety of garden environments. Gardeners interested in knowing more about these attractive, usually fragrant shrubs will discover here the diversity to be found in the species and will learn about recent trends in cultivation, selection, and hybridization. American azaleas are not used as much as they should be in gardens and in landscaping, even in areas where the plants are native and are common along roadsides. The author offers expert recommendations on all the horticultural aspects important for growing these colorful shrubs, including siting, soil preparation, and companion plantings. His coverage of the native species and the cultivars is comprehensive and up to date. The book provides all that the reader needs to enjoy the year-round pleasures offered by American azaleas.
by Clarence Towe. Hardcover. 188 pages.