Set at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, the Masters plays host to one of the most prestigious annual golf competitions in the world. Fans come to see the most talented golfers in the world, but stay to see the incredible blooming azaleas and perfectly manicured landscapes.
One part of that history is not just the talented players or the lush fairways, but the planting of azalea shrubs that began in 1931. In fact, the grounds were a former nursery that helped introduce many species of Azaleas into the US. Its legacy is still apparent, as many exquisite varieties of shrubs and trees still decorate the golf course today.
Though many might think of azaleas as a quintessential southern shrub, it by no means needs to be limited to being grown in southern gardens. Azaleas are very hardy and grow easily all around the country. They’re the perfect low-maintenance flowering shrub for just about any sheltered area.
Azaleas flower heavily for weeks and typically will only need deep watering if you happen to be in a drought. Otherwise, you can leave Azalea alone and let it strut its stuff with little help from you. It doesn’t even require pruning to flower! As a bonus, many azaleas are evergreen and can thrive all the way to zone 4 if you select the right variety.
It’s not hard to turn your yard into a beautiful landscape like Augusta National Golf Club. Just plant a row of encore along your home or property line for a sea of color. They like loose, well-drained soil, so if you’re putting them in clay or hard-packed dirt, simply amend it by adding some compost, peat or sand to your soil.
Azaleas do best with mulch around their roots to guard them from cold in winter and to preserve some moisture in warm weather. You shouldn’t need to prune them except to shape it to your liking or to remove a dead branch. As a tip, if you do prune it- do so after the shrub is done flowering. Try to avoid pruning later than the end of July, as once the weather cools the shrub begins producing its buds for next year’s blossoms.
Almost every hole at the Masters Golf Tournament is named for a different plant or tree. For example, the 2nd is called Pink Dogwood, and the 10th is Camellia. So, if you happened to watch the tournament, we wouldn’t have been surprised to have learned that you were scanning the landscape to check out the gorgeous blooming azaleas for great gardening ideas.
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