May 2, 2014
Azalea season has come late this year, I'll blame the hideously cold and long winter. However, it has resulted in most of them blooming at once, and many parts of Tidewater are now cloaked in a riot of pink, white and red. The garden where I work is deservedly famous for its azaleas, and it takes real effort not to get distracted by all the color. One group of azaleas unique to the area are the McDonald Hybrids, developed by Dr. Sandra McDonald at Le-Mac Nursery in nearby Hampton, Va. Her goal in a decades-long breeding program was to produce hardy plants that bloomed with flowers like those more typically found on florists' azaleas. Dr. McDonald produced over 20 named cultivars and many one-of-a-kind seedlings, most of which are planted at the Norfolk Botanical Garden.
All of the McDonald Hybrid azaleas are evergreen, hardy to zone 7-8, and grow on compact plants.
Posted by Les at 8:45 PM