Sunday, March 27, 2011

Azalea Trail Highlights

Tyler is hosting it annual Azalea Trail.  This year they have historic home tours, a driving tour through residential areas showcasing gardens with azaleas, and three homes are opening their gardens to the public.  Enjoy!

First garden:

As you walk up to the garden, you are greeted by a number of different azaleas and annuals.  A holly tree is the red berried tree in the top right.  Yellow azaleas are Florida Azaleas.

A closer look at the azaleas.  Japanese maples are abundant in this garden.

Notice the stone walls.  The walks are all mortared stone.  There is a mortared stone walled creek that runs through these gardens.  Stone bridges crossing the creek are quite charming.

This garden is on a slope.  This stone wall separates one area of the garden from the driveway.  Notice how even the wall is filled with plantings.

A nice vignette.  Crossvine (very top) was trained across the house.

See the stone walled creek?  The green tree on the right is a white camellia.  Though it doesn't show well, it was in bloom.

Seating areas were everywhere.  I could imagine just sitting and enjoying this garden for many hours.  The small signs states "Help us water out plants." and is filled with several small watering cans for the children to enjoy the garden, too.

The focal point under the arbor.  And yes, it was as big as it looks.  Probably 4 or 5 ft. tall.  Just gorgeous!  I believe it is bougainvillea.  I wonder how they keep it alive in the winter.  It has to be either transported inside or at least to a garage.

We now head around to the side of the house.  This clematis was gorgeous.  The blooms were at least 7 inches wide.  You can see just a glance of the third garden in the background.

We have gone around the garden and reached the street side.  There were several camellia blooming in this area.  The entire garden was enchanting.

This is the side facing the street.  A gas lit lamp flickered.  The clematis photograph was taken just to the right of this.  The first photo was taken just beyond the left of this photo.  I have visited this garden before and I see something new every time I go.  I just love it.  There was too much to photograph.  Several water fountains, a grilling area, an eating area, and an arbor and another garden area were all left out.  (I was running low on my camera battery.)

Second garden:

This was a very large garden.  The bed in front was filled with bulbs and columbines.  The glass green house was an indication that a real gardener lived here.

Obviously this gardener loves dogs.  There were several dog statues.  The plantings in the middle in a knot pattern were roses.

Not sure I've ever seen a double-decker koi pond before, but the koi seemed very happy.  The ponds were quite deep and the sound of running water was soothing and distracted the sound of nearby street traffic.

I loved this boxwood knot garden.  Notice the arbor covered by a Lady Banks rose.

I'm sorry to say my camera battery went dead and I didn't get any pictures of the third garden. These gardens were beautiful.  I believe they have been featured in Southern Living magazine.

If you want more information, check out the Tyler Azalea Trail website.  I hope you enjoyed the tour.


  1. Gorgeous gardens. And huge impressive properties too. I bet the homes are a sight to see too.

  2. Very impressive. You Texans do have some lovely gardens. I remember when we lived in Dallas, every spring was a huge azalea show. I miss them. Thanks for the virtual tour.

  3. Oh my gosh, these gardens are amazing! The design, the extensive stonework so well done, and of course all the beautiful azaleas... I am also very impressed by the amount of care and most likely money these people are willing to put into their gardens. Texan gardeners rock! Thanks for taking us on this great garden tour! Very inspiring!

  4. Are you in the Tyler area? Talk about a small world. I have family in the Lindale/Tyler area. And the azaleas are spectacular when they bloom there. Roses grow like weeds in Tyler so much so that my family thought I was nuts when I fussed over the roses I planted the first year I had them. Wish azaleas, camillas and gardenias grew well here but I've killed all of those that I tried to grow. East Texas has such good soil and more importantly rain!

  5. What a gorgeous tour! All those Azaleas in bloom and such perfectly manicured gardens. And love that pond too! :)

  6. Wow! The Azaleas are wonderful. Such a beautiful garden. That Lady Banks is putting on quite a show too! The boxwood garden is very interesting. Bet upkeep in that is an almost daily task....

  7. Just beautiful all of these angles....bursting with color!

  8. I guess the saying is true, everything is bigger in Texas! What big, beautiful gardens! I love that double decker koi pond. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I enjoyed your tour and I don't even like Azaleas. Why is it the people who like Rhododenrums and Azaleas suddenly forget about colour co-ordination?

  10. GWGT - Yes, you wouldn't know it from the street how large these back yards are. Very nice and secluded in feeling.

    Masha - Azaleas are quite popular here. For some reason, mine never live! I am obviously doing something wrong.

    Christina - These stone walled creeks are seen around this area some. They were originally built in the Depression era with the WPA program. Of course, they built on that with other features in stone. I, too, wondered how much time (and money!) was spent creating/maintaining these gardens.

    Lynn - West Texas is a "whole 'nother country" as they say. The soil between Lindale and Tyler is good sandy loam. Most of the rose growers have their nurseries in that area. I have hard red clay, but it's still of a good acidity for those types of plants.

    Mark and Gaz - The pond wasn't very big, but it was unique. I'm looking forward to seeing your koi pond completed.

    Redneck Rosarian - The azaleas truly are amazing throughout a lot of the residential areas. I loved the diversity of the second garden, and would love to go back when the roses grow into their knot garden.

    Darla - It was amazing to see in person. I could have spend days there.

    Shannon - I do wonder what the first garden looks like after the azaleas quit blooming, as the majority of it is azaleas. The second garden has a bit more variety, which I think I would like better. The mass planting of azaleas in the first garden, though, are quite impressive when in full bloom.

  11. Christina - I think we posted at the same time. Glad you enjoyed the tour. I have seen some pretty jarring combinations - I suppose these varieties come in so many different colors from bright to soft, and everything in between.

  12. Color combinations be damned - you have no idea what a sight for sore northern eyes all these azaleas are! After 2 marvelous days in the 60's, with aconites, snowdrops and crocus beginning to bloom, we got 6" of heavy, wet snow last week. Temps have been in the 20's ever since and we aren't forecast to even hit the 40's until the end of this week. I think it's all beautiful, and this winter-sick northerner thanks you for sharing these photos from the bottom of my heart!

  13. Garden tours are great for getting ideas. Why wasn't yours in the tour?

    I've considered planting azaleas along the forest edge, but I think they'd be devoured so not money well spent.

  14. What a wonderful day you must have spent! My dad lived for a few years in the Longview area, but he doesn't have any photos from that time, and they'd all be black and white in any case. Now I know what he means when he gets all dreamy-eyed about east Texas--such lush, vibrant colors!

    I'm not generally one for severely pruned anything, but that knot garden is absolutely gorgeous, especially softened with the Lady Banks rose, the central urn, and the roundedness of all the other plantings.

  15. Gosh, good to know there is abundant plant life somewhere on this continent! Not in my part of it yet, but thanks for sharing the bounty in your locale! Lovely gardens, lovely photos!

  16. Wow glamorous gardens and houses. It just tells me the effort and time devoted to tend them. How lovely it is to go with the tour of these gardens, in person!

  17. Susan - I like your attitude! Sorry about your wintry weather just when spring was starting to show. Thanks for commenting.

    Marcia - My garden is very much still in the creation stage. Could you imagine all those people trudging through your garden for two weeks? A nightmare! Flowering shrubs at the edge of the woods sounds beautiful. Maybe you can find a good deer resistant plant for that.

    Stacy - You get used to a short winter and an early spring here. I lived a little north for a while, and I could never get used to Easter without everything in bloom already.

    PlantPostings - I hope spring comes to you soon!

    Andrea - Yes, it must have taken years to tweak these gardens into the beautiful sights they are now. The pictures really don't do them justice. They had a very calm, soothing feel to them.


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