When we bought our house at the lake, the yard had been unattended for some time. There was a forest of azaleas in the front, covered with vines and filled with dead limbs and branches. They lined a path through the front yard, and were also found in other spots here and there.
They flowered beautifully in the spring, but they were unhealthy and destined to become even worse.
So I took it upon myself to trim them back. It was a huge job, but our neighbors thanked us afterwards because it looked so much better.
There were some empty spaces along the path so last year we decided to plant some new azaleas to fill in these spots. Our children came and we worked all weekend to plant twenty three new azaleas and several other bushes in the rocky ground.
I watered them faithfully throughout the spring. They, too, flowered beautifully, but they were so small it looked like a cemetery with that many spots of color close to the ground. And when the drought came in June, they all dried up. Every one of them.
This spring my husband and son have taken out many of the rotting timbers that someone long ago spent hours placing down the path and around trees in the yard. I am sure they were nice at one time but it looks so much better without them there now. As we were doing this we also moved thirteen established azaleas to fill in places along the path.
Hopefully these transplants will take root and in a few years they will be blooming beautifully and healthily again. If we work hard and are blessed by the forces of nature, one day our yard may be a small reflection of another place at our lake. This spot, called “Lollypop,” has a gorgeous azalea garden which shines even on a cloudy day.