I love to see the Cosmos blooms and always recall their Greek meaning: "a balanced universe."
But what really balances our universe in the South is the Azalea. Drive down any Southern street from Georgia to Louisiana and check the yards. No matter how grand or humble it will have at least one of these hardy flowering shrubs. But just because they’re common doesn’t make them any less fascinating and beautiful. Azaleas come in riot of colors and sizes to suit any space and purpose. For the last ten years botanists have hybridized the old faithful's into varieties that bloom multiple times a year.
Rhododendrons, close cousins to Azaleas, however, are not so accommodating, even though I love them and try to make them happy. They are rather finicky about their environment: the soil -- too wet, too dry -- the sun, too strong, too clouded. Did I say I love them? I delight when we drive north and see them in the wild, in the highlands of North and South Carolina. This ancient Greek rhodon or English rose can be evergreen or deciduous and comes to us from Asia.
Gerrie Ferris Finger
Running with Wild Blood
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