By Norman Winter
As today’s modern landscapes have gotten smaller, Encore®Azaleas have made sure that you have plenty of choices when it comes picking colorful blooming shrubs that will fit to perfection. The Encore®Azalea group has grown to 31 varieties, and 16 of those stunning selections are classified as dwarf. While they may be compact in habit, they are bold on blooms.
Now you can choose your favorite colors of azaleas for evergreen foundation plants knowing they will not cover your home’s windows. You’ll be able to enjoy their riveting color throughout the year from indoors or out. We proudly say throughout the year, as Encores are the number one repeat blooming azalea in the market.
Dwarf Encore®Azaleas typically reach 2 ½ to 3 feet tall, allowing you the opportunity to create dramatic vistas and partnerships throughout the landscape. Consider the possibilities of layering your azaleas, perhaps utilizing taller Encores in the background and dwarf in front. You might like the pink Autumn Jewel™ with the dwarf purple Autumn Lilac™and white Autumn Angel™in the front for a festive Easter-colored assortment.
The Southern Living®Plant Collection however, offers incredible companion choices allowing you to maximize leaf texture – and even leaf color – to make your landscape the envy of the neighborhood. The collection offers several dazzling abelias that could be partnered with Encore®dwarf azaleas to create a wow moment.
Miss Lemon™is one. It reaches about the same height as dwarf Encore®Azaleas, but features a graceful arching habit with everchanging foliage color variegation that is green, with gold to chartreuse centers, aging to a rich with ivory. A sweep, or odd numbered cluster of three to five of these abelias with your favorite dwarf red Encore®Azalea, like Autumn Bonfire™, or the pink Autumn Carnival™, would surely bring out the cameras.
Consider also ‘Kaleidoscope’ Abelia, with flaming golden yellow leaves that turn rusty orange in the fall. Again, plant in a sweep, drift or odd number cluster, and combine with the dwarf purple Autumn Lilac™or Autumn Embers™– one of five dwarf red selections. These stunning abelias all offer summer light pink or white blooms that will bring in butterflies and hummingbirds.
The complementary color of red is green, and for that reason we think there is a lot to be said for partnering one of the dwarf red Encore®Azaleas like Autumn Fire™with the elegant Christmas tree-shaped Robin™Holly. Picture using this holly as an accent and seeing the bright red berries in the fall simultaneously with the cheerful red blooms of your azaleas – can you say “Happy Holidays?”
Mention spring-blooming shrubs and you’re most likely to think about camellias and azaleas competing together to see who can be the most beautiful. Imagine duplicating that same picturesque landscape in the fall. It’s possible, and the combinations are only limited by your imagination.
Like the classical concert that ends in a finale, Encore®Azaleas are similar with an explosion of fall blooms. So, envision the landscape full of dwarf Encore™Azaleas boldly planted with your favorite choices of the 11 October Magic®camellia sasanquas. Fall will forever be redefined with this canvas of extraordinary blooms.