By Norman Winter
There is nothing quite like mid-fall – we celebrate Oktoberfest, Harvest Fest and of course, Halloween. We decorate with bales of hay, chrysanthemums, pumpkins, and naturally artistically arrange them with colorful blooming azaleas.
This might have been considered impossible years ago, but now with Encore® Azalea – the industry standard for repeat-blooming azaleas – the choices for fall decoration are only limited by your imagination.
There are now 31 selections of Encore® Azaleas, and each and every one has the first name Autumn because that is when they crescendo with blooms prior to going into a winter rest. Eight of these selections are known to bloom profusely in mid-fall, lining up superbly with fall festivals.
You have to admit that pumpkins, bales of hay and Autumn Lilac™ Azaleas sound like the perfect complementary color scheme to welcome friends, guests and little gremlins to your home. Why not add your favorite color of mums to commence the celebration?
Most gardeners treat mums as an annual, disposing of them with the end of the bloom. With that in mind, we urge you to consider containers of some of the most popular selections from the Southern Living® Plant Collection. Use them for decoration and then plant them in the garden in early November. Fall is a great time to plant! Try clustering pots of ‘Sunshine’ Ligustum for decoration – these would be about as festive of a choice as one could imagine.
On the other hand, you might consider the chartreuse-colored EverColor® ‘Everillo’ Carex – the hottest grass in the market that lights up the garden like golden lanterns. It would be the perfect complement for Autumn Lilac™ or a showy foil for the flaming Autumn Bonfire™. These two great mid-fall blooming Encore®Azaleas are both compact, or dwarf.
With Encore®Azaleas, your neighborhood association may just want to start a fall azalea festival. Imagine throngs of people coming to see beautiful azaleas blooming with your favorite pansies, snapdragons, dianthus and flowering kale and cabbage. It may look like you have tricked Mother Nature, but such is the case each and every year for those that grow Encore®Azaleas.
If an azalea festival built around the mid-fall bloomers sounds appealing, know that there are five pink selections, one purple, one red and one white. But don’t forget, Encore®Azaleas come in early-, mid- and late-fall blossoming varieties, giving you the opportunity to really spread out your blooming season.
These eight Encore®Azaleas also give you options for layering in different heights. As mentioned, the red Autumn Bonfire™ and the purple Autumn Lilac™ are dwarf. The five pink varieties however, offer three great intermediate selections that get 4-foot tall – Autumn Debutante™, Autumn Monarch™ and Autumn Rouge™ – while Autumn Carnival™ and Autumn Princess™ are dwarf. Autumn Moonlight™ with white blossoms that seem to glisten, is also intermediate, and will match perfectly with any other color.
While we have touted the festival season as coinciding with the fall azalea bloom, know that Encore®Azaleas create a most tranquil and picturesque gardening paradise in both spring and fall. This is the reason they are the number one selling azaleas in the market.
On the other hand, we at Encore® are excited with the change of seasons, the festivals, and of course, the fall bloom of our Autumn™azaleas. So, with that in mind, we are here to help you celebrate however you wish! Visit our website www.encoreazalea.com to learn more about these repeat-blooming azaleas, and take a look at our bloom times chart to assist in developing your garden plan.