When we visited Tom's dad in Connecticut last month on Father's Day weekend, my sister-in-law Ellen took me to their local nursery, Smith's Acres in Niantic: Ellen is a flower lover like I am, so she knew I'd love visiting this place! Notice all the flower boxes on top of their roof:Here's the plant we were looking for and found...a Mandarin Lights Azalea: Here are Sarah and Aunt Ellen waiting for me to take some pictures as we head back to the car: Ellen and her husband Ed have two of these azaleas...different from most azaleas in that it grows tall instead of a round shrub. She said the orange blossoms are like big pom-poms and make a show-stopping display...so much so that passers-by stop in their driveway and ask what the plant is...never realizing that it's an azalea.
Here's the plant in the corner of her yard (taken Father's Day weekend after the blooms had faded):The instructions stated that this azalea should be planted in a sheltered location, so I planted mine against the back of the house on the corner of this flower bed...hoping I gave it enough room to grow! I'm looking forward to seeing some bright orange pom-poms when it blooms...maybe next year! Many thanks to Ellen for the yard tours and for introducing me to this new shrub and taking me to Smith's Acres to locate one.
And, yes, we drove home from Connecticut fully packed...and the new plant rode ever so carefully at my feet the whole way back to Virginia! No complaints though from this flower gardener! :)