Ian's parents came to visit in mid-April, and we went to the National Arboretum (NE DC) for the first time. It just happened to be azalea peak season, and the woods were gorgeous! The USDA agent who developed azaleas for use in the U.S. planted 15,000 bushes in the Arboretum to showcase this part of his lifework, and every year in mid-April, they come to life. I grew up with rhododendrons (azaleas are part of the rhododendron family), but the intensity of this place is mind-boggling!
Gary, Jaye, and Ian (lovely family!) conspired to make the azaleas look short...
So I jumped in to restore the bush's confidence about its height!
Poor little Ian smiling bravely through a horrific allergy attack! He was a good sport and looked at almost every azalea bush with me!
Redheads certainly can wear pink, especially in the form of a crown of azaleas!
Jaye, this color really suits you! I love the white + pink + bark!
The camera clearly thought this was a photo of the tree branch; still I don't dislike the effect! It's still clearly Jaye and Gary on the bench, and it's a different perspective.
There were lots of little blue and purple ground flowers as well. Some of these (the last one especially) remind me of childhood flowers, but I wouldn't swear to anything. Rhododendrons grow very well in the Pacific NW, and my parents have several big trees by their house.
And when you put 15,000 azaleas, random pretty blue flowers, and the right kind of big trees together, you get gorgeous landscapes!