May 14-15, 2011
The New Azalea Garden
Location: The Azalea Garden | Get Your Tickets
The Azalea Garden represents the transformation of the Botanical Garden's historic Azalea Way into a richly layered horticultural extravaganza that celebrates the beauty and variety of these popular garden plants. The Azalea Garden offers a completely new design, with greater diversity than has ever been shown in New York; a much improved viewing experience; expanded access to the landscape; more effective circulation; new seating areas; and newly created, carefully framed views.
The new Azalea Garden includes nearly a mile of woodland paths that meander through a collection of 3,000 azaleas and rhododendrons from around the world, planted beneath ancient native oaks, tulip trees, and sweet gums. The more than 70,000 new plants in the garden comprise 40,000 bulbs, over 28,000 flowering woodland perennials and ferns, and more than 3,000 trees and shrubs.
The Azalea Garden has been meticulously designed to ensure brilliant color and rich texture for much of the year. It will begin to flower during the first warm days of spring, when the pale pinks and lavenders of Korean rhododendron emerge. The spectacle provided by azaleas will reach a crescendo in late April and early May, when an entire hillside of Asian hybrid azaleas erupts into clouds of white, pink, coral, and magenta. Azaleas and rhododendrons will continue to provide color through late spring and into summer, flowering in sequence until the last of the vivid orange-red flowers of plum-leaf azaleas open in July. Finally, companion plantings of fall-blooming witchhazel and herbaceous plants, as well as a second flush of magnificent color from reblooming azalea cultivars, will ensure that the garden remains vibrant into late autumn. A tapestry of daffodils and crocus, vast sweeps of ferns and hostas, and grassy glades inspired by mountain meadows will provide additional drama in early spring, summer, and fall. All of this will be visible from accessible pathways that open to long vistas in all directions.
As one of very few azalea collections to be located within a formal educational institution, the Azalea Garden provides a rare opportunity to educate the public about the value and importance of these plants to ornamental horticulture. It will achieve this through year-round public programming, interpretation, and curatorial work. Compelling offerings, including lectures, self-guided cell phone tours, and docent-led walking tours of the landscape and the adjacent Native Forest—combined with an expertly planned interpretation scheme that includes permanent and easily updated signage—will enrich visitors’ experiences and increase their knowledge of these popular and beautiful plants.
The celebratory opening weekends of the Azalea Garden will include tours led by Botanical Garden horticulture staff, home-gardening demonstrations, live music, family activities, and complimentary light refreshments, providing an ideal way to usher in the spring.
The design of the Azalea Garden has been created by the following individuals and firms: Paths and seating areas were designed by Towers|Golde Landscape Architects, in collaboration with OLIN, the Botanical Garden’s Landscape Master Planner. Azalea and rhododendron plantings were designed by Garden staff, and companion plantings of perennials were designed by landscape architects Oehme, van Sweden & Associates.
The Azalea Garden represents the transformation of the Botanical Garden's historic Azalea Way into a richly layered horticultural extravaganza that celebrates the beauty and variety of these popular garden plants.
The new Azalea Garden includes nearly a mile of woodland paths that meander through a collection of 3,000 azaleas and rhododendrons from around the world, planted beneath ancient native oaks, tulip trees, and sweet gums. Learn more.
Learn all about the amazing, adaptable azalea and its close relative the rhododendron from the Garden's top experts. Find the perfect plant for your garden, discover how to capture the beauty with your camera, and more.
Create and Capture the Beauty Weekend
May 14-15, 2011; 12 - 6 p.m.