I’ve been on the road for a week, visiting nurseries in the southeast. Today our journey led us to Mobile, Alabama, home of the Encore azalea and other fine plants. Thus far in our journey temperatures have not been nearly as miserable as back home in Virginia, and today has been no exception, though eighty-nine degrees and humidity about the same will quickly raise a sweat.
Sunday is our day off, but with severe thunderstorms blowing in from the Gulf I was nearly convinced to cancel a long planned visit to Bellingrath Gardens, a sixty-five acre public garden opened in 1932. The local radar showed a few breaks in the storms, so I set out through the deluge. The highway was barely visible through the downpours, but the rains stopped a mile from the gardens and didn’t resume until I finished my tour a few hours later.
Tall evergreen magnolias, azaleas, and camellias line the paths, and no doubt are delightful in bloom on an early spring day. On an exceedingly muggy day in mid July, with the not-too-distant rumble of thunder and not an azalea or camellia flower in sight, there was no place better in this town to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Occasionally, readers and friends comment about the photographs in this journal, presuming that special equipment and expensive cameras are required to take a decent picture. I refuse to lug around bulky cameras, so the photos today were taken with an inexpensive digital camera that fits in my pocket.