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Here and there in the garden

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Yesterday, a shimmering afternoon, I strolled past the Exbury azaelas. I mentioned them in a post in 2007, and we described them in the English Garden 2. In 1850 William Lobb sent seeds of these deciduous azaelas from the West Coast to England, and various gardeners got to work.

Lionel de Rothschild had Exbury azaleas hybridized at his Exbury Estate. The Exburys can grow eight feet high. Their blooms are 3 to 4 inches across in brilliant shades of yellow, gold, orange, white, red, and peach. They seem happy to be back on America's West Coast, and I'm always glad to see them.

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This is the month to see azaelas, wisteria and rhododendrons in bloom at Exbury Gardens. Viewing a garden by steam train is not for those who like to make unscheduled stops, but it can be nice as the tracks are so narrow you feel you are gliding through the woods.

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