By Norman Winter
White is one of the most important colors we can use in the landscape, and the Encore series of azaleas offers you four glistening choices: Autumn Angel®, Autumn Ivory®, Autumn Lily® and Autumn Moonlight®.
White – like that in Autumn Moonlight– is so reflective of light that it is actually the last color to fade from view in the evening. As the light is diminished, darker colors like reds and purples drop out of sight.
The white ruffled semi-double blooms with yellow dusted throats make quite a statement on a plant that reaches 5-feet tall and 4-feet wide. You have probably driven in neighborhoods with a forest canopy of trees – most often you never really know what was growing, or if anything was blooming. This taller stature of Autumn Moonlight™ will give form and focus to the woodland garden, which may otherwise be lost to view.
White – like that of the dwarf Autumn Ivory– can give definition to those filtered sunlight areas in and around large trees as well. Even though dwarf, this variety of Encore® Azalea is absolutely stunning in its bloom quantity.
When massing white in a border, or along a path, plant these closest to the perimeter. Varieties like dwarf Autumn Angel or Autumn Ivory will give the walkway definition on those moonlight or bright starry nights. This will keep visitors from straying off the path.
Autumn Angel really gives a sense of joy, purity and even triumph. Both dwarf white selections Autumn Angel and Autumn Ivory would be superb in front of taller pink Encore® Azaleas like Autumn Carnival® or purple, like Autumn Royalty®. The pink, purple and white combinations are perfect for Easter and Spring.
Lastly is the tall Autumn Lily™– exquisite in every way from its tall 5-foot nature to its large 3-inch blooms. The pristine single white blooms occasionally feature a purple stripe. As they say this is just a little “lagniappe!’ Try partnering dwarf purple like Autumn Lilac® for your photo moment.
White is a complementing or contrasting color. Many landscape designers will tell you that all other colors are enhanced or made more beautiful by the addition of white. One thing is for certain – all four of the white Encore® Azaleas will also give a feeling of planning and precision. In other words, you the gardener knew what you were doing by carefully incorporating white into your landscape.
If you have never tried Encore Azaleas, then make this the year you do. Plant several this spring and you will quickly see why they are the best-selling azaleas in the market. You’ll be amazed as they repeat bloom in the summer, culminating in a crescendo of blooms in the fall. This is the reason all Encore Azaleas begin with the first name Autumn.