US National Arboretum Glenn Dale Azalea Hillside

rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)February 9, 2011

The US National Arboretum attracts over 100,000 visitors each spring when over 10,000 Glenn Dale Azaleas on the south face of Mt. Hamilton burst into bloom. They were planted before 1949 and fell into decline by the 1970s. But since 1980, they have been revitalized and have turned into the premier garden attraction in Washington, DC, each spring.

If you haven't seen them yet, you may want to check the website savetheazaleas.org. The head gardener thinks he needs to destroy all of the azaleas after they bloom in 2011, so he and his staff won't have to take care of them. The irony is that they have been brought back from decline and are maintained primarily by enthusiastic volunteers.

If you want to see them or want others to have the chance to see them, please help save them. The campaign to contact USDA administrators and members of Congress has succeeded in bring the pending plans of destruction into the open and seems to be making some headway in saving the azaleas. Contact information for these people is available at savetheazaleas.org.

Here is a link that might be useful: SaveTheAzaleas.org

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

The new director of the National Arboretum has suspended but not cancelled plans to remove the Glenn Dale Azalea Hillside, the National Boxwood Collection and the Perennial Gardens. The new funding is about half of what they say they need to keep things the way they are.

Recent communications from the arboretum say that many plants are still in jeopardy. Apparently the people that made the bad decision in the first place want to keep face by removing plants which don't have labels. The fallacy in that is that these plants have been documented for about 80 years with plot maps and volunteers are actively using these maps to verify the identity of these plants.

Some are very valuable plants such as the striking bi-color which was named "Ben Morrison," after the developer of the Glenn Dale Azaleas and founder of the National Arboretum, by Dr. John Creetch when he was director of the Arboretum and after Morrison had died. The interesting fact is that the azalea "Ben Morrison" has unknown parentage. Some of the plants that are documented are descendants of plants that were not documented. Yet they say that the descendants are documented. How do they make these useless distinctions. Today with DNA, all plants can be documented much more accurately than with questionable historical records.

Here is a link that might be useful: SaveTheAzaleas.org

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 9:06AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
This One is on My Places to Visit List
I have not yet visited this garden but hope to do so...
la_kitty
New Zealand tour, hiking and gardening
My DH and I plan a hiking vacation in New Zealand next...
Paula_sfbay
plants in Peru
Dear friends, Let me give you some special information. I...
Miguel Flores
Traveling with pets
Hey.. Me and my family make a trip for 10 days..We...
rock70
Botanical Gardens in Arizona?
Hello Garden Web!! I'm thinking about doing a little...
claire44
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™