Al & Diane LaPorte, Nesconset, New York
Reprinted from the New York Chapter Newsletter
Photographed by Joan Knapp in the garden of
Mr. and Mrs. Henry A. Dumper
'Palestrina' (kaempferi hybrid x 'J.C. Van Tol')
So, you really don't like white azaleas? You regard them as only a necessity to divide color patterns? While they are lovely as young plants, their true beauty and character are fully realized only as maturity arrives at a height of 4 to 5 feet. Each May, 'Palestrina' clothes itself in its bride's gown of shimmering white flowers. Unlike azaleas that hold their faded blossoms (such as the Kurume 'Snow"), 'Palestrina' drops its flowers, neatly covering the ground like fresh fallen snow.
Like so many of Gable's fine azalea creations, 'Stewartstonian' possesses a clarity of color and hardiness shared by few azaleas. 'Stewartstonian's bright red flowers (without a trace of blue) perform best in the dappled shade .of a woodland garden. The late afternoon sunlight filtering through the flowers is an unforgettable sight. 'Stewartstonian' would even be worth growing solely for its beautiful fall foliage show. Its leaves continue to deepen in color into winter until achieving a deep rich red.