Early April is when many of the azaleas are at peak in Georgia. Every year at this time The Masters Tournament is held in Augusta, Georgia. Now, I know not everyone is passionate about golf; however, it is worth taking a look at the event because the azaleas, dogwoods and redbuds really steal the show. It is stunning! Along with the ponds and bridges it is a serene looking place. I could walk around the course for hours just admiring all the blooms.
The family operated the nursery from 1858 to 1918. During this time they helped introduce many species of azalea and trees to the Southeast. Prosper introduced many new varieties of fruiting trees and shrubs that would grow better in our climate. He became known as the 'Father of Peach Culture' across the South and was instrumental in making peaches one of Georgia's primary commercial crops.
The plantings of azaleas began all the way back in 1931. Many of the exquisite s species are still growing around the fairways today. Almost every hole on the course is named after a plant or tree. For example the 2nd hole is Pink Dogwood and the 8th hole is yellow jasmine.
No. 2 - Pink Dogwood No. 11 - White Dogwood
No. 3 - Flowering Peach No. 12 - Golden Bell
No. 5 – Magnolia No. 14 - Chinese Fir
No. 6 – Juniper No. 15 - Firethorn
No. 7 – Pampas No. 16 - Redbud
No. 8 - Yellow Jasmine No. 17 - Nandina
No. 9 - Carolina Cherry No. 18 - Holly
Golf champion Bobby Jones and his business partner created the club and golf course in 1931. Prosper's two sons assisted in the landscape design of the course. The Berckman's home, Fruitland Manor, is what we now recognize as the Augusta National Clubhouse.
So, if you have some time today, turn on your TV for a few minutes. Turn the volume down if you need to. (Being the language enthusiast that I am I always enjoy listening to all the wonderful accents.) And, check out the stunning setting. You won't be sorry.