This spring, we decided to host a garden party to celebrate peak azalea season. Our casual alfresco event shows off the blooms with clever arrangements (yes, you can—and should—cut them), pretty table settings, and a just-right color scheme. If you were to count the number of times azaleas have appeared in Southern Living, you’d lose track. Our first cover (shot in Mobile, Alabama, in 1966) featured a sea of the blazing pink blossoms. And while it’s hard to imagine spring in the South without the iconic evergreen bushes, they actually didn’t arrive until the 18th century. They were delivered by boat from Asia and Europe to the U.S., where they soon found a welcoming home in the warm climate of Charleston, South Carolina. Not to be outdone, Mobile also stakes a claim to azaleas. Its nickname is the Azalea City, after all and we’re heading to Mobile to celebrate.
Springtime is better with this iconic flower.