This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
It is not as generally known as it might be, that this particular species of hardy azalea is far superior to the old class of Belgian varieties; and that varieties almost as numerous as the old kind gave us have been produced. The Gardener's Weekly Magazine has recently given an account of their great improvement in continental gardens, from which we take the following:
" The varieties of Azalea mollis forming part of the group referred to in the preceding note were unquestionably the most important subjects of which it consisted, for they bloom so profusely, force so well, and are so wonderfully attractive, that it would be no easy task to overpraise them. When Messrs. H. Lane & Son first presented several of the varieties to the notice of English horticulturists some five or six years .ago, I formed a very high opinion of them, and the more I have seen of them the more thoroughly am I convinced of their merits for decorations in and out of doors. The majority of the varieties of A. mollis, or rather of those known under name, were raised by Van Houtte, and are quite hardy in this country. They are somewhat similar in habit to the well-known Ghent Azaleas, and deciduous. The flowers are nearly as large as those of a hardy rhododendron, and stout and waxy in texture; the colors comprise red, yellow, salmon, primrose, white, and flesh color, and afford a pleasing contrast to the colors of the flowers with which they have to be associated.
There are about twenty-four varieties in trade collections under name, and of these the undermentioned can be specially recommended to the notice of those who require a few of the best only: Alphonse Lavallee, orange shaded with red; Baron de Constant Re-becque,nankeen; Charles Kekute, orange washed salmon-red; Charles Francois Luppis, rose shaded magenta; Chevalier A. de Reali, straw-white: Comte Papadopoli, rose shaded with orange; Comte de Gomer, bright rose: Comte de Quincey, bright yellow; Consul Pecher, bright rose; Ernest Bach, bright salmon; Madame Caroline Legrelle Dhanis, rose. With reference to their cultivation, it may be said that, like the varieties of Azalea pontica, they can be grown in beds and be lifted and potted in the Autumn, and they are so grown if I remember rightly, by Mr. Douglas, the able gardener at Loxford Hall, who had a fine display the other day, and regards them as most valuable acquisitions".