For azalea lovers – or lovers of beautiful landscapes in general – the place to visit right now in RI is the Kinney azalea gardens. I drop by every year just to take it all in.When you time it right, as I did when I took the photographs in this post, the contrast of the colors of the azaleas with the deep spring green of the grass is stunning.
Lorenzo Kinney, who passed away in 1994, started planting azaleas and rhododendrons shortly after he and his wife moved into their house in South County in 1927. He had some help from his father, a botany professor and azalea grower.
When Kinney retired, he embraced his azalea passion in earnest. After seeing how the plants thrived in the southeast, he was determined to develop cultivars that would survive RI winters.
Over 500 varieties have been planted over the years. You can wander along the pathways that meander through the gardens, and you can also buy plants, if one strikes your fancy. The different cultivars are not marked, so I can’t tell you what they are, but I can say that they are simply gorgeous this time of year.
The gardens are open to the public and admission is free, although donations are welcome. You can find out more about this RI treasure by clicking here.