brookside gardens turns fifty THIS YEAR!

July 13, 1969 was opening day for Brookside Gardens.  Friends of Brookside Gardens wants to add a splash of color to commemorate this 50th Anniversary milestone by expanding the Azalea Garden at Brookside Gardens!

Please donate now by clicking the button below to the “Color Our Future” campaign to renew and refresh the Azalea Gardens at Brookside!

Donate to "Color Our Future"

Wandering the paths among colorful azaleas at Brookside has been a time-honored spring ritual for 50 years. You can keep Brookside Gardens looking colorful and wonderful by donating now to renew and expand the Azalea Garden.


The Azalea Garden is a semi-wooded area that features over 300 varieties of azaleas represented by 2,000 plants. Rhododendrons, witchhazels, hollies, Japanese andromeda, sweet-box, skimmia, bulbs, and a large assortment of shade-tolerant perennials are also featured. Early azaleas begin blooming in mid-April, with the others commencing bloom near Memorial Day. This sequence provides a longer season of bloom than you’d see in typical home landscapes. Azaleas are planted in masses of a single variety to give maximum impact. A network of paved and mulched paths allows access to the plantings.



Azaleas are spring blooming shrubs with flowers that often last for several weeks adding a bright splash of color to the spring landscape. In the language of flowers, the Azalea is a symbol of taking care of oneself and other people around you, temperance or moderation and femininity. It belongs to the genus Rhododendron and includes approximately 10,000 cultivars. Since all parts of the rhododendron family create such poisonous leaves and flowers, the Azalea is strictly used for decoration. They are native to several continents including Asia, Europe and North America and prefer well-drained, acidic soil conditions. Prune azaleas soon after they bloom or in early summer. Azalea bushes have a long lifespan and with proper care, some plants can live for as long as 50 years! Japan, Korea and the United States have festivals to celebrate azaleas. For all details regarding azaleas please visit the the Azalea Society of America page. In addition, one can also visit the the American Rhododendron Society to learn more about this genus.


FUN FACTS about Azaleas

  • The word “azalea” is derived from the Greek word “azaleos” meaning “dry” so named because of its preference for quick draining and light soil

  • Rhododendrons are believed to have evolved from camellias.

  • The first Rhododendron to be classified was R. hirsutum (Alpine Rose).

  • It was discovered in the 16th century by a Flemish botanist.

  • It is the state wildflower of Georgia.

  • You can always choose the Azalea flower when you want to tell someone you care about that person and you want to see her or him get better.

  • Give the gift of Azaleas for birthdays falling between May 20 and June 20.

  • It can also be seen as a death threat – only when sent in a black vase!

  • These plants contain grayanotoxins which disrupt sodium channels affecting the skeletal and cardiac muscle. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous for humans.