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History Surrounded by Beauty

Who doesn’t love to look at the beautiful blooms of the Azalea? These flowers are also known as the “Royals of the Garden” due to their notoriously vibrant colors! In Charleston, South Carolina, you can see these flowers blooming all across our city from late March until early May. We have all sorts of azaleas growing all over, including (but not limited to) the Piedmont Azalea, the Japanese Azalea, the George L. Tabor Azalea, and the Great Laurel!  We are so proud to have these gorgeous flowers growing in our city. Not only are they gorgeous to have in your yard, but they are gorgeous as a background for professional pictures - or pictures you just want to get with your friends for some amazing memorabilia! Just the other week, I saw a young lady getting pictures in front of some of Charleston’s beautiful Piedmont Azaleas in her cap and gown for her graduation pictures. You also see these flowers used in modeling photoshoots and other professional and fun photography!

Over in Summerville, South Carolina, we have the Flowertown Festival festival. What’s the history of the Flowertown Festival? 80 years ago, a group of ladies decided to raise funds for 16-acres of land that is now known as “Azalea Square.” They wanted to make this area a place for a gardening club. After hard work, they got their land and began the Garden Club. In the very midst of the Great Depression, hope was very scarce. At that time, the mayor of Summerville, Mayor Grange Cuthbert, was a flower enthusiast and wanted to use the ladies' garden as a tourist attraction. Thankfully, these ladies donated their garden to the city. There was just one thing that the Mayor wanted to add - Azaleas. So the Mayor called upon a friend of his, Mr. George Segelken. He wanted Mr. Segelken to help with making what he envisioned for Summerville to become a reality. Mr. Segelken kindly donated 33,000 Azaleas in which he planted most of them on his own. In the middle of the Azaleas laid a salmon-colored bloom which quickly became known as the “Pride of Summerville.”

In 1972, the Young Women’s Christian Organization (now known as the YMCA) envisioned a celebration surrounded by these gorgeous flowers just as they were beginning to bloom. They saw this as an opportunity to have a festival for fundraising towards the YWCO and their events for children. This event was later named the “Flowertown Festival” and became such a huge success that we still have this festival today just as the Azaleas begin blooming. Summerville’s Flowertown Festival has been ranked as one of the Top Ten Events in the Southeast for years and we get a lot of tourists coming just for the festival. Come enjoy our Azaleas through the Flowertown Festival. 

We all love a nice long walk to energize ourselves. We want to always walk in areas that look pleasing to us and give us a feeling of calm. What better place than an area with Azaleas blooming all over? That’s why I always enjoy my walks in the historic part of Charleston - the Battery. Not only are there gorgeous flowers everywhere but you can also enjoy the sights of the harbor and learn the history of Charleston, South Carolina. The Battery even has little benches by the Azaleas to keep you surrounded by the relaxing scent of these flowers. Now I know what you’re wondering. “What if I’m allergic to flowers?” Azaleas are actually scientifically known to be the best flowers for someone with seasonal allergies to be around! Azaleas are 100% dependent on insects to release their pollen. Due to this, they rarely ever release pollen to the wind.

When you walk around the Battery here in Charleston, you’re not only surrounded by history but also by arguably some of the most gorgeous flowers in existence. Most people think of the bright pink azalea bushes when they think of the word “Azalea” but in the Battery, we not only have pink Azaleas but we have white, white and pink, and closer to purple colored Azaleas as well. This grand assortment of these astounding flowers gives the area a much friendlier feel to it and is the cause of many people to take their walks or jogs around the Battery. Come down to Charleston, South Carolina, and enjoy our history surrounded by beauty!

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