Friday, March 9, 2012

April Came Early This Year

Back in the early 1980’s Golf World Magazine published their annual edition featuring Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters Golf Tournament. I was a senior in high school at the time living in North Central West Virginia and I was absolutely enamored with the beauty and ambience of Augusta National and The Masters. I took the cover of the magazine, clipped it and framed it and it hung on my bedroom wall. Yep, that’s the kind of teenager I was, while my buddies had pictures of Farrah Fawcett in “that swimsuit” hanging on the wall over their bed, I had a picture of a golf course hanging on mine. Not just any golf course though, it was Augusta National. The picture was labeled, “April in Augusta” and to me it represented where golf should be played, amidst towering pine trees, lush green grass and vibrant pink, white and purple azaleas. If I had to peel back the layers and delve into my inner psyche and analyze how a Mountaineer born and raised in West By God Virginia ended up living and loving the low country of South Carolina, the answer could possibly be traced back to that magazine cover.

This year, April has come just two or three weeks early to the Land of Palm Trees and today while I was playing a round of golf with three guys whom I had not previously met, all three just vacationing in the area from Ohio and Nebraska, I took the opportunity to snap off some pictures of some of the azaleas that live on my home golf course, The Summerville Country Club.

After the round, I drove to Azalea Park in the heart of historic Summerville, South Carolina and took a quick jaunt through the park taking the time to snap off a few more colorful shots for you to enjoy.

Azalea Park is a true gem of the Charleston Area, built in the 1930’s by WPA workers and flowered by then Summerville florist and botanist George Segelken who donated over 33,000 azaleas to the park. Segelken was a pioneer in the propagation of azaleas and is even credited with the development of the recognizable pink azalea that is so prevalent throughout Summerville which he called “The Pride of Summerville Azalea.”

When I write that these azaleas are so plentiful around my town, I can’t begin to explain to you without sounding like I am exaggerating when I say, it is literally hard to go on any street or lane in Summerville today and by doing a 360 degree turn about where you are standing and NOT see one of these trademark pink azaleas. The azalea grows so prodigiously in this area that the bushes are often the size of a small house, and when they are naturalized in the landscape and not pruned they occupy acres of ground that appears to be an explosion of pink and white this time of the year.

Today as I enjoyed the colors during my round of golf and my walk through the park I couldn’t help but remember that old magazine cover and how intriguing it was to a young lad living in the ever changing March climate of West Virginia rotating through snow squalls, rain showers and sunny but cool days anxious for golf season to descend upon the Mountain State.

1 comment:

  1. Buy a defective calendar? Or is it the one sent out by the city of Charleston?


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