Monday, March 17, 2014

Where can you find those magnificent azaleas?

     Spring is here, folks, and the flowers are bursting forth like a mule smelling the barn. After all, it’s been a tough winter. Even though our friends up north would laugh in comparison, we’ve had a more colder, icier and snowy winter than usual. 
     But that’s all done now and for those of you still struggling with all that wintry stuff, come visit and defrost, enjoy some of our great cuisine and listen to our fabulous music while sitting outside among the flowers. 
     One of the greatest shows of color this time of year is our azaleas. These large displays of pink, red, salmon, purple and white appear in March and decorate the horizon with grand color. Approximately 20 miles of Lafayette city streets are lined with azaleas that adorn beautiful homes and historical points. Some of the bushes of gigantic proportions are more than 50 years old! In Lafayette, the predominant variety is the Formosa, christened the “General Lafayette,” which blooms in colors of lavender and fuchsia.
      You can find the best azalea exhibits by following the Lafayette Azalea Trail, either online or by picking up a brochure at the Lafayette Visitor Center on Evangeline Thruway. The Lafayette Azalea Trail starts at the Visitor Center and meanders through the city past many of Lafayette's landmarks, such as City Hall, Girard Park and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
     Iberia Parish to our south has a self-guided driving tour as well this time of year. And attractions such as Jungle Gardens of Avery Island and Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens are choked full of color. For information, visit the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitor’s Bureau web site or stop by their visitor’s center at 2513 Highway 14 in New Iberia.

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