Azalea Trails

There is a small town in Texas that has made gardening some what of a local tradition.  The Azalea Trails in Tyler, Texas has become well known in the area as the place to go if you want to experience some truly lovely floriculture.

24064_666481084666_1920554_nThe Azalea Trail has been an annual tradition for more than 50 years in Tyler.  It is home to 8 miles of marked trails through residential gardens and historic home sites, with garden after garden of azaleas, dogwood trees and spring flowers that you have to see to believe.

You may either walk or drive as you follow the signs for the two trails “Dobbs” or “Lindsey”. Both trails start at the intersections of South Broadway and Houston Streets. These trails soon split and meander through beautiful old residential neighborhoods. Certain homes along the trails are attended by young ladies attired in Antebellum Period clothing.  The Trails have become a huge success and as of 2004 attract over 100,000 people each year.24064_666481089656_163271_n

The residents along the trails are very proud of their neighborhood history and the homeowners make this event the success it is.  They spend countless hours making sure their yards are absolutely gorgeous, and they love to share it with visitors.

Some residents even open up their yards and invite visitors to stop and walk through their gardens.  On one block, three houses merge their back yards to make one giant garden. The residents have put up a sign that says, “You are welcome to walk through our backyard.” They mean it too.24064_666481114606_6826098_n

Since the peak blooming time is a bit unpredictable, the dates differ some each year, but for 2013 the Azalea Trail takes place from March 15th – April 7th.  This is a great time to visit Tyler.

In addition to the Azalea Trail, the Municipal Rose Garden is beautiful this time of the year.  There is the Main Street Flower Market at the Goodman-LeGrand Museum where you can purchase various plants and gather gardening tips or landscaping ideas for your own garden.  After you are done with the market, take a tour of the Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum which dates back to the 1860’s.  Later that evening you can go on a candlelight historic tour of Tyler that will take you back through the Azalea District at night.  You can enter a photo contest for best photo taken while on the Azalea Trail, or run in the Azalea 10k benefit run.

For a small town, Tyler has a lot to offer, but the Azalea Trail is one of my personal favorites and definitely worth the trip.  If you are interested in visiting Tyler, TX and seeing the Azalea Trail for yourself, these two websites will be very helpful.   Click here for the official Tyler Azalea Trail website and click here for the Tyler, Texas Chamber of Commerce website.

For those of us who prefer to travel through books, or want to perfect our own gardens, the library has these books to offer help in those departments.  And of course, check out our books about traveling to Texas.