Tyler Azalea, Spring Flower Trail to feature creator of Encore Azalea
Tyler, Texas (KETK) — Buddy Lee, a nationally known plant breeder, horticulturist and creator of the world’s best-selling reblooming azalea, Encore Azalea, and Keith Hansen, a Smith County horticulturist, will be the featured guest speakers at the Tyler Azalea & Spring Flower Trail at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 21, at the IDEA Demonstration Garden (420 South Rose Park Drive, Tyler, Texas). The free azalea clinic, hosted by the Tyler Azalea Trail Committee and the Texas Chapter of the Azalea Society of America, will kick off the 2014 Azalea & Spring Flower Trail taking place March 21-April 6.
Lee will present “Azaleas A-Z,” where he will discuss how to select azaleas as well as proper placement, planting and care tips to ensure gardening success. In addition, he will highlight the newest varieties from Encore Azalea.
Growing up on a dairy farm in Louisiana, Lee became interested in azaleas at an early age. At the age of 15, he began working part time for a local nursery and developed a strong passion for plants, especially azaleas. Lee began collecting many different azalea species and hybrids and experimenting with combining desired traits through controlled plant breeding. In the early 1970s, Lee experimented with a fall-blooming species, crossbreeding it with traditional azaleas to develop multi-season blooming azalea hybrids. After 15 years of research, Encore Azaleawas born, and was named to represent the phrase “the show goes on.”
Past president of the Azalea Society of America and past president of the Louisiana Nurseryman’s Association Region III, Lee is Director of Plant Innovations at PDSI (Plant Development Services Inc.) in Loxley, Ala. PDSI specializes in bringing new and innovative plants to market, and is responsible for Encore Azalea, www.encoreazalea.com, and Southern Living Plant Collection, www.SouthernLivingPlants.com, and Sunset Western Garden Collection, www.sunsetwesterngardencollection.com.
For more information about the free clinic, contact the Texas Chapter ASA at 903.825.9220.