Sunday, April 13, 2008


AND, NO, IT WAS NOT THE 4TH OF JULY, for those of you who remember the song. Yesterday, we went across the Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk to see the Azalea gardens. I have not been there for about 20 years, Anna has never been there. It was nice and warm, temp got to 82 degrees, and it was rather humid. We were expecting thunderstorms in the afternoon, but we thought we could beat them. And we did not hit any rain until we were back over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and 40 miles from home.

One of the many rhododendrons. A wedding in the park......... And you know me and pansies...... gotta have pictures of pansies! The park is also home to a number of birds that live there year round and are quite accustomed to humans. There are also several pairs of nesting eagles within the park and can be found on their own eagle cam, which I might mention, takes forever to load if you have dial-up, but it worth the wait!

The park has an interesting history. More than 200 African American women and men were commissioned to create a garden for tourists during the Great Depression, in 1938. It was part of the WPA program. A lot of amazing things were done by people back then. I am mostly familiar with the amazing stonework done in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Anyway, these people here were paid 25 cents an hour to plant azaleas - but first they had to clear 30 acres of swamp. The garden is their gift to future generations, and what a beautiful gift it is. I never lost the thought of them toiling in the heat and humidity of Norfolk, 70 years ago, creating this masterpiece practically with their bare hands. Maybe I should include them on my list of Heroes!

My pictures are few and do not do justice to the place at all, but being unable to walk, I had to shoot from the tram.

For more (and much better) pictures and information, visit at


Rachel said...

Yes I do remember the song!! Your pictures are absolutely beautiful!! Everything is so lush!! I sure did enjoy this tour. This would be a wonderful place to visit.

ancient one said...

Wonderful trip through these gardens. Your pictures are great! Thanks for sharing your trip.

Wildflower Cabin said...

A lovely park, splashed with the color of early springtime!