The azalea is synonymous with the south. The flowers were first planted in South Carolina in the early 1800s and today cover most of the southern U.S. Highlighting the 13th hole at Georgia’s Augusta National Golf Club, in the yards of homes large and small, and even down dirt roads, the first blooms of spring symbolize a fresh beginning, the coming of summer, the simple joys of life and a time to gather with friends. From countless Azalea Trail parties to small town festivals the people embrace the few short weeks of breathtaking beauty that unfold this time of year. Many use it as a time to celebrate with garden gatherings and afternoon teas set right in the middle of their own oasis of red, pink, and white flowers. Who needs an elaborate room to host a party when God’s best is on display right outside your door!