If the decade was the 1950’s, and Edith and Elizabeth wanted to do some plant shopping, there was a good chance they were headed to Brydon’s Nursery. Located where the Pringle Park Plaza is today, it was just a stone’s throw from Gaiety Hollow.
Founded by Percy H. “Jock” Brydon, the nursery specialized in Rhododendrons and Azaleas. Jock was a founding member of the American Rhododendron Society and it’s first Vice President. He had an amazing horticultural career. In addition to being a Nursery owner and Director of San Francisco’s Strybing Arboretum, Mr. Brydon helped propagate the 2,000 original plants that would become the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden located in Federal Way, Washington.
In 1971, the California Horticulture Society gave Jock its highest award for Outstanding Contribution to Horticulture in California. Also in 1971, the American Rhododendron Society awarded Jock its Gold Medal Award. Finally, in 1976, the American Horticulture Society awarded him a Citation for Outstanding Contribution for Professional Horticulture.
It must have been nice to have such a great nursery just a few blocks away. One can imagine Elizabeth and Edith strolling up Gaiety Hill on a beautiful spring day to browse through the plant selection when the Azaleas were in bloom.
Speaking of Azaleas, if you grow the deciduous types do check your plants for Azalea sawfly larvae this time of year. We have seen an outbreak on the Azaleas in the Scroll Garden at Deepwood and even removed a few larvae from the Evergreen Garden at Gaiety Hollow. These small, green caterpillar-like insects will do a fantastic amount of damage to your plants if unchecked, eating the leaves down to nothing but the midrib. Spinosad is an effective control measure after handpicking or washing them off.
It’s been a wet week at Gaiety Hollow. The Camellia pruning is almost completed for the year, just in time to shape the Boxwood and Rhodododenrons.