This week-end there is another big event at Borgo da Mozzano. This time it’s the turn of the town’s famed azalea festival.
We got a visual taste of these gorgeous plants (which do require an acidic soil, plenty of shade and considerable watering) at the gardening centre near Borgo’s Agip service station.
The owner, descended from Garibaldi himself and originally from Nice, is a very convivial lady who has an intimate knowledge of these plants. She even saved the historic species from nearby Catureglio’s Villa Mansi which were being suffocated by rampant bamboos. Ours, bought from her last year, is flourishing well in the altitudes of Longoio.
Lucia’s nursery is full of great examples and wonderful colours. Here’s a new one she’s developed for 2015:
Borgo’s Azalea festival kicked off in 1970 when the first exhibition was organized by Italian Shell’s agricultural centre, in collaboration with the town of Borgo a Mozzano. In the 1960’s the centre had noticed, after a survey in the territory of Borgo a Mozzano, that every home and every yard had numerous Azalea plants which developed and reproduced themselves easily and spontaneously.
The first festival included 282 azalea varieties displayed by 72 amateur growers. The Centre helped them to develop their skills both in azalea propagation and marketing. Until 1975 the festival was an annual event. Then it was celebrated every two years until 2006 when it returned to being an annual occurrence that has achieved not only national but international fame.
I hope many of you will be able to make it to the festival this coming weekend. It’s promised to be bigger and better than ever before. Make sure you have the right soil ready before buying a plant though!
In the meanwhile,here’s some information about Lucia’s nursery.