Perhaps you’ve driven down Oak Avenue in Hamlet when the azaleas are in bloom and seen the house with flowers that seem to blanket the property in color.
Winnie and Wade Weatherly built their house in 1960, and Winnie Weatherly said each year they planted 25 azalea bushes. According to Weatherly, the couple purchased the lot beside them so they would have space to spread out their 300 azalea bushes. During peak season, the blooms reach into the hundred-thousands, creating a spectacle that stops both locals and people from out of town.
“We have had strangers with accents from somewhere else come and stop at the house,” said Weatherly, now 87. “If you see the house from the front it looks nice, but if you don’t go around back, you’ve missed the best part.”
While trespassing is not encouraged, Weatherly said people often pull up to her house and ask if they can take pictures. Above the azaleas, dogwoods spread their blossoms as well.
“The dogwoods have made a canopy over the driveway,” said Weatherly. “We’ve put them on both sides of the drive. In the back, the azaleas go up into the pine trees.”
Every year presented a chance for the couple to get out their green-thumbs and it seems to have paid off.
“Wade and I both worked together on our yard,” said Weatherly. “Now we have irrigation, but before we had irrigation when we’d water them, I would sit in a lawn chair and hold the hose. We have a well and you have got to keep them watered. People often said we had the prettiest yard in Hamlet.”
Yard maintenance poses some difficulty after her husband passed away and Weatherly looks back fondly on a time when gardening was easy. Usually, after the blooms pass, the bushes are trimmed down with an electric trimmer.
She said she and her children recently looked over pictures from when the house sat on a sand lot and didn’t yet have grass.
“My husband and I were blessed,” said Weatherly.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.