If you haven't been
there already, make plans to visit the most beautiful natural
display of spring blossoms in this area. Pinecrest Azalea
Gardens bursts into bloom from March through the first part of
May. You may need to make several trips to enjoy the full
extent of the flowers as the color schemes change beginning in
March where the Jonquils and Daffodils cover the grounds in
yellows and whites. A bit later the Azaleas put on a flashy
show of purples and lavenders, oranges to salmon, pink to
reds, yellows, whites and variegated colors. Some of the
bushes are as tall as 12 feet high. Also in bloom at this time
are the Dogwoods and colorful Redbuds. A bit later, the
Rhododendrons decide it's their turn to express themselves.
Pinecrest is open to visitors from
March through May. There is limited parking for guests. While
some prefer to just drive through and enjoy the thousands of
beautiful blossoming bushes, others like to get out and walk
through the park setting. There are benches to sit and soak up
the beauty along the way. It's hard to really see all the
different varieties and colors of flowers by just driving
Gene and Linda Penzel are the owners
of Pinecrest and devote a great deal of time and energy to the
caring of their plants and every year they add more to the
Gene's parents, Carl and Mettie
started the gardens back in 1963. They lived in Jackson but
bought the 52 acres not far from Millersville where they could
go out on weekends and in the summer. Carl started planting
Azaleas and Rhododendrons on the grounds and kept adding more
each year. He also planted 6,000 pine trees to help increase
the acid content in the soil. In the early 1980's, Carl built
a house at the gardens and it served as their summer home.
They would come out in February and stay until October. When
Carl retired from Penzel Construction Company, they stayed at
the gardens most of the time. Carl died in July of 2000.
Mettie died April 19, 2008 at 100 years, 11 months old.
After Carl's death, his son Gene,
took over the management of the gardens. He and his wife
Linda, have made it their lifestyle. They do most of the work
themselves which is a never-ending process. They are working
to clear the entire 52 acres and plan to have the whole area
planted some day. Each year they dig up and transplant all the
volunteer Azaleas that have grown up in the pathways. Some
years they have transplanted as many as 250 Azaleas.
In the early spring, you will be
amazed at approximately 300,000 Jonquils and Daffodils in full
bloom. They have also been moving Jonquils to other areas.
"It's a lot of work, but we just love doing it,"
Linda says. "Gene says it is his hobby, but really, it's
Gene retired from Penzel Construction
in 2003 and Linda formerly served as Executive Assistant of
the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.
Gardens Home Page