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 through.

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 gardens.

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 his life."

Gene retired from Penzel Construction in 2003 and Linda formerly served as Executive Assistant of the Jackson Chamber of Commerce.

Pinecrest Azalea Gardens Home Page

Midi Music Featuring Kenny G
Play/Pause Stop

ęcopyright Pinecrest Azalea Gardens 2008-2013