Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Celebrating Azaleas, Belle Mead, N. J.


I recently told my friend Annette about the over 500 azalea bushes that grew more or less wild in our garden in the Sourland mountain, outside Princeton, N. J. 

Instead of attaching the photos to an email, I decided to share them on my blog. 

I'm sorry they have faded with time. In real life, the flowers were brilliant.

The azaleas were there when my first husband, Mike, bought the place and they pretty much took care of themselves and thrived. Some plants were more than 6 feet tall. 

Every spring when the azaleas were in bloom, Mike and I threw a huge party. 

Friends came from far and wide, my Swedish girlfriends, my friends from work, Mike's Hungarian friends from all over the East Coast, his colleagues from the university, as well as visisting scientists from the Institute for Advanced Study, they all came to admire the flowers and have a good time. 

In those days, the mid to late 1960s, the scientists were all men who came with their wives. 

Since this was the era of cocktails and punchbowls, everyone had a smashing good time. 

I was fortunate to meet many interesting and brilliant people while being married to Mike.   

Better yet, I met some wonderful women, young women as we were while we lived in Princeton.  

A few of us have remained friends for all of our lives. Annette from Denmark is one of them, Christina in Sweden, another. 

Those lasting friendships are what I value most from the early days of my life in the United States.


  1. Wonderful memories Inger - azaleas are just glorious. The sound like happy, fun days - lots of social life as well as lots of intelligent, hard-work going on at the Uni ... fabulous photo of you too ... happy memories indeed - and then keeping your like-minded friends around you in the future. Delighted to read this - cheers Hilary

  2. your home was so beautiful and the perfect place for a get together. mother had giant azaleas bushes also, taller than my head so about 6 to 7 feet tall. I like seeing the young you. no there is not a sign in using google sign here on your blog

  3. My comment suddenly vanished. I was saying it sounds like a wonderful time.

  4. Azaleas are beautiful and how great the attracted so many people. It is wonderful that the friendships you formed then are still solid. When they last the years and miles, you know you have found a true friend.

  5. Friendships from Azaleas and University life, they stand true. My friend who lives some 5-6 hours north of me, we met in 1954 !!! 4th form, library and tuck shop duties, then marriage for each of us, families, parents' funerals, then Jeanette's husband died, in 2015. I flew up by myself for his funeral, meeting all the family after many,many years . I almost felt guilty when we reached our 60 years anniversary, as they managed 55 years.The first photo is a wonderful memory.I agree with Arkansas Patti.

  6. sounds like such an interesting and wonderful time back then with lots of friends and beautiful surroundings. i can imagine those photos were amazing in their true colors. i'm going to save one off and see if I can bring out the color. just for the heck of it.

  7. I can imagine how beautiful that must have been in person.
    Sounds like fun times and many happy memories.
    I grew up in NJ - though up north.

  8. You lived a very interesting and social life. Those are great memories of your earlier life.
    The Azaleas were gorgeous. It must have been difficult to leave that place behind.


  9. Lovely memories and photos. I love the azaleas, we have 2 pretty pink azaleas blooming now. Take care, enjoy your day!

  10. what a lovely post. and I'm glad you had these pictures to share with us.
    it's like we've lived many different life times! at least that's the way it is for me.
    just to think of all your amazing experiences in this world!!! in this country and others.
    this blog to me is like reading your personal novel. it's wonderful! xo

  11. Those azaleas are gorgeous! What wonderful memories you have of those times!

  12. Lovely memories and photographs, the azaleas are lovely.

    All the best Jan


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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