#FBF: How one Lakewood family brought azaleas to Dallas in the 1930s


From brightly colored to shades of blush, azaleas are a common sight in East Dallas landscaping these days. But that wasn’t always the case. Back in the 1930s, the soil was not quite right to grow the blooming bushes. That didn’t stop Ruth Lechner, who would not be satisfied without the azaleas in the front yard of her Lakewood Boulevard home, which her husband, oilman Walter W. Lechner, purchased in 1934.

Ruth Lechner went West, seeking the advice of an Oregon landscaping expert A.B. Lambert of Lambert Gardens, who could help make the flower flourish in the dry Dallas land.

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“Before the 1930s, many people in Dallas had never seen anything like this,” Paul Fields, one of Lambert’s owners, told the Advocate in 2009. “Thousands of people would drive along Lakewood just to see them.”

We told the story of how Ruth Lechner brought azaleas to Dallas in 2009, give it a read if you’re in the mood for some history or looking for garden inspiration.


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