If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Highland Park really wanted to be as awesome as Lakewood.

Today, Highland Park is known for having one of the largest azalea displays in North Texas. In late March and early April, more than 8,000 pink and red flowers bloom in the upscale enclave, according to its website.

But Highland Park never would have achieved such fame without Lakewood — where azaleas first made people stop and take notice.

Flashback Dallas reports that azaleas were imported from Shreveport to Dallas in the early 1930s when Joe Lambert planted more than 100 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Walter W. Lechner in the 6900 block of Lakewood Boulevard.

The flowers thrived there thanks to Lambert’s expertise, and people drove for miles to see the blooms, according to Flashback Dallas. It wasn’t long before Highland Park residents came calling for Lambert’s help.

Lambert became so busy, he moved his business, Lambert’s Landscape Company, from Shreveport to Dallas, where it has provided landscaping services for the past 100 years.

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