It’s that time of the year again, the Masters at Augusta National are in full swing (ha! pun intended). Some people watch for the players and their amazing golf feats, but I tend to be more interested in the course setting. I longingly look at their blooming azaleas and dogwoods and wonder why I’ve committed myself to Chicago’s “winter-springs.”

This year, after having a warm spring, their azaleas are a little past their peak bloom so I don’t have as much to become unreasonably jealous over. Of course, I could plant azaleas at my home and I can design planting beds of azaleas for others so that we can all enjoy those bright and vibrant blooms come April and May (assuming the weather cooperates). So many plants tend to have white or yellow flowers that I love any opportunity to brighten up a space with their pink-purple flowers. They also have an added bonus of being able to grow in partially shady conditions (which seems to be every yard in the area).

To get the full benefit of having a small part of the Masters at home you could also include a small putting green in your yard. Add a small seating area for your adoring fans and you’re all set. Besides, you can’t get to the Masters, or at least best your friends on the course, without a little practice.

Putting green in the garden


Putting green waiting for the next Masters champion


Azaleas in bloom