In 1925, Mrs. Cummer attended a lecture by H. Harold Hume on the beauty of azaleas. Hume is remembered as one of the South’s leading horticulturists and for his beautiful azalea hybrids.
The lecture she attended sparked Mrs. Cummer’s interest in azaleas, and led her to travel to Charleston, South Carolina to see azalea gardens. Azaleas then became her passion, and she replanted much of her English garden with them. Hume advised her on the particular azaleas that would thrive in her garden. She also shared her newfound enthusiasm with her peers in Garden Club talks and articles.
See Judith B. Tankard, A Legacy in Bloom: Celebrating a Century of Gardens at The Cummer. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, 2008.