Low Temperatures Threaten Azalea Trails Opening - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/17/05-Smith County

Low Temperatures Threaten Azalea Trails Opening

"We heard there would be a cold spell just before and sure enough, it came this week," says Margaret Davis of Tyler.

Hundreds of thousands of blooms, and dollars to the Tyler economy, riding on the thermometer. Margaret Davis has weathered plenty of temperature scares in her 20 years of Azalea Trails preparations.

"If the sun comes out and stays out for the next week, next weekend will probably be a great week," she says.

But according to our weather expert, Mark Scirto, if the sun is gone, the flowers and tourists probably will be too.

"Just the comparison between yesterday and today: temperatures in the 40's, miserable, and rain. People aren't going to want to come walk around the Azalea Trails," says Mark..

A grim possibility since people like Margaret put so much time and sweat into perfecting their beautiful yards

"My husband mows the yard and takes care of the hedging. I do the beds and I weed for hours."

The Davis' spend thousands of dollars every year on getting the delicate blooms just right for the visitors. For tomorrow's trail, some of the Azaleas have bloomed nicely, but many are still in their shells.

But don't let that discourage you from visiting. No matter what the weather, Margaret has a motto of her own: if you plant it, they will come.

"We've had people come in the rain and in the sun. It's just beautiful here whether they're in full bloom or partly in bloom. We don't worry about it, we just let the Lord take care of it. It's a labor of love," says Margaret.

Even with extremely low temperatures yesterday and this morning, our weather expert says the blooms are safe, at least for now.

"We still have that possibility of a threat of another freeze or frost but we learn to deal with it," says Mark.

The Azalea Trails opens tomorrow, and runs through April 10th. The trail is about 8 miles long, and starts at the intersection of South Broadway and Houston Street. Home tours for the trails begin April 1st.

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