From my photos (above video), I believe my first time to visit Pinecrest Azalea Farm was in 2003 with my four men (husband and sons). We learned about it because while helping with the family reunions I learned that a distant relative of my husband's owned the farm. Their names were Gene and Linda Penzel who also owned Penzel Construction Company. The Penzels are decendants of Georg Heinrich (Henry) Ludwig Brennecke and Johanne Wilhelmine Sophie Altenthal, whose daughter Carolina (Lena) Brennecke married Gustave Robert Penzel.
I have heard it called a 'farm' for a long time and then at some point it was also called a "garden," so I never know what to call it.
Pinecrest is on private property at 799 Torre Lane, Oak Ridge, Missouri, and they have always opened up every year to the general public during peak bloom time. However, it was announced in 2022 that it would be the last year that they were opened up. The property had been under new ownership for a few years.
As a bit of history, Carl and Mettie Penzel purchased 52 acres of land in 1963 with a plan to create a personal weekend retreat to provide a respite from the regular toils of daily life. Pinecreast Azalea Gardens provides a spectacular displays of springtime color and it was enjoyed at no charge from March through May. More than 300,000 jonquils and daffodils provide the first splashes of color in March, followed by every imaginable color of azalea and rhododendron. Prime viewing was usually late-April to mid-May. While a maintained driving path allowed viewing of the magnificent color from the comfort of a vehicle, the full appreciation was only gained by walking the paths that wound around the grounds.
I have SO many photos of Pinecrest and I could not decide which few to share, so I choose to make slideshows of many (not all) of the photos for each visit. I did not take time to edit them as I do have the ability to make them a better photo. Some are edited from previous sharings, but most are original just so I could get them shared.
I visited Pinecrest with hubby and the dogs on May 5, 2013, and we spent a long time just relaxing and exploring. There were not many people present and I remember this was so delightful unlike later years when there were more people than you could avoid for a photo op. Sometimes I wonder if my sharing this place on social media over the years helped to get it known. I should have kept it to myself! I always wanted to take a day off work and take a picnic basket there and just relax. The concrete table was a favorite place of mine and in later years that concrete table disappeared and only one bench remained. It was a perfect place to take a bottle of wine.
The above is our trip on May 3, 2015. It seems early May was when we went most often. This time we took our two nieces and brought a picnic lunch with us. I remember one nieces telling me I had taken enough photos! This is the year we really enjoyed the baby ducks too.
We went early this year to witness all the daffodils! It sure was a totally different experience and I was amazed at how many daffodils dotted the landscape. Ooops, the wrong year of 2022 is in the video and should be 2018. I am not going to remake it.
I had heard it might be their last year to open to the public when we visited on May 1, 2022, so I was sure to take a video, which is above, and I am glad I did. There were a lot of people there and it was hard to take photos without other people in them. It makes me sad that they are not opening anymore, but then again I am thankful for all the years that it was graciously opened to the public as it is private property.
The below are select photos from the above videos. I am sharing 2022 first because these photos are not in the video since the video is not a slideshow.
The bench to the table is still there in 2022, but the other bench and the table are gone.
This is the year we went early to view the Daffodils.
We found a playhouse while walking around. This photow as taken from a distance. I remember learning that they had built it for their grandchildren.
This is a favorite photo of mine that I have taken over the years. It was taken in Oak Ridge, Missouri, on the way or the way back from Pinecrest.
The table is still there in 2015!
Here is my favorite table. I wonder when it disappeared. Maybe when the owners sold it they took it with them.
There were no photos worthy of adding here for 2003, so watch the video slideshow above.