Susan Marie Molloy

🌺 Life in the Oasis 🌴

Flowers of a Different Sort

1 Comment

It’s almost springtime here in the Deep South, and my beau and I spent a day at the Bellingrath Home and Gardens in Theodore, Alabama, just outside of Mobile.

We made this day excursion several times over the past couple of years, in the summer and in the autumn. Each visit was unique in its own way since the seasons bring different looks to the grounds, whether it is the seasonal blooms, the native insects, birds, or animals.

Our most recent trip this week was extraordinary. The azaleas and many of the flowers are blooming, and the famous Mobile Azalea Trail Maids were making their appearance at Bellingrath. When I was seven years old, I read about them in a book. Since then, I wanted to see them and the azaleas in their fullest blooming glory.

“Orchid Bloom” ©2016 Susan Marie Molloy Original Photograph

“Orchid Bloom” ©2016 Susan Marie Molloy Original Photograph

We met four of them, and each was the pinnacle of femininity and beauty – not only on the surface, but truly beautiful in manners and personality. These ambassadors for the City of Mobile help promote the city and its splendor, particularly during the Festival of Flowers highlighting blooming azaleas. At one time, these ladies were out only for a few days a year; now their duties are year-round.

Competition to become a Maid is strong, and each year, interested Mobile senior high school students compete. The young ladies must have a strong 3.0 grade average, participate in extracurricular and community programs, and go through an interview before being chosen.

Once chosen, they must have their antebellum-style gowns designed and sewn. There are strict parameters on the styles of their dresses; though there is room for originality and personalization, they must conform to the program’s bounds. Their gowns and accompanying undergarments can cost upwards of $3,000 each, and are made of organza and taffeta. I found an article by Mary Gormandy White you might find interesting about how these gowns are created.

An interesting item I discovered during my research of the Trail Maids is that the queen is the only one who wears a pink ensemble.


“Pink Majesty” ©2016 Susan Marie Molloy Original Photograph

During this week, I will be sharing photographs and my thoughts on our trip to Bellingrath Gardens. If it isn’t springtime weather yet where you live, I hope my photographs and stories bring spring a little earlier to you and bring you some enjoyment, too.

“Blue and Aqua Blossoms” ©2016 Susan Marie Molloy Original Photograph

“Blue and Aqua Blossoms” ©2016 Susan Marie Molloy Original Photograph

©2016 Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.


Author: Susan Marie Molloy

Hi, and welcome to my blog. I am a published writer, poet, photographer, freelance editor, artist, and career analyst. Growing up in a bilingual family helped me foster my love of languages. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science, a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and Master of Arts in History. My short stories, poetry, and photographs have been published in the Emerald Coast Review (18th and 19th editions), newspapers, and in many other publications. I enjoy Pre-Code films, photography, music, travelling, history, reading, and living each day to the fullest in The Oasis. My publications include Engaged (an anthology of my poems), The Crowd of Turin, God of the Sea: A Short Book of Poetry by the Seashore, Grapes Suzette and Other Poetic Epicurean Delights, Gallery Night, Indigo Fantasy, The Green Gloves, Puppy Love, Supreme Theater, and others. I am currently working on an anthology of my short stories, including a roman à clef tale, and am in collaboration with another artist in writing a novel. My books are available through Amazon. Check them out. Buy them. Read them. Send me your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.

One thought on “Flowers of a Different Sort

  1. If ever you should have the opportunity to meet any of these young women I suggest you jump at it. I have seen many a folk in antebellum period clothing, but these ladies are spectacular. True Southern Belles.

    Liked by 1 person