A Trip to the Rhododendron Species Garden

With the almost non-existent winter we’ve had along the Pacific Northwest Coast, I took advantage of the record-breaking temperatures this past weekend and drove to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, Washington. I had originally discovered this wonderful place last spring, and I made up my mind that this year I would purchase a yearly membership ($35). There are so many different species of blooms to feast the eyes on for several months during late winter and all of spring. And that’s just the outdoor area! The Rutherford Conservatory holds many of the tropical Rhododendron species. As well, there are many species of Companion Plants to be found throughout the garden, such as the wildly popular Himalayan Blue Poppy, which normally blooms in April-June.

Upon arriving at the garden, I noticed some bright, pink rhododendrons already in bloom.  Camellias are in bloom, as well. Here is a photo of the bright pink rhododendrons at the entryway of the garden.


I found a tall, red Camellia reaching for the Douglas Firs that abound in the garden and framed this shot, appropriately.


Here are some lovely, white rhododendrons.


I came across this gorgeous carpet of white blooms—my best guess, a species of heather.


And then I came across the following very interesting plants with intriguing, white blooms. They are Ypsilandra tibetica, an evergreen perennial with fragrant, white flowers. If you look closely, their long antlers, as they are called, are a bright blue.


The rest of my images were taken inside the Rutherford Conservatory. Here, many of the tropical species of Rhododendrons can be found blooming at different times of the year.


Also inside the Rutherford Conservatory is a rhododendron relative, Agapetes. They are small, tubular blooms on long, arching stems.


All photos property of Peggy A. Thompson

About northwestphotos

A long time resident of Washington State, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest USA. I enjoy regional travel, exploring all the wondrous, natural settings that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. If you get a chance, visit my Northwestphotos Zazzle store, http://www.zazzle.com/northwestphotos.
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10 Responses to A Trip to the Rhododendron Species Garden

  1. This is such a treasure in the Seattle area….If you get an annual membership do you get any special deals for the plant sale?

    • Yes, membership gives you a 10% discount on nursery purchases along with other preferences over non-members. Also, one gets invited to special events for members only. As well, your membership allows you to bring 1 guest with you for free entry into the garden. I think it’s a pretty good deal for one that visits the garden often, like me.

  2. samacwns says:

    Can’t believe they’re in bloom already! Love the pictures!

  3. Such a lovely garden, Peggy. Your photos are gorgeous. 🙂

  4. Poetsmith says:

    Your photos of these beautiful flowers are such a delight for the eyes! A lovely post, informative and enjoyable 🙂 Thank you for sharing 🙂

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