Floral Show Stoppers

It’s getting near the end of the spring bloom season in a lot of gardens. The rhododendrons are hardy, though, and can bloom well into June. As a lot of my blog followers know, I frequent a favorite garden of mine, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, located in Federal Way, Washington. Above is the latest image of the entry gate area to the garden. Pink rhododendrons and white Viburnum blooms currently grace the front entrance. The Pacific Bonsai Museum is adjacent to the botanical garden.

Starting in late February and continuing into June, there is always something new blooming in the garden. Just about every week or two, you will see another species blooming. This parade of blooms continues throughout the spring blooming months. One is never bored with the same blooms in this garden. I am amazed at the hundreds of different plant species here and how ingeniously this garden was planned. And it’s all set in a natural Pacific Northwest forest setting.

The reason I made a scheduled trip to the garden this day was to check on some orchids that were starting to bloom in the glass conservatory. A week ago I had noticed one of the hanging orchid planters had some buds that I had never seen before. I was excited to see this new species and, with all the sunny, very warm weather we had been experiencing lately, I knew they would be in bloom very soon. Well, my hunch was correct! What a surprise that greeted me as I walked into the conservatory! Directly to my right was hanging a large cluster of  small, white and orange orchids. I had never seen such a display like this one before. Absolutely gorgeous! Last week, when I visited, I asked one of the gardeners about these soon-to-be bloomers. He mentioned that they are a Dendrobium orchid species. Here are a few images.

I wouldn’t wait too long to see these beautiful blooms, if you desire to do so. I don’t know how long they will stay in bloom. I have noticed that some species of orchids have a long bloom life while others are pretty short.

Another show stopper in the conservatory that has just bloomed is Rhododendron dalhousiae. This is a gorgeous bloom that you just gotta see! The large, trumpet shaped flower is white with red stripes. This Asian rhododendron is native to the Himalayan regions of northeastern India, Bhutan, and southern Tibet.

Moving along to the outside garden, here are some of the rhodies and azaleas that are blooming.


Here are some of the companion plants blooming in the garden right now.

A Rodgersia species. These pink flowers give off a very sweet fragrance.

Star flowered False Solomon’s Seal

I am not sure what this plant species is. The leave structure reminds me of a False Solomon’s Seal. It has white, bell shaped flowers on red, branching stems at the top of the plant.

The Himalayan Blue Poppies are still blooming strong. I would expect them to start fading sometime in June. I took this picture on purpose to show what next to expect to bloom in the garden. In June, the Giant Himalayan Lily will show off its head of fantastic blooms. You can see the large, tall stalk already, next to the Blue Poppy. It will be the last of the garden show stoppers to make an entrance for the season.

If you live in the area, or are passing through and have the time, stop by this beautiful garden of delights before they are all done blooming for the season. They are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10am – 4pm.

All image 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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4 Responses to Floral Show Stoppers

  1. Gunta says:

    I can see why you like to visit this botanical garden! What great displays. I’ve always loved rhododendrons for their early and prolific flowering. They do so well here in the Pacific Northwest and are much needed after the typical dreary winter season. What’s so special about your botanical garden are the varieties I’ve never even known existed.

    • Thanks, Gunta! Yes, this botanical garden is special to me. I’m so glad I decided to check it out some years back. The garden specializes in rhododendron species not only found in the states, but many that are native only to Asia, hence the conservatory that houses the tropical species. Many of the outdoor species are also Asian varieties. Yes, the garden does brighten up a spring day, even when it’s cloudy!

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