Rhodie Heaven

For a short while every year the Pacific Northwest may well be the most beautiful place on earth when our Rhododendrons bloom, and this has been a particularly good year for Rhodies.

We took our out-of-town visitors to the Point Defiance Rhododendron Garden and they seem almost as impressed by it as I have always been. I doubt that any kind has ever had a more royal purple than the purple Rhody at the entrance of the garden.

If that shade of purple doesn’t please you, there were many other shades.

I’ll have to admit, though, that I tend to favor the pink rhodies which come closer to the native rhodies found in the mountains.

The garden also features a bright yellow rhodie, the only one I’ve ever seen.

And Primroses, Too

Though I love the native gardens and the Japanese Garden at Bloedel Reserve, I love seeing plants that I’ve never seen before like this orchid-like beauty

growing in the center of a rotted log.

I’m always amazed by the rings of flowers on these primroses.

And I’m always amazed to find yet another Rhododendron I’ve never seen before.

Who knew?

One of the few benefits of ignorance is that it’s relatively easy to be amazed by new discoveries. For instance, I’ve always been under the impression that the Trillium I see in the Pacific Northwest, from mountaintop to coastal wetlands is the only Trillium there was.

As we walked around Bloedel we saw what looked like three different kinds of Trillium, and neither this one

nor this one,

nor this one

looked like the Trillium I’m used to seeing, though they all looked like "trillium."

According to Wikipedia there are actually 26 recognized Trillium varieties — who knew?

Bloedel Reserve’s Natural Wild Flowers

One of the main reasons I like Bloedel Reserve is that there are several areas where you find native plants in their natural setting. Though not as spectacular as most imported species, they have their own charm.

Bluebells (I think) line the meadows.

Hundreds of buttercups hang out in the shade on the edge of the forest,

while bleeding hearts are found throughout the native forest.

Not sure what this plant is, but it manages to grow deeper in the woods than any other “flower.”