Bloedel Camellia

The weather here has been ideal for weeds with light rain and intermittent sunshine, so I’ve been most of my extra time out in the yard, not sitting in front of the computer adjusting shots.

This shot of a Bloedel camelia

will have to serve as a placeholder until I can get some computer time.

We Visit Bloedel Reserve

We haven’t been to Bloedel Reserve since November, so we decided to see what would be there in late Winter/early Spring. We found the first Skunk Cabbage we’ve seen that wasn’t deformed by sub-freezing temperatures.

I’ve been told that Skunk Cabbage is a true measure of when Spring arrives in the Pacific Northwest because it is native to the area.

I know that a number of the plants at the Bloedel Reserve are not native to the area, but seen dispersed throughout the native firs, it’s easy to assume that they, too, indicate Spring has officially arrived.

Personally, the only snow I want to see here in the lowlands is Snowdrops.

The Bloedel gardeners blend native and non-native plants in with the natural habitat.

That’s not to say that I can’t also appreciate non-native flowers like these showy Camellias.

A Bloedel Break

If you’ve been working steadily in your backyard for nearly three months and decide you need a break, what do you do? If you’re Leslie and Loren you return to Bloedel Reserve to see what’s in bloom. We were surprised to see for more visitors than we’ve ever seen before even though the gardens didn’t seem quite as beautiful as it is in other seasons.

Which is not to say that it wasn’t a delightful respite from moving cement blocks and laying cement tiles in our backyard. Huge hydrangea took center stage on this visit; this one was a personal favorite.

Small purple flowers along the trail contrasted with the dazzling hydrangea.

With so few plants in bloom, even this simple white flower attracted attention.

If this was an azalea,

it stood out not only because of its brilliant orange color but because it was also the last one in bloom.