Point Defiance Rhododendron Garden

If you live in Tacoma, or nearby, for that matter, and haven’t visited the Rhododendron Garden at Pt Defiance, you’re missing a real treat. Although some of the early-season rhodies are already beginning to fade and some of the late-season plants haven’t started to bloom yet, the majority of the rhodies are now in full bloom.

If you’ve visited in the past, you’re in for an even bigger treat than before, because the garden was rededicated this year and a number of changes have been made. Here’s a new rhodie named after the park:

and a subtle addition to the garden, signs identifying many of the rhodies. More substantial changes are evident in the piles of brush still awaiting removal. The clearing makes many of the plants easier to see, but thankfully still manages to preserve the greatest charm of this garden, seeing the rhodies in an old-growth environment.

If you’re lucky, you may even find yourself sharing the garden with a friend

like this young buck who, thankfully, seemed more interested in eating ferns than rhododendrons.

Though you can’t count on the wildlife, if you get there soon you can count on seeing this Naomi Pink Glow

this orange Medusa

and many others, that prove nature’s natural beauty transcends man’s attempts to classify or contain it: