Pt Defiance Rhododendron Garden

There’s no place I’d rather be this time of year than the Pacific Northwest if for no other reason than it’s Rhododendron season.  The cool, wet weather we’ve been having this Spring seems perfect for Rhododendrons; they last much longer in cool, wet weather.  No wonder the Coast Rhododendron is our State Flower.

While Rhodies look beautiful in neighborhood yards, including ours, they really stand out when seen in a forest setting, their natural habitat. Leslie and I are lucky to live a short walk from the Pt. Defiance Rhododendron Garden and have already visited several times this year.

Red and White Rhododendrons

The native Rhodies are are “pink to rose-purple, and are rarely white,” something like this.

Pink Rhododendron

On the visit where I took my camera, though, the white Rhododendrons, native or not, took center stage

White and Pink Rhododendron

and stood out in the shade of towering fir trees.


It’s clear that most of the Rhodies in the garden aren’t native, and ones like this bright orange Rhodie with its bell-like shape seem almost exotic.

Orange Rhododendron

I still prefer the pinkish-red Rhodies that thrive in nearby mountains and in my childhood neighborhoods, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate exotic beauty from far-away lands.

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