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Bloedel Reserve

Uncommon flowers at Bloedel

Bloedel Reserve would be well wort the trip if there wasn’t a single exotic plant to be found, but I’ll have to admit that seeing flowers I’ve never seen before adds to the enjoyment of the trip.  In my next life I’ll actually learn the name of all these new species, but for now I just enjoy seeing them for the first time.

After all, a rose by any other name would be just as beautiful.

Personally, I’m only interested in knowing the name of a flower if I’m interested in buying it for my own garden, which is why I captured the name of the orchid used in this beautiful planting.

I would never have guessed that any  kind of orchid could thrive in the Pacific Northwest.

This “trillium” which must be three times as large as our native Trillium.  

I was amazed that Wikipedia actually lists 50 different varieties of Trillium. 

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Bloedel Reserve

Spring at Bloedel Preserve

It’s always a little sad when the overwintering birds leave for their breeding grounds, but, luckily, flowers that have been dormant all Winter suddenly Spring-forth.  Point Defiance Park is certainly as good a place as anywhere to see flowers, but I must admit that on a sunny day I’m more apt to drive to Bloedel Reserve.  

There’s no wrong time to visit the reserve, but Spring is probably my favorite time to visit.  Bloedel Reserve has a magical blend of common plants, both native and imported, and rare plants I’ve never seen anywhere else.  

Walking across the meadow we were greeted by these cheerful purple bells 

and this single stemmed beauty, which I suspect must have been planted, though it certainly looked “natural.”

Just before the lake we encountered a fairly common, but striking, azalea.

As we neared the Bloedel residence we saw several yellow Rhododendrons,

an uncommon, but not exactly rare, color for a Rhodie.  

Spread out over an area dominated by open meadows and old-growth forest, if you were new to the garden you’d probably swear these were just part of the natural landscape.  Only a regular visitor would realize that it takes dozens of gardeners to maintain the “natural” look of these gardens.  

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Bloedel Reserve

I’ve Fallen Behind and Can’t Seem to Catch Up

One of the best things I’ve taken up lately is hiking/walking with Paul and Leslie once a week. This time of year flowering is definitely better than birding, and, since Paul hadn’t been to Bloedel for years, we convinced him to join us on our walk.

This time of year, the hydrangea take center stage.

If you look closely, you’ll find some unique varieties.

Not sure what these flowers are, but they beautifully complement the hydrangea.

Of course, a visit to Bloedel wouldn’t be complete without finding a rare plant we’ve never seen before and don’t have a clue what it might be.

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Bloedel Reserve

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.