The steady spring rains have kept me from returning to my favorite gardens to do more spring, floral photography. By luck, Easter weekend turned out to be just lovely for getting out and exploring in the gardens. Easter Sunday was the warmest day so far this year. The thin layer of grey clouds was not the best for photography, but that didn’t stop me, since the day was going to remain dry. I headed to my favorite garden this time of year, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, in Federal Way. It had been 2 weeks since I last visited, and I knew a lot more species would be blooming since the last time I visited. In the Rutherford Conservatory, the Rhododendron dendricola species was in full bloom. I love these lovely, white blooms with the pink stripes on them.
Here are a few other Rhododendron species in the conservatory that are blooming.
The Rhododendron taxifolium is an extremely, rare species that is found only on a mountain top, on an island in the Philippines. It looks more like an evergreen than your typical Rhododendron, with its needle-like leaves.
Here is another atypical looking Rhododendron species, Rhododendron himantodes, that is just starting to bloom. It has white flowers with tiny, brown spots on its blossom undersides and stems, and looks absolutely spectacular when in full bloom! This species is native to Borneo.
Outside, in the natural forested setting of the garden, blooms are popping open just about everywhere. What would normally have been in bloom last month is just now starting to blossom, due to the very cold winter and spring we experienced, here in the Pacific Northwest. The garden is in peak spring bloom, but in another week or two you will see even more color. For example, the rhododendrons around the gazebo area have not yet bloomed. And the Azalea garden has not yet bloomed, either. As for the Blue Poppies, their bloom time is usually in May. I’ll be keeping an eye on them. In the meantime, here are more images of Rhododendrons and other companion plants blooming around the garden.
All images property of Peggy A Thompson