Springtime at New York Botanical Garden

I’ve just returned from an extended trip to the US east coast, traveling by train all the way. It is my preferred way of traveling, as I get to see exclusive landscapes not accessible via other means of transportation. I prefer to travel via the Amtrak Empire Builder train, which originates in Seattle and travels along the northern states, eventually ending in Chicago. The trip takes 2 days. From Chicago are connections to available trains to most parts of the country. I departed mid April, when there was still much snow on the ground in Montana and North Dakota. By the time I returned, much of the snow had melted, leaving behind large lakes of water. Here are a few pics taken in April from the train window, outside the Glacier National Park area in Montana.

And now to the gardens! The New York Botanical Garden, located in the Bronx, is on a 250 acre site. It consists of many individual gardens of different plant and flower species along with many trails to explore throughout. I think I spent about 3 hours there and still did not get to see many areas of the garden. It is huge! And, of course, in springtime, the garden is chock full of blooms. The Cherry blossoms and Magnolias were magnificent!

Check out these gorgeous Magnolia blooms of various varieties and colors!

The Bronx River runs through the garden as well.

The Haupt Conservatory grounds were adorned with gorgeous Weeping Cherry trees.

In front of the Mertz Library in the garden is the beautiful Fountain of Life.

I highly recommend visiting the New York Botanical Garden, when in NYC. Visit their website for more info. https://www.nybg.org/visit/

All images property of Peggy A Thompson


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April Showers Bring More Flowers

It’s been a very cool and rainy start to the month of April, here in the Pacific Northwest. But all the rain has been helpful to the flowering plants, and many more are blooming. In fact, not only are the flowers blooming, but trees are starting to leaf out now and showing off their “spring green.” It’s so good to see color again after a long, cold winter!

Here’s some photos I took today that include Rhododendrons, Magnolias, Flowering Currant, Trout Lilies, Toad Lilies, Blue Hepatica and whatever else I could find. After the rain, the flowers were dripping with moisture and just begging to be photographed! The fragrance was heavenly! Some of the Magnolias smelled so delicious!

Yellow Rhododendrons

RhododendronsPink Magnolia

Toad Lilies

Trout Lily

Blue Hepatica


Flowering Currant

Rhododendron Waxbill

Western Trillium


All photos property of Peggy A Thompson

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Rhododendrons in Bloom

It’s the middle of March and I am thrilled to see that so many flowers are blooming right now: Cherry Blossoms, Flowering Plums, Daffodils, Camellias—the usual early bloomers, AND the Rhododendrons! We had a spat of very mild temps recently and that really helped in the blooming department! I made another trip to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden. I’m keeping my eyes on the Magnolias, but they haven’t made their announcement to the world, yet. Shouldn’t be too much longer now. But this week’s post is primarily about rhododendrons. They are really making a showing now!

I found this pink Drumstick Primula blooming as well.

Here are some blue Primulas in bloom.

And, of course, we can’t forget the lovely Camellia!

Let’s take a peek inside the Rutherford Conservatory. Here are some of the tropical/subtropical Rhododendron species that are in bloom.

And last, but not least, the spring Pleione Orchids are in bloom.

The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden is the largest of its kind in the world. It is located in a native Pacific Northwest wooded setting, located in Federal Way, Washington, just off Hwy 18. Also on site is the Rutherford Conservatory that hosts the tropical species. The garden will be bursting with blooms now through May, and not just with rhododendrons, although that is the primary species. In May, a Blue Poppy Day is held, with many festive activities and arts. There is an $8 entry fee to the garden, with a discount for seniors. A yearly membership is also available. Oh, did I forget to mention? The garden is open Tuesday-Sunday and closed on Mondays.

All photo property of Peggy A Thompson

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February’s Early Blooms

Signs of an early spring abound with a few flowers peeping out here and there. I visited my favorite botanical garden, the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, located in Federal Way, Washington. I was surprised to see so many rhododendrons already in bloom! Here are a few images of what you can find right now in the main garden.

I came across some lovely, pink, double-petaled Hellebore.

These white blooms are Ypsilandra thibetica, an evergreen perennial native to China.

I just love these yellow Mahonia flowers! They will later be replaced by dark berries.

One of my favorite spots in the garden is the Stumpery. Here you can experience a real woodsy, earthy setting. Many species of ferns abound here along with other woodland plant species, as well as rhododendrons.

In the Rutherford Conservatory, where the tropical rhododendron species are housed, are many beautiful blooms right now. Here are a few sample images.

The botanical garden is open daily except for Mondays. Visit their webpage above for more info.

All images property of Peggy A Thompson

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Winter Blooms

It’s been so long since my last post, and I am sorry to say that I had completely forgotten about my blog over the holidays! I did have a few opportunities to visit some botanical conservatories in the area in December and January, and so that is what I will be highlighting. All of the photos below were taken in the Rutherford Conservatory, at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden. All are of tropical Rhododendron species, with the exception of the last image.

This last image is of a Gordonia bloom, which is related to the Camellia. It is sometimes informally referred to the “Fried Egg Flower” due to it’s yellow and white colors.

All photos property of Peggy A Thompson

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