I never thought I’d say this, But

I am in LOVE with rhododendrons!(and I think Finn might be in love with Sharon)

I’ve been researching them all evening and I must say that they can be surprisingly exotic, intoxicatingly aromatic, and with an eclectic array of species that is quite mind boggling to me. I took Sharon to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden today and it was just as wonderful and surprising as on Saturday. There was a species that smelled just like sugar cookies! I only wish it was earlier in the season so I could go more!

DID YOU KNOW…

.some species grow up to 100 feet high?
.the longest leaves are 3 feet long?
.in Greek rhododendron means “Rose Tree”?
.they are related to blueberry and heather plants?
.some smell like root beer?
.they are Washington’s state flower?

Pictures from the first two collages were taken
by me in the Rhododendron Species
Botanical Garden in Federal Way, Washington.

speaking of the garden…YOU HAVE GOT to read about the curator named Steve “Indiana” Hootman. He travels to the remote ends of the earth and braves snakes and blood sucking leeches and jungles with indigenous peoples in search of rare Rhododendron species. {click on the link and at least read up until He immediately handed me a check and my eyes widened at the amount of money it represented. With great sincerity he said ‘I want you to find Rhododendron wattii for me.'” Then scroll down and look at all the pictures.} I could die. I want to go on a plant hunting expedition! I wish I had had been a forestry or biology major so I could do stuff like that! Imagine discovering for the first time your favorite flower in the wild…someone did! Oh how I wish I lived in the age of exploration. I hope to someday traverse the wild scented rhododendron forests of distant lands. Until then I’ll stick to Washington (we have a few native ones, too, though not quite as fascinating as they’re in pretty much every yard landscaped before 1970).

pictures from this collage were taken from various
sites off google images. The hiking through
the rhododendron forest one was taken in nepal.

And, EXCITEMENT!…I just found out about another Rhodie garden on Whidbey Island. I swear that island still has gnomes and tree sprites and sea nymphs on it. It’s just so magical with its chocolate garden and seaside village and Lakeside camp! Did I ever tell you Beau and I met there? Yes, we did. and as if all that isn’t enough, at that lovely garden (that I intend to visit in the next few days hopefully)… they have a MAGICAL FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS AND FAIRIES. You guys. What? I. just. can’t. even…function out of excitement!! It’s in April. And on Mother’s Day they had a harp player perform. In February I missed an owling expedition on the Island. I think I may end up living there. I refuse to miss another exciting adventure!

Have you gone yet??

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