RADIANT Rhododendrons Spruce Up Spring!

posted in: Pacific Northwest, Washington | 2

Spring comes to western Washington with the alacrity of a three-toed sloth. Drooling skies and dripping clouds cling stubbornly to the landscape, wearing out their welcome. But on a crystal-clear day in April when the Washington state flower is in full bloom, spring’s Radiance la Rhodie is worth the wait.

Ah, spring! What took you so long?

The magnificient, multi-hued Rhododendron comes from a Greek word meaning “rose tree.” Affectionately dubbed “Rhodies” by the locals, these rose trees are referred to as the King of Shrubs because they’re considered the best flowering evergreen plants for the state’s temperate landscape.

Pink/white clouds of blooming perfume!

One of the best places to view these beautiful blooms is at the Rhododendron Botanical Gardens in Federal Way, a few miles south of Seattle.

This place is a photographer’s paradise! We took oodles of photos. I can’t fit them all in! But here are some of my faves! Whatcha think?

Home to one of the largest collections of species rhododendrons in the world, the garden displays over 700 of the more than 1,000 species found in the wilds of North America, Europe, and Asia, as well as the tropical regions of southeast Asia and northern Australia.

The beautiful blooms meander through 22 acres of well-maintained trails that include a garden pond, meadow, gazebo, and Conservatory. The grounds also house the Pacific Bonsai Museum.

The Rhododendron Botanical Gardens is a wonderful place to reconnect with nature, luxuriate in bright blooms and the joy of spring, and savor some deliciously fragranced Northwest breezes. It’s also a great place to rest up a bit and regain some sanity after fighting Seattle traffic. (Just sayin’.)

Can’t wait to go back!

Inside Conservatory.


10 am – 4 pm
Tuesday – Sunday
Closed: Mondays

Closed : Thanksgiving,
Christmas Eve, Christmas
Day, New Year’s Day


$8.00     General Admission
$5.00     Seniors (65+) &
                 Students (w/ school ID)
Free:     Children under 12 years, school groups, with ID: military personnel (active and retired), RSBG members and current Weyerhaeuser employees

For more information, click here.

2 Responses

  1. Natty Gal

    What a fantastic place and visit you had! We are still waiting for our small ones to bloom, likely in another week or two. Such a fantastic showy plant. My husband’s company is actually based outside of Seattle so if I can coordinate things time-wise one year, I’d love to go check the Botanical Garden out.

    Betsy | Natty Gal

    • HikerBabe

      Thanks for commenting, Betsy. Aren’t these blooms amazing?

      It was actually pouring rain just before we arrived at the gardens. It started pouring again shortly after we left. But the sun came out while we were on the grounds. It was clear and blue for a brief window. A beautiful spring day in the PNW! Hope you enjoy your visit to these lovely gardens!