Well, I did it again. 😉 I nearly blew up my camera taking pictures. I think I ended up with 132 clicks of the ole shutter. Now I find there are not 2 but 3 most definite Spring rotations to the blooms here. This visit would be during the “middle one” for catching the best and biggest blooms from Rhododendrons. Now, having said that, this is probably the very best time to catch all the other plants blooming as well – the Double File Viburnums, Azaleas, even the young but amazingly robust Ferns in the deep forest sitting by the waterfall and creek.
Any way you cut it, I am almost totally convinced there is no bad season here at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, set hard in the middle of Portland, Oregon.
Come along with me now and we’ll see what this gorgeous garden has going for it now.
(click all images to enlarge hugely)
First off – What made the day even more special were the large number of reasonably well-behaved kids, some brought by parents and some – like this unruly little crowd below – apparently on their own. It can be disturbing seeing this sort of wild behavior in Nature. It’s as if all these little ducklings cared about was swimming around and trying to have fun. If you look closely, I mean all you see is smiles.
The entry to the Garden is always spectacular. I absolutely cannot get enough of this particular vista. This view comes as you enter the very gate to the premises, where you find yourself pretty much above this large ravine they inherited, perfectly-shaded and so very lush and perfect for our blooming subjects. That one can concentrate so much condensed beauty into this space still astounds me.
We were delighted to see that some families were stunningly well-behaved. 😉
The scene below gave us hope for our future on this planet. My friend did, however, have to go and mention what he noticed – it appears there is a remaining rebel – will this ever stop??? – following behind the lot.
Moving long now……. 🙂 ……As we enter, we start getting peeks at what is to come. This is some serious acreage, so it all unfolds in various ways, depending on the route one takes. Among my favorite Japanese Maples in the world, this one has been a subject of more pictures from me than any other. Set hard in the midst of the park, it can be seen from almost anywhere, prominent and bronze. The color contrast it always offers just seems breathtaking to me.
We had visited here in another post a month or so ago and these Gunnera to the right had only peeked up just a tad. Well, they aren’t “tads” any more. Soon their growth will get simply outrageous as the leaves themselves will reach 6 feet in girth. Spikey, with these stickers that actually pack an irritating venom, these are great to look at and pleasantly lush and freaky, but you don’t want to go playing around in them. Better to find a bowl of Pirahna and wash one’s hands in some good old pork gravy.
In that prior post, we had seen the waterfall, featured below. At this time of year we now notice a virtual explosion of Hosta at the break separating the branching stream flows as well as the placement of those aforementioned Gunnera above.
As well, the young, unfurling Ferns we noticed back then have taken on a brand spanking and mighty powerful new look as well:
And now onto the stars of the show, the luscious and mind-bogglingly rich Rhododendrons.
I am convinced every color on the color chart is represented, along with some New Age – more electrical – colorations that even an advertiser could not match. From here to my last picture – a shot of a desperate family who apparently dropped their camera in the lake – I will just let you scroll and stroll a bit.
“Madge, dangit, where is the camera! I know I dropped it around here somewhere. Blast#@&%!!?**$$#!!!!!”
“Good Lord, Henry, you dropped it again? Here, Eloise and I will give you a hand.”
Huge sigh. “Bottoms up! It has to be around here somewhere.”
Wonderful, wonderful! ::clapping:: Beautiful and entertaining, too. 🙂 Rhododendrons are among my must-have’s in any garden, made even more special to by the fact that they’re evergreen. Gorgeous colours.
Rhodies are not really the sole preserve of the Northwest at all – I used to grow them in Reno – on the Northern sides of houses in very rich acidic soils – and they did well.
But – to me – they represent the area as much as the Douglas Fir. It’s personal, and coincides with my own discoveries, but I really do feel this area is the bestest imagineable.
Steve, I agree. The bridge entry is stunning. The walkway just pulls you into the garden. How could any human resist?
The only rhodie I ever grew was a bright orange one that was supposed to like living here in the subtropics. I saw a half dozen flowers one weekend. And then it died. I guess it didn’t like being watered like the Mediterranean climate plants around it. You’d think it’d be grateful for getting to live where it doesn’t freeze much, but that’s plants for ya… They obviously like Portland. I can definitely hear you whooping it up from all the way down here.
Hell, I just got started, James. Yeeee Hawwww.
My Kentucky roots occasionally just get all anarchistic on me. I can’t help myself at those times.
Some stunning views there. Next time, we’ll make sure to include Oregon in our travel plans 😉
Hi Steve, how funny with the family antics. Love the names too. HA That J. maple is a beauty, the color is brilliant and the size, shape and siting are excellent. As for those rhodies, they are gaspingly beautiful. What a place.
Thanks, Annette and Frances. I am not done, either. Actually, the best rhodies I should be rolling out tomorrow.
The Rhododendron Garden in Portland is beautiful!