Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

I’m addicted.  I freely admit it.  Not only were Rhododendrons instrumental in my beginnings as a landscaper, they still fascinate me in ways no other plants can.  And I know exactly why.  How many plants do we know of which bloom like this?  In such mad colors?  And with blooms so ridiculously big?

The pictures all enlarge on clicking them.  If you want a real surprise, click them twice. 😉

A friend and I took a trip to one of those features of the North West which are absurdly common here.  I am hardly the first huge Rhodie aficionado, but those before me have so wonderfully put their money where their garden interests were, it is occasionally mind-boggling. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens fulfill that role amazingly well.  Hard by Reed College in Southeast Portland, this little treasure trove borders a golf course on one side and unveils an absolutely stupendous Spring event every year.  Fortunately, I was able to catch some of that today. Don’t be afraid to click these pictures twice.  I decided to keep the large scale picture size so that by clicking once, it gives a nice rendition of what it looks like, standing near, but if you open it by clicking again, you can get some amazing detail out of these blooms and plants.

There is more to see as well in this cool park.  Here are two “non-rhododendron-related pictures of the park itself and it’s cute and very naturalistic waterfalls, followed by a view across a small lake onto the adjoining golf course.  The lake there has eaten a couple of my very own golf balls, for those who wonder.

Absolutely gorgeous park, right in the middle of a major American city, it is one of the things I love most about Portland and always have.  These little hidden pockets of natural bliss are everywhere.  And I use the term “little”, advisedly.  Obviously, lol.  Anyway, I’ll close with another small display, this time of a group of Mollis Azalea’s.  Tomorrow, I will complete the journey through this killer little park.

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