Friday, April 16, 2010

Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way

Today is one of those days where the weather is fine and I am able to put off work for a day to take a bit of a mental health break. So I decided to drive a short way to Federal Way to visit the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden. I've heard good things about it, and I love visiting gardens. So I took a couple hours out of my afternoon to go.

It's definitely worth a visit. It's a very peaceful and calming place, especially if you can tune out the sounds from the nearby freeway. And speaking of the nearby freeway - the gardens are also very accessible. They're right off SR 18 on the campus of the Weyerhaeuser headquarters. Follow the signs to the gardens. It's a short walk on a foot path from the parking lot to the main entrance.

Not all the rhodies were in bloom, but many were. And the garden isn't just rhodies either. You can find all sorts of flowers, plants, shrubs and trees here. And there are different gardens: rock garden, stump garden, woodland garden, meadow garden, fern garden, pond garden. There are benches available at every garden, so find the one you like, sit, and find your moment of zen. Or several moments. I didn't do that, but I walked around and snapped a lot of photos.

I personally enjoyed the contrasts of shadows and light in various parts of the gardens. And it was quite easy to walk around for awhile without seeing another person. Of course, it is a weekday. The weekend might be a little busier. When you're done meandering, stop in to the gift shop. They have some beautiful things at good prices.

For more information, visit their official website.

For pictures, click here.

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