The week before last I was reminded there is a rhododendron garden here by following PDX Pipeline on twitter (& more specifically on instagram.) As soon as I saw their pictures I realized that the rhododendrons would be in bloom and peaking soon. I had definitely noticed they were peaking around town. A little internet research proved that was correct, Mother's Day weekend is a big weekend for the rhododendron Garden. They have a plant sale, prize winning rhododendrons on display, and most of the park was in bloom.
They come in all colors and sizes. I certainly don't remember all the names, but a few, like the Blue Peter Rhododendron, Lem's Cameo, and Double Date stood out. The labels at the plant show helped a lot, but it might to take me a few more visits to put all the names with faces. We were amused that several of the rhodies were displayed in beer bottles.
There's also a lot of water in the garden, attracting various kinds of water foul. I was really excited to see wood duck for the first time. We even got to see a whole family, although the mother was quick and busy, with her ducklings struggling to keep up. Informational signs also indicated the bufflehead is a regular. It's an interesting bird that I'd really like to see sometime. Of course there were geese all over. They didn't seem to be too bothered by people, although I did elicit a lazy hiss from one by just walking past its resting spot. Oh, and a couple of sleeping ducks who were very cute. They'd drift apart and then wake up just to paddle closer together, then go back to sleep until they drifted apart again.
The park has a few other interesting plants other than Rhododendrons and I'm sure it would be a very nice place for a visit at almost any time of year. I was particularly taken by the dove tree. At first glance I thought it just had the occasional lightly colored leaf, which looked strange enough, but I quickly realized there were strangely shaped white flowers. There were a few other flowers that I have yet to identify, but they were all very pretty. And there were ferns throughout the garden, including a few growing through a wall by the water.
It's a very pretty garden, and there should still be plenty of blooms for the next few weeks. It's worth the visit regardless, and only costs $3/person. We also did a little bit of exploring on the Reed College campus nearby. Very pretty, but I didn't get to take any pictures because I'd filled my camera with Rhododendrons, and forgotten to bring a back up SD card. I guess that's just a reason to go back sometime soon.