Looking for answers to life's questions

When I moved into my house last year it was the end of June and I had a lot to do. My back yard was starting to bloom and overrun with weeds but I had no idea what anything was out there and not much time to find out. We had a garden in California, much different from here in the Pacific Northwest and very little grew at our home in the mountains of Arizona. Our seasons on the mountain were snow, wind, fire and rain.

Mine bloomed just before the visit to the gardens

Mine bloomed just before the visit to the gardens

Can you see the big fat bumble bee in this one. It boomed after my trip. Who knew they could be so pretty.

Can you see the big fat bumble bee in this one. It boomed after my trip. Who knew they could be so pretty.

There were 4 or 5 bushes that did not that had no appeal for me. Turns out they were rhododendrons and peonies and they must have bloomed before I moved in. This year they finally bloomed so I could see what they looked like. Just in time, at least for a couple of them, for my field trip to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens.

 

In all the years I have come up to visit my sister, who incidentally lived within a couple of miles of this place, I had not known it was there. Thank goodness for our wonderful Senior Center. It was fun this way as we had a tour guide with a lovely German accent. She was 82 and a volunteer at the garden. She walked that entire garden with us and there was a LOT of walking.

All the gardeners are volunteers as well. According to Wikipedia, so I don’t get my facts incorrect:

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens are botanical gardens located between Reed College and the Eastmoreland Golf Course in southeastern Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon. The gardens, at Southeast 28th Avenue and Woodstock Boulevard, cover 9.49 acres (3.84 ha), and are named for Crystal Springs Creek, which flows along its western side. Crystal Springs Gardens feature more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and other plants in a setting of small lakes, paved and unpaved paths, fountains, and small waterfalls.[1]

In addition to the manicured areas that make up most of the gardens, patches of less orderly shrubs, upland forest, marsh vegetation, and submerged logs attract wildlife, especially waterfowl, most prevalent in winter. The Rhododendron Society has counted 94 species in the garden, including grebes, herons, ducks, Canada geese, wigeons, gulls, thrushes, nuthatches, hummingbirds, and others.[2]

 

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In addition to the lovely walk through the gardens, we stopped for lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. I had a nice salad and then we were sent to wander the streets of nearby Sellwood in search of antique shops. Me, I found the craft store instead. Oh dear.

One last view of the water for that peaceful feel. Come for another visit anytime.

One last view of the water for that peaceful feel. Come for another visit anytime.

Do you have Rhodri’s in your garden and what’s your favorite of the colors? Have you taken any fun field trips lately?

“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.”
Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden

From my heart to yours,
Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of a Rhodi" (38)

  1. You continue to impress with all the amazing places to visit there. Oh how I wish I could relocate to your neck of the woods.

    How nice to hear a German accent on your tour, must have felt like home. I don’t have any rhododendrons on my property but there are plenty around town. Growing up we had one on the corner of our home that grew to a lovely size and brought a bright spot of color to that corner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by Lois. I was astounded by the fact those bushes could become trees. Mine have been in the ground from the first owner who was here 10 years. They are small and don’t look all that well. It’s the clay they are growing in and I’m giving them coffee grounds when I have them. The azalea needs them too. Too bad they only bloom once. Like I’ve said, I’ve lived all over the world and all over the country, This is the spot I would choose and it’s perfect for me. I may start complaining about noon when the temps go up though. 🙂

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  2. Your blog name says it all! You are a searcher, and you find: a beautiful garden and a craft shop, the best driver and a brave volunteer in this case.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m that nosy little girl with a thousand questions. Why, what, when and how. I want to understand life and look for all the answers to it. The craft shop of course netted 3 craft books. If there is a book within any proximity to me, it follows me home. Just my luck. I won’t ride with many people. Most pay little mind to their driving. This man did an excellent job. Hope you have a terrific week ahead. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. I am happy to hear you are tripping out and about and having a good old time of it Marlene! I love to visit our local Botanic Garden which has an annual Rhododendron Festival and admire the flowers and trees at their best and am always glad it is not me who has to put all the time and effort into their care! Peonies are my favourite flower and I have a big bushy collection of them in my curbside garden. The flowers are brief, they come just before Christmas for us, and so beautiful!!

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    • Thanks for stopping by Pauline. I was unfamiliar with Rhododendrons so this was quite educational for me. I missed getting photos of the Peonies as I was raining hard every day they were bloomed out. Maybe next year. I have never been so busy, or so it seems. Hope you are doing well. Miss hearing from you.

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  4. What a wonderful place to enjoy with your sister and friends, Marlene. All of the flowers are just beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

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    • Thanks, Jill. It was a perfect day and just perfect timing. They only bloom once and we were able to see it. I didn’t know there were so many colors of rhododendrons. Have a great weekend.

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  5. Well of course you found the craft store! 😄 Sounds like a marvelous trip. Although I have checked out my local Senior Center I haven’t had the time to get down there and get involved yet. Anxious to get going with that. Love the flowers. I’m so bad about knowing their names but hopefully I’m going to spend more time in the garden learning.

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    • Thanks for stopping by Jan. I have enough antiques as it is, starting with me. I’m not really involved with the senior center, just take the trips with them. My neighbor has macular degeneration so it helps for her to have someone with her. We joke that it’s the blind leading the blind. I know so little about the names as well. But what a fun way to learn. 🙂

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      • And always more fun when you have a sidekick! I would hardly consort you an antique but I know what you mean. I feel like one too….not just for the physical aspects but I sometimes wonder about this world I am now a part of.

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  6. Hey Marlene, was the craft store Collage? If it wasn’t, you need to check it out … lots of fun stuff.

    The Rhodies here in Central Oregon are just starting to bloom. Our house in Eugene has several in the back yard. While I enjoy a variety of colors, my favorite would be a white one with purple-y grape stamens. You are certainly having a blast!

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    • Hi, Missy. Yes, it was Collage!! Our bus parked right in front of it. That was bad news for me. I spent most of my time in there. I just don’t need or have room for antiques any more. I’m paring down so I avoid looking. I didn’t know anything about rhodi’s and had no idea they came in so many varieties and colors.

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  7. Sounds like a lovely afternoon 🙂

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  8. Well! Now if I had caught up on my reading BEFORE I posted, then I would have had the answers to my questions. German! Not Russian. 🙂

    How lovely it would have been to bump into you at the Rhododendron garden. It just tickles me that we visited at nearly the same time. Fancy that I didn’t even know this garden existed until last week, and now both of us have visited.

    I am glad that you posted photos of scenes I did not get, and that way our friends can see even more of it, and we can view each others’ photos, and say “Oh! That’s right, I saw that too.”

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    • I was so tickled when I saw you had been to the garden right behind me. I didn’t know it existed and my sister used to live in the neighborhood, well not the ritzy part. We probably drove by there a hundred times and no mention of it. I asked about the accent and she didn’t want to say but heard her mention to someone else about the education she got in Germany. Think there may be a lot of blending in that family. A lot of Polish in Germany too. We didn’t get rain that day, just clouds. I thought it was breathtaking. Have a great day off,. Hugs.

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  9. Rhododendrons are big in my neck of the woods and the Blue Ridge Parkway is one long rhodie highway.
    I had 3 HUGE bushes in front of my house that had to come down with a big old oak (which broke my heart to take down but it was threatening to fall on my home). I’ll be replanting rhodies soon!
    Glad you enjoyed your field trip!

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, I understand about having to take trees down. We took a eucalyptus down once but it was leaning into the neighbors yard and I knew they were the suing type. Once it was down we kept hearing a buzzing from the logs. Turns out there were finger sized worms eating it from the inside out. It was dying and we didn’t know it. I usually replant 2 more for each I take out. Makes me feel better. 🙂 It was a wonderful trip and very educational.

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  10. How gorgeous! Unfortunately they don’t do as well in our climate. And your senior center completely rocks, you go on the best adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have access to several senior centers here in my county. They each have something special to offer and once I’m finally settled into my home completely, I’ll be taking more advantage of them. I have another adventure coming up soon. 🙂

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  11. I loved your post on Rhodies. We have a beautiful rhododendron garden here in Sandwich on Cape Cod with beautiful, very old and large rhododendron bushes that are more like trees. They are exquisite! Yours sound amazing too! And your field trip sounds delightful. That will keep you young!

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    • Thanks for stopping by Betsy. I think they will keep me young too. 🙂 I had no idea Rhodies could get so big or come in so many colors. Learning everyday is what keeps us young. That’s my aim, to learn something new each day. I’m so glad I figured out why your posts weren’t coming to my e-mail. Another lesson for this old lady. :))))

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  12. Marlene, that is beautiful! And what a nice place to spend an afternoon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for stopping by. It was a lovely place and I’ll go back again as soon as possible. It was nice that the senior center introduced us.

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  13. Knockitty knock knock. Swinging by with a cheery “Hi” or maybe a wide eye “My oh my!” LOL. that’s all I got 😀 (I’ll work on that).

    I read your post last night but came again to relish all the charm of your tour and leave a message. You’re a little social butterfly Marlene-a-go-go, and I *love* it. I’ve always admired the beauty of Rhododendron’s but unfortunately it’s too cold here in the winter for them to survive. Basically, a plant has to survive -35 C, which is kind of limiting. There’s a variety of Azaela that’s called ‘Northern Lights’ that’s suppose to come back, but I never see it in the garden centres, so I doubt it. I know Alys has had tribulations with her’s, some kind of nasty scale…it’s really icky.

    I loved your slideshow, each photo more gobsmacking than the next. Gorgeous and meticulously manicured. I love watching the ducks, they’re young ones are so darn cute. I love their little quacks so much more than the Canada Geese intrusive *hoooonks*. They abviously missed the memo that explained how polite Canadians are, HA.

    I love your hat Marlene, you’re the cutest one out of the usual suspects or as you comically introduced them as ‘The whole motley crew’ ha!

    I’m glad you’re having fun! Love and hugs, K

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, you are on a catch-up bender. I did that till this weekend. Now I’m behind again. And I need to be outside. I have more adventures coming to post on. Just need more hours in the day, Say at least 48. You Canadians are really THE most polite of anywhere.:)) My daughter keeps saying I’m “CUTE”. Is that very respectful??? She’s 5’7″ and both kids tower over me. I love Canadian Geese. We get them in fields and on the roads here during their travels. Everyone here stops for them, even if they are on the highway. We love our nature here. Thanks for reading so many at once. I have been a very busy girl. It’s the Virgo in my. Have a wonderful week and play nice with the other children. Hugs. 🙂

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  14. I have challenged you to a 3 quotes in 3 days challenge. Please don’t accept if you don’t want to or don’t have the time. It can be carried out at any point.

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  15. What lovely pictures! And yes, garden work is just fun, hard work but fun. Thanks for sharing.

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  16. Rhoddodendruns grow in profusion here in the UK at this time of year Marlene, and look so beautiful. I don’t have any in my garden though, but my mother does. They don’t look like much though do they until they bloom? And then they are just stunning. So glad you got to see yours bloom and what a beautiful park too. Love the ducklings 🙂

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  17. Thank you, and yes I have two Rhododendrons in my garden A deep-pink like in your first photo on my front garden and a pale almost white one on my back garden… Love them.. And your post.
    Sue x

    Liked by 1 person

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