Oregon: Rhododendron Paradise

It was on a day like today—sunny and the perfect temperature—that I visited the Smith Garden as part of the American Rhododendron Society (ARS) Annual International Convention. Hidden away in St. Paul, it’s a rhododendron and azalea wonderland in a woodland setting now owned by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society (ARS) and jointly cared for by the Portland, Willamette and Tualatin Valley ARS Chapters. I love (LOVE!) woodland settings so I was as interested in the other woodland plants as I was the species and hybrid rhododendrons. In fact, I found a woodland groundcover anemone I’d like to introduce to my own garden.

The air was scented by the huge blossoms covering the towering Rhododendron loderi ‘King George.’ It made me think that I should plant the tall evergreen shrub to shelter my woodland garden instead of another tree.

And then there was the delicate flower and pink-almost-white coloration of ‘Snow Queen’ azalea as I exited the garden.

On the same day, we also visited the Cavender Garden, a private garden near Sherwood, with its more than 600 rhododendrons and azaleas. I loved the rhododendron with its bronzey new leaves and pink flowers. I didn’t capture the name of it, so if any readers know the name, please let us know.