Shady Meadow Cottage

Federal Way Washington Botanical Gardens

I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but we had lived here for almost 13 years before we ever got around to visiting the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, WA. I’m glad we finally got around to going, it was amazing, although not what it is in the spring when the “Rhodys” are in bloom.

It is a 22-acre woodland botanical garden featuring one of the largest collections of rhododendrons and azaleas in the world. Flowers are white to soft pink and yellow to brilliant red and range from the 100-foot trees from the lower Himalayan Mountains to the ground hugging alpine species of China and Tibet. All this is set in a forest of conifers, deciduous trees, ferns, maples, heathers and perennials.




I’m not sure what I expected, but it surpassed my expectations and the “Rhodys” were just starting to bloom when we were there in early spring. As we walked the trails that intersperse the 22 acres, I felt like I was walking in a deep forest. The only thing that spoiled the feeling was the sound of freeway traffic, but not even that could spoil the mood.


The picture below doesn’t do the meadow justice. It was so pretty and if you look real close you can see a bench on the other side. I think this might become one of my favorite places to sit.


Do you have someplace close to home that you love to visit or that you have been wanting to visit for a long time?

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