Friday, October 22, 2021

Ferns! At the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden

As much as I enjoy walking the entire Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, the highlight for me is the Victorian Fern Stumpery. My previous visits  have occurred in November and February, when this section of the garden probably wasn't at it's peak. This year's early September visit was a treat...

During my last visit (February of 2020) their Dicksonia antarctica was wrapped up for winter. It's nice to see it looking all gorgeously prehistoric with it's trunk showing.

I didn't get the name of this large leaved rhododendron but included it to show what a great pairing it makes with the nearby ferns.

Stumps with moss and ferns, what's not to love?

Arisaema foliage I believe?

Cyrtomium falcatum, aka Japanese holly fern

A cute little saxifraga...

More Cyrtomium falcatum with Woodwardia unigemmata (I think?).

Looking ahead...

Of course it's all about the small details and so I had to lean in to see what was going on here.

And that's when I got a re-education about Saxifraga stolonifera ‘Maroon Beauty’...

Because how cute is it tucked in with that moss? Am I right? I could not wait to buy this plant I'd formerly dismissed!

I still don't know what this one is. It looks a little like a phlebodium but I just don't know...

This however, Dryopteris sieboldii.

And a bit of Pyrrosia sheareri unassumingly tucked in.

Maybe this is a better angle. You know I wanted to cut that yellow frond in the above photo.

I know those of you who do not live in Western Washington or Oregon probably think this is what our gardens look like year-round. 

That is not the case. Most of the Western Pacific Northwest is golden and parched by the time early September rolls around, especially this year with a very dry spring, a record setting hot June and a dry and very warm July and August. I really would love to learn about the irrigation schedule here at the garden, it must be pretty extreme to keep all these beauties alive and looking so lush.

I really should remember the name of this yellow bloomer, darn it! **update: Kirengeshoma palmata, thanks luv2garden**

That's it again in the upper right hand corner of this photo, but the signage is referring to the small round-leaved groundcover directly below it, it's a good one.

Blechnum penna-marina/Austroblechnum penna-marina

Oh to have a flat, tall stump to plant up for vertical interest.

I spy a pyrrosia!

More lushness for your enjoyment...

Handbag for scale? No, I just wasn't paying attention.
Asarum maximum 'Ling Ling'

The sensitive fern, aka Onoclea sensibilis.

And finally, more of my latest obsession, Saxifraga stolonifera ‘Maroon Beauty’. If you're a fan of the fern, I suggest joining the Hardy Fern Foundation, Benefits of membership include: "quarterly newsletter,  free year-round admission to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, access to our spore exchange, the fall fern sale, special events, and more!"

This concludes the extended coverage of my September 2021 visit to the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden. The previous posts can be found here: haul, Part One, Part Two, Part Three
—   —   —

All material © 2009-2021 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Gorgeous. So West Coast. It brings back lots of memories rambling through the woodlands around my grandparents Vancouver Island property. I think the yellow flowered plant is Kirengoshoma palmata or koreana (Korean waxbells)

    1. Thank you for the name, I was able to update the post to include it.

  2. Too gorgeous! With all that moss, is it just a more moist location rather than supplemental watering? Even the Hosta looked perfect.

    1. Not a moist location as far as water falling from the sky. It's right off I-5 between Tacoma and Seattle, summer dry. There are a couple of small lakes/ponds nearby, so perhaps the under ground water table is high? But even suggesting that I'm veering in to territory I have no knowledge of...

  3. It's a magical space. It's wonderful when seeing something in a different context completely changes your mind about a plant as was the case with your sighting of the Saxifraga. I love that Arisaema foliage.

    1. Agreed! Of course I now want to find a nice mossy log to plant that saxifraga in.

  4. I believe the large leaf Rhododendron in the 3rd photo down might possibly be R. rex fictolacteum? It's a fave.

    1. Looks like you might be right, what a beauty! (and thanks)

  5. Oh my gosh...heaven! One of my most favorite spots on earth. Thanks for adding such lushness to my day! Oh and I have lots of that saxifraga I can share with you.

    1. You are very welcome, and I would love some more of that saxifraga! I bought two plants at Joy Creek but I'd love a couple more.

  6. The stumpey is my favorite part of the garden as well, it is quiet and majestic. So quiet in fact, that when I heard a rustle behind me I turned around quick enough to see a hawk taking flight, not 10 feet away, with pray in his talons. It shortly disappeared in the canopy and was gone.
    I couldn't possibly pick a favorite photo today, they are all pure joy.

    1. Wow... how lucky are you!? Thanks for sharing that.

  7. This is the stuff woodland dreams are made of. What an inspiration. Thank you for the tour, and I'm glad that two of those saxifrages made their way into your heart. And garden.

    1. Have you been to the RSBG? If not you need to go!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!