Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Shhh…I have top secret information. This garden charges admission, and it is totally worth it, but still…I hate paying for stuff! I am definitely a tightwad, a skinflint, cheap, whatever…I’m just not into paying. So, I visit early in the morning, before the volunteer desk jockey has arrived.

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The photos in this post date April 15, 2013. The cherry blossoms are in full effect, but the rhododendrons were just starting to bloom. They usually culminate in an awesome display sometime around Mother’s Day.

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A secret garden for everyone. My daughters share beautifully manicured paths with ducks and geese, while artfully darting between the slow shuffles of elderly visitors. Sometimes we stop at a bench and watch the golfers at the Eastmoreland golf course on the other side of the small lake. They are usually labeled as a fruit that corresponds to the color of their shirt. Like the man throwing a tantrum is dubbed the blueberry. Or the red-shirted guy holding the flag will be known as the tomato. From our vantage point, it seems those golfers are almost always in a foul mood.Image

The paths wind through several cleverly curated scenes. A meadow lies near the center which hosts several summer weddings. Quite a few ducks and geese make use of it during the off hours. I’d advise stepping around it, rather than tip-toeing through it. In early June we snuck in with homemade cinnamon rolls for an early morning picnic. It was a pretty scary scene. All the goslings and ducklings have grown into the equivalent of brazen teenagers. We ended up running for our lives as flocks of molting birds chased us through the labyrinth of twisting branches. Be careful!

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In case, you do miss your window and the man with a white beard is asking for money to enter, simply cross the street and visit Reed College Canyon. There aren’t many rhododendrons to admire, but there are ducks, sometimes beavers, and often herons. See post: Tramping Through the Reed Canyon

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