The garden covers about seven acres and varies between woodland shade and more open areas. We are on a hillside, so some terrain is steep and a bit uneven; sturdy shoes are a must. For those not quite up to the hillside, our gravel driveway makes a nice loop through a part of the garden with minimal stress. Since the garden started in 1976, we now have some mature specimens of both species and hybrid rhododendrons. Come see what your rhodies might look like in 40 years!
We consider Chimacum Woods to be a “working” garden. It is mostly inhabited by species rhodies grown under varying conditions in order to determine what they like best – more sun, more shade, more wet, more dry and the like. We use mini-maxi thermometers throughout the garden to monitor the high and low temps during the seasons. We also use the garden to produce seeds by carefully hand pollinating a species in bloom with pollen from another version of the same species. Often the parents are sister seedlings of collected in the wild selections. Having grown species from wild collected seed for over 40 years, we will also be growing selected clones from cuttings.
While we enjoy the blooms on our rhodies, we are more interested in how they behave as plants. Species rhododendrons feature distinctive and unique foliage and growth habits that are interesting year round. We try to design the garden to maximize those features. Our bloom season begins late January and ends in September. The height of the blooming season usually occurs mid-April to the beginning of May. The height of the new growth season, which is more exciting than the blooming season, usually occurs from mid-May to mid-June. We think the garden is interesting any time of the year
You are welcome to visit the garden, either on our open days or by calling to arrange a time that is convenient for all. We love visitors as long as you call first – 206 383-2713.