Rhododendrons: Coastal Spring Blooms

Redwood-adjacent blossoming follows an April bash in Fort Bragg.

THE REDWOODS... have several besties, from the fog (which provides the massive trees a lot of magnificent moisture) to a robust root system to, yes, the redwood-loving humans who advocate on their behemoth behalf. But, come May and early June up in the northerly reaches of California, another pal to the redwoods comes calling, or at least a picturesque neighbor that has long thrived in the area of the trees: rhododendrons. If you've spent some time hiking deep into the woods along some quiet, green trails around Redwood National Park, specifically over Memorial Day Weekend, or thereabouts, you might have come across the striking pink blooms.

THE SOFT, SUNSET-LIKE HUE... of the flowers complement the aforementioned green of a redwood-rich expanse, and the wild rhodies are just about the only thing that can draw the eye downward from those amazingly tall trees. And while fog and roots and other good things help the redwoods to grow strong, these flowers are a perfect, and all-too-brief, adornment to the ground where the giants grow. To find the floral fabulousness, the Rhododendron Trail at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is a solid path to take. As for show rhododendrons? Make for...

FORT BRAGG... for the 40th Annuel John Druecker Memorial Rhododendron Show at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. The 2017 dates are April 22 and 23, juuuust a pinch ahead of when the rhodies'll pop up, all wild-like, in certain redwood-laden areas. It's free to attend, and you'll surely leave with ideas on how do lavish your own at-home 'dendrons with oodles of affection, care, light, water, and love.

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