Even the walkway from the parking lot to the entrance is interesting and lined with cool moss-covered plantings.
I headed first to the conservatory -- it's on the way to the stumpery, so I slipped inside.
Don't ask me what anything is, I haven't a clue, but it smelled delicious.
|I've seen this strange spider-like plant before, it always intrigues me|
Back outside now.
|Fothergilla, I think|
|The floor looks at first to be carpeted with cardboard or brown paper, but it's actually the very large decaying leaves of Magnolia hypoleuca|
|Some of the Rhodies have a wonderful cinnamon-brown fuzzy indumentum|
|Unfurling ferns were everywhere|
|What's around the corner?|
|Rhododendron 'Bodnant Yellow'|
|A large swath of Pdophyllum pleianthum with enormous leaves|
|Huge stand of ostrich ferns|
|A Cardiocrinum/giant Himalayan lily that is getting ready to bloom this year|
|They've left stalks on some that bloomed last year -- the basal leaf growth is from pups that last year's plant has produced|
|The seedpods are like little toothy mouths|
|I spy the pond through the trees, but by now I'm near the stumpery, so I'm not tempted|
|The entrance to the stumpery|
The Victorian fern stumpery at the RSBG is the largest public stumpery of its kind in the world, containing 140 stumps and logs in about a 1/2 acre. You can read more about it here.
It's my favorite place in the garden, it has a mystical atmosphere I've never found anywhere else. There's something delightfully mysterious about the twisty, plant- and moss-covered stumps and roots and branches. It brings to my mind my first visit to Washington state when I saw for the first time what a clear-cut logged piece of land looked like. It was kind of horrifying. This is like that, with that touch of horror, but muted by the fact that it's all covered in beautiful plants and moss.
I made my way back more or less the way I came in. I haven't shown half the garden, of course, in this post. There are areas I know I've never seen. I really should go back some day and use the map to cover every twisty path.
The RSGB is a wonderful garden. You should visit if you're in Federal Way. Check out their website here.
For pictures of the RSBG in much wetter weather:
Danger Garden: The Stumpery in early spring
The RSBG in early spring