You don’t have to be an avid gardener or a fan of perennials to enjoy the vivid colors of blooming rhododendrons and azaleas so prevalent on the coast this time of year. We certainly love them and hope you enjoy the many examples around our grounds!
The Pacific Rhododendron is also known as the Coast Rhododendron, so their bright globes of color are an important part of the Oregon coastal scenery from late April into early June. You’ll recognize their five-lobed blooms that often form clusters as large as plates and their glossy, oblong green leaves.
As part of the rhododendron family, azaleas favor similar growing conditions and bloom around the same time. Although azaleas display smaller blooms and leaves compared to rhododendrons, they are equally eye-catching.
Rhododendrons can grow as tall as 24 feet, especially in the shade where they enjoy the protection of much taller deciduous and fir trees. As you trek along our nearby coastal trails, look for rhododendrons in the wild. There is nothing quite like stumbling upon a blooming beauty in the midst of the forest’s quiet.
Nearby Gerdemann Botanic Preserve
A private garden delight truly worth the visit is located just north of The Fireside Motel. The Gerdemann Botanic Preserve includes a public footpath that is open from dawn until dusk, daily. The path wends through a stunning collection of rhododendrons – some of them very fragrant – among many uncommon exotic plants, native wildflowers, amphibians, fungi and old-growth spruce trees. The property’s original owners, Jim and Janice Gerdemann, collected many of the specimens from around the world.
To get to the public footpath, travel north from The Fireside on Highway 101 and park in the Earthworks Gallery parking lot, 2222 Hwy 101 N, Yachats. The footpath begins behind the gallery. Visitors may also make an appointment to explore the 3.5-acre preserve.