Preserving the History of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle, Washington

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Friday, January 29, 2010

In Bloom: Smelling and Looking Good

Can You Smell the Chocolate....or is it Vanilla?

This week we are still experiencing a warming trend and even a bit of sunshine as this article is composed.

All the plants mentioned in the last garden update are still blooming, but this week you can almost snack your way through the garden. You will have to use your imagination, but read on to understand what we mean.

Camellias at entrance -- help us identify the type!

As you come into the garden at the entrance on the left you can see the red flowers of one of the many Camellias that grow through out the garden. We are not sure the specific name of this Camellia – and we welcome any leads (comment on this post if you have ideas!).

Camellia x williamsii 'Bow Bells'

At the Visitor Center entrance the Camellia x williamsiiBow Bells’ is in full bloom. The single rose pink flowers stand out against the dark green foliage.

Across the main lawn you will be able to see one of the first Rhododendrons blooming.

Rhododendron 'Rosamundi'

Light pink flowers cover Rhododendron ‘Rosamuni’.

Daphne mezereum

Further along the promenade on the right side at the pathway to the band stage the two Daphne mezereum (February Daphne) are blooming with white and purple flowers. This plant is deciduous so look for small flowers on branches of the small shrubs.

Daphne odora 'Marginata'

The evergreen Daphne odora ‘Marginata’ (Winter Daphne) at the pathway should have open flowers by the weekend if the warm temperatures continue. There will be a sweet scent on the air when that happens.

Helleborus orientalis

So you may be ready for your snack by the time you get to the Fuchsia bed where you will see Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose) blooming. (You are in front of the Administration building).

Azara microphylla

Back up a bit and wander a few meters east towards the machine shop to the Azara microphylla and look at the under side of the branches. Under the very small evergreen leaves you will find tiny yellow flowers that have been opening up all week. This is where your nose will smell a different kind of sweet scent on the air.

Each person has their own interpretation on the scent, but most often the survey says it is chocolate or vanilla. If you missed the Camellia reticulata on your last visit you should see it now – the entire bush is covered in big showy pink flowers. Can you find? (Check out the previous garden article for the location.)

Camellia japonica 'Magnioliaflora'

Walk around the east end of the rose garden and follow the front edge of the warehouse toward the lock wall at the end of that planting bed is the Viburnum x bodnantense we featured in the last post--right across from that you will find the Camellia japonica ‘Magnoliaflora’ blooming. It has semi double blush pink flowers and is often referred to as Peach Blossom Camellia.

As you work your way back towards the promenade you can glance out over the lawn and see that the Cherry trees are starting to bloom.

Enjoy your visit.


  1. Awesome pictures! I wish I was could drop by for a visit. ;-)

  2. Absolutly agree with Roving Historian, beautiful pictures :)

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  3. A considerable lot of us adore the smell of blossoms and when we buy our own particular blooms, we do as such in light of the fact that we appreciate the smell. This is the way scent designers lure us to purchase their specific aromas; by utilizing the blossom smells we adore the most.


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