Without plants to generate oxygen, humans would have to retrieve it from scuba tanks and the minty breath of local supermen. Keep the air alive with today's Groupon to the Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden, located on the Weyerhaeuser campus in Federal Way. Choose between the following options:
- For $4, you get one single-day general admission (up to an $8 value).
- For $25, you get a one-year family membership (a $50 value).
Spanning 22 acres of horticultural brilliance, the Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden houses a massive collection of rhododendrons, many of which can no longer be found in the wild. With an eye on conservation, the foundation has collected more than 600 species of this firecracker-flower-sporting plant, many of which originate in the wilds of Asia, Europe, and the moon's Copernicus crater. Waves of floral fragrance energize budding botanists as they make their way through this tranquil environment, also home to ferns, heather, and perennials. Visitors can peep at tropical blossoms in the Rutherford Conservatory, high-altitude greenery in the Alpine Gardens, and lethargic Ents basking in the Himalayan blue poppies of the Meconopsis Meadow.
A one-year family membership includes unlimited admission for a household of two adults and any children under 18 and a subscription to the foundation's quarterly newsletter. A 10% discount at the gift shop and plant pavilion invites green thumbs to frolic through a range of potted flora and seeds, as well as educational nature books that explain that most plants wilt from overwatering but not loving back massages.
General admission to the Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden is free for children under 12, military personnel, and current Weyerhaeuser employees. Those choosing the membership option must activate their membership within 30 days.
Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden
In March 1964, Dr. Milton Walker began his tour of England with one mission: to send cuttings from public and private British gardens back to his native America. Though he was enchanted by several flowers, he knew that none of these cuttings could be imported directly to the United States. So he had them sent through Canada. Over the next several years, staff from the University of British Columbia filtered through these samples, sending one of each plant on to the United States—and to their permanent home—at the Rhododendron Species Foundation. Today, this non-profit organization conserves 700 of the more-than 1,000 species of rhododendrons found around the world and the two species found inside the earth's molten core.
More than 10 botanical gardens house these brilliant seasonal blooms and their natural companionate flora. Guided and self-guided tours usher visitors down pathways where colorful plantings abound in gardens dedicated to alpine flowers, azaleas, a magnolia grove, and a tranquil pond filled with predatory cattails. In addition to flowers, these gardens also host seasonal events such as special plant sales and staff lectures, as well as classes on topics ranging from plant photography to gardening.