"Everyone is excited about spring planting, says Susie Reynolds, Meerkerk's Nursery Manager. "We are already seeing visitors to the Gardens and Nursery asking rhodie questions and eagerly awaiting the sale weekend."

Susie has been busy all February prepping a new sales display area, installing a new tree bench in the retail nursery area, and potting up plants. This year Susie reports Frank Fujioka has once again provided Meerkerk with his gorgeous hybrids. "We are so fortunate to have Frank Fujioka as a Friend of Meerkerk, says Susie. "He provides the staff with 
his years of experience and bring his special rhodies to us to sell in the Annual Spring Sale."

This year, Friends of Meerkerk receive not only their 10% discount during the Sale weekend, but they will get "Early Bird" access to this year's crop of hybrids and species on Friday, March 17th from 3:00 to 5:00, 

Friends of Meerkerk members are encouraged to shop early and enjoy some wine and hors d'oeuvres while picking out some gorgeous new rhodie(s) for their gardens. "We wanted to thank our members this year with a special pre-sale event," says Susie.

The Meerkerk Board of Directors is increasing the organization's number of board seats from 9 to 11. "This is an exciting time at Meerkerk Gardens," says Don Lee, Board President. "We have a dynamic board and feel this is a great time for expanding and bringing in new board members".

If interested, please review the Board Job Description and send in your Meerkerk Board Application. The Governing Committee members will review all applications and speak with the board candidates in-depth about the short and long-term goals of the organization and time commitments required to serve on the board effectively. 
The Meerkerk Board meets monthly, the first Wednesday of each month, and the meeting generally runs two hours in length. "We have lots of great projects in progress at this time. New board members bring a fresh perspective, says Kathryn Hurtley, Executive Director.


March 11 - Native Plant Class - $10.00 Class Fee
Meerkerk Residence  10:00 am to Noon

Master Gardener Don Lee will share his knowledge of NW Native Plants and how to incorporate a wide variety into your garden.
Call 360 678.1912 to register

During the Peak Bloom season of Mid-March through May, Meerkerk Greeters help welcome visitors on Saturdays and Sundays.

Gatehouse Greeters volunteer 4 hours of their time, either mornings or afternoons and welcome visitors while answering general questions about the Meerkerk Gardens. 

"Peak Bloom is a great time to talk with our visitors. Visitors generally ask questions about rhodies and the history of the garden," says Board President, Don Lee. "Together with my wife, we have volunteered on Saturday afternoons in the Gatehouse during Peak Bloom for over a decade. We still enjoy meeting the visitors and introducing them to our peaceful woodland garden."

 If interested in helping, please contact our admin office at 360.678.1912.

While the daffodils and crocus are just emerging from the soil, the early rhodie bloomers are stealing the show with blooms of pink, purple, and ruffled whites in the display gardens. 

R. irroratum x 'Peter Faulk'

In the Nursery visitors will find a sweetly freckled cross - R. irroratum  (var. "spatter paint") X 'Peter Faulk'. This was hybridized by Allen Johnson, a well-known and successful Washington hybridizer. Allen Johnson hybridized well into his nineties and is known as one of the first to try the species R. pseudochrysantum as a parent to impart low, spreading stature and outstanding foliage to his hybrids. (Journal Am. Rhododendron Society, Spring 1997, Vol. 1, Number 2).

R. ririei

Along the Easy Walking Path the R. ririei is in full bloom with beautiful light purple blossoms. This is a tall tree and can be seen from the driveway just before the Nursery. This plant is from the Szechwan region in China (Mt. Omei). Ann Meerkerk loved this species of rhody and is the only one in the gardens.

R. elliottii

Just past the Entry Garden, in among the tall rhodies, make sure to look for two majestic rhodies. The deep red blossom of the R. elliottii and large pink blossoms of the R. arboreum roseum are sure to delight. Both were probably planted by Ann & Max Meerkerk. 

R. arboreum roseum

In the Entry Garden, a small R. moupinense has just about finished it's bloom. It's a beautiful white ruffled blossom with pink freckles. According to Greer's Guidebook, this rhodie has an added bonus of bright bronzy-red new growth, which gives a second display after the flowers are gone.

R. moupinense

If visitors turn right after exiting the Gatehouse, they'll find 'Christmas Cheer'. This is always a favorite in the Nursery. Susie says, "Customers can be added to the wait list for this beauty." This rhodie has tough, medium size leaves which densely dress the well-shaped plant. (Greer's Guidebook)

'Christmas Cheer' (caucasicum hybrid)

Early spring is full of surprises at Meerkerk. It's a great time to discover for yourself the early bloomers of Meerkerk.
" If people did not love one another. I really don't see what use 
there would be in  having any spring." 
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables