Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens was founded by Ann and Max Meerkerk in the early 1960’s. Enchanted by Whidbey Island, they began these Gardens with 13 acres.
The Meerkerks began hybridizing rhododendrons and collecting unique specimens of rhododendrons, flowering trees and conifers. They planted the first five acres, known as the “Secret Garden” as a miniature arboretum.
Before Ann passed away in 1979, she bequeathed the Gardens to the Seattle Rhododendron Society to care for as a “peaceful woodland garden with an emphasis on rhododendrons and companion plants.”
Today Meerkerk Rhododendron Gardens is an independent not-for-profit organization open to the public. Fifty three acres of inspirational woodland gardens and a forest preserve offer over 5 miles of trails to breathe in the serene beauty and nature here.
We were so fortunate to be on Whidbey Island during the gardens peek blooming season. The day after the wedding we enjoyed a drive up the island to this garden and to another garden center plus some antique shops and we had some good eats, too.
Whidbey Island is a lovely getaway island in the Great Northwest. I hope you all have a chance to visit! Happy May everyone!