Rhodos All Around

October 13, 2008 at 8:00 am 3 comments

Walking on an old road in Clay County, I managed to baffle a former MENSA member with a simple question.

“Would it surprise you if I told you my favorite tree was not the American Chestnut?”

And for a brief moment, I was accompanied by a silent and perplexed Ryan Somma. He finally answered, “Uh… yeah!”

The truth of the matter is I really don’t know what my favorite tree is (Good thing that wasn’t on the Mosaic Meme). There are so many species that are sentimental to me, it is challenging to pick a clear-cut favorite. Of course, I’m increasingly passionate about the American Chestnut and its restoration efforts. But at the same time, Sycamores remind me of my Grandmother. Black Locusts remind me of my childhood. Tulip Poplars make me think of my sister. I have suddenly developed a distinct fondness for the Pawpaw just in this past week! 🙂 The Keffer Oak entices me to visit repeatedly and I ever so covet getting to see a real live Virginia Round Leaf Birch.

But if there is one contender that sticks out above them all…. it would be West Virginia’s State Flower, the rhododendron.

Rhododendrons are so ingrained with my Appalachian Trail experiences (and year round– they are an evergreen!) that now the sight of them is synonymous with happy hiking memories. They make me think of the beauty and the freedom and the fulfillment that comes from a day in the mountains. Rhododendrons feel like home to me.

And so, when we were at The Greenbrier, I was excited to see a painting that featured rhododendrons.

A rhododendron painting!

And then I was excited to see there was a cafe named after the tree.

Rhododendron Cafe?!?

But little did I know there was more to come! The interior design of the entire spa was based on the rhododendron. They had rhododendron murals, rhododendron wallpaper, rhododendron curtains, rhododendron tile work. They even had a rhododendron themed laundry hamper!


Wallpaper and Curtains


More Paintings


Laundry Hamper

I may have stunned Ryan Somma the day before with my favorite tree confession, but at The Greenbrier Spa, it was he who took my words away.

He pointed out a spot where you could see rhododendron wallpaper, rhododendron curtains and real live rhododendrons growing outside a window!

Rhodos, rhodos, and real live rhodos!

How cool is that?

More pictures from The Greenbrier and all of their rhododendrons decor can be found on my Flickr site.

Entry filed under: Rhododendron, Ryan Somma, Sycamore, Travel, Tulip Poplar, Virginia Round Leaf Birch, West Virginia.

The Greenbrier Cavity Filling

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