Blue poppies return to Federal Way with art, food and live music

Rare Himalayan flowers, local artists’ market, savory eats, live classical performances and more at Federal Way’s Rhody Garden Saturday, May 20.

Blue poppies are popping up everywhere at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 20.

Festival attendees will once again celebrate the mystical Himalayan ‘Meconopsis’ as they walk through an azure meadow glowing with these blooming beauties — or stroll along the ADA-accessible path through the blue poppy glade.

A live musical performance will delight and entertain guests as they shop for art and dine on savory meals, all while nestled in a vibrant flora-filled forest.

Rhody Garden Executive Director Steve Hootman said it is, “One of the finest displays of blue poppies, if not the best, that you will see anywhere in the lower 48.”

The blue poppy meadows, wedged in a forest of native trees and plants, alongside stunning botanicals, provide an awe-inspiring view for visitors of all ages. The onsite nursery will be stocked with blue poppies for sale to enjoy long after you’ve left the garden.

“It was a wonderful experience to see blue poppies at the Rhody Garden. It was my first time seeing them in person and I nearly lost my mind,” said Fatima Dietrich.

Musical performances include Federal Way Youth Symphony Orchestra, harpist Susan McLain and classic guitarist Elizabeth CD Brown.

The outdoor art market features nature-themed fine art, watercolors, ceramics, and apparel from all over the region. Hungry visitors will have their choice of exotic and traditional cuisine and enjoy a unique dining experience surrounded by flowers bursting in vivid color.

This year only, guests to the garden will receive a free day pass, with the price of admission, to use on their next visit.

The Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden is at 2525 S. 336th St. in Federal Way. For more information, visit