We’ve all heard the old proverb “April showers bring May flowers”. Nowhere is that as true as the Pacific Northwest. Here on San Juan Island we often experience spring showers early in the season. This means our farmlands, rocky shores, grasslands and forests are full of native island flowers by early April.
Take a Tour Around the Island
A driving tour is one of the best ways to experience the diversity of San Juan Island. While staying at the Harrison House Suites, your innkeepers will gladly help you map a route!
Be sure to spend some time at American Camp National Historic Park where you’ll find Chocolate Lilies, Seashore Lupine, Buttercups, Purple Camas and more. The park even has a program underway to restore native wild island flowers to the area. Grab a Wildflower Guide at the visitor’s center located near the park entrance and parking area and hit the trail!
Just down the road from American Camp is Mt. Finlayson whose hiking trails veer through dense forest down to ocean lagoons and then up to the exposed grasslands that look out over South Beach and the Cattle Point Lighthouse. Here you’ll find Desert Parsley, multiple types of Brodiaea, Sheep Sorrel and Miner’s Lettuce.
Mt. Young (also known as Young Hill) and English Camp near San Juan Island’s northern side and closer to Roche Harbor Resort is another spot loaded with native wildflowers in the spring. You will find Purple Shooting Stars and Fawn Lilies scattered near the trail head. The trail leads from the visitors center at the heart of English Camp all the way to the top of Mt. Young. Once at the top, you’ll experience one of the most spectacular views on the entire island.
Island Flowers Galore!
Are you a flower lover? A spring trip to San Juan Island is not complete with a visit to the famous Roche Harbor Resort’s gardens. In the spring time, all of the resort is bursting with well-tended hanging baskets, huge planters overflowing with flowers and impeccable landscaping.
Roche Harbor’s formal rose garden and neighboring sunken garden is the icing on the (very floral) cake. A historic brick walkway divides the gardens. It lies underneath a large wooden trellis covered by century old Clematis vines. Trimmed hedges filled with colorful flowers border the more formal rose garden. Across from it lies the sunken garden with it’s variety of perennials, annuals and a stately old Maple tree. Hundreds of couples have been married under the canopy of the old Maple tree overlooking the marina in the sunken garden.
In late spring the town of Friday Harbor hangs it’s beloved flower baskets all along the main streets. Bursting with colorful flowers and draping greenery the hanging baskets have become a symbol that summer is on the way for locals and visitors enjoying the island.
Stay with us this Spring
Spring is a wonderful time to book a stay at the Harrison House Suites here on San Juan Island. Not only are the wildflowers in bloom, but our local Orca pods start making their way back. And many of the local businesses open their doors after a long, quiet winter. So, it’s time to reserve your cozy room at the Harrison House Suites and get ready for a gorgeous spring getaway!
The three photos with island flowers are from our very own gardens. Susan, our innkeeper, couldn’t help herself when she saw them blooming this April.