International Rose Test Garden, Portland, OregonGARDENS & PARKS, STAFF, USA MAINLAND — By Valeka Cruz on October 26, 2012 at 01:26
By staff writer Valeka Cruz. Photos Copyright © Valeka Cruz.
I HAD HEARD from friends and family that the International Rose Test Garden was a beautiful place that I should visit during my recent trip to Portland, Oregon. The word beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe this haven. From the moment I set foot in the garden, I felt like I was Alice and that I had found Wonderland.
Located in Washington Park, the garden is a rose lover’s paradise! In fact, there are over 7,000 rose plants on display. The varieties here are tested for fragrance, color and drought resistance. How lovely to be a gardener there and be surrounded by such beauty on a daily basis.
There are several different features in the 4.5 acre garden, including a stainless-steel sculpture, reflection pool, an amphitheater, gazebo and more.
The Queen’s Walk is a brick sidewalk flanked with various miniature rose bushes. Bronze plaques feature the names of all the rose festival queens from 1907 to the present.
The Shakespeare Garden is a very shady section with a raised seating area and a walkway that winds throughout the gardens. At one time, the Shakespeare Garden contained plants and botanicals that were referenced in Shakespeare’s works. According to the tour guide that was with a group ahead of mine, these were replaced with more shade-appropriate plants.
The Royal Rosarian Garden was established in 1924 as a tribute to those who serve in the various Rose Festival events. This particular garden includes many varieties that are rare and no longer available commercially.
I was lucky enough to take in a live concert while I was visiting the garden. The lush green amphitheater has terraced seating so there is not a bad view of the stage in the center. It was the perfect ending to a relaxing day filled with beauty.
By the end of my tour of the garden, the Rose Garden Store was closed so no souvenir! Oh, well. I guess that means I’ll need to find time for another trip to Wonderland in the near future.———
Valeka Cruz (@runningonheavy) is a freelance writer and blogger living happily in Austin Texas with her three fur babies. Her weekly blog, Running On Heavy, provides health and wellness motivation along with life lessons. She loves chocolate, hiking, laughing, hot tea and, especially, writing (not necessarily in that order, depending on what kind of a day it is). Read more of her stories on Milliver’s Travels by visiting Valeka’s story index.