Roses Bloom in Portland, Oregon
One of my favorite places in Portland, Oregon is Rose Garden. Spring is almost here and that means Rose Garden will soon be full of different colorful roses. Let me give you a tour inside this beautiful botanical garden.
Portland is known as the City of Roses. This is true because the city dedicates hundreds of acres of land for the growth of roses. There are many places in Portland, Oregon where roses can be found, but the largest one is the International Rose Test Garden, or simply called Rose Garden, located at 400 SW Kingston Ave., Portland, OR 97205. Here, you will find several hundreds of rose species, with different colors, shapes, sizes, and fragrances.
In 1917, some nurserymen who were native of Portland came up with an idea for a rose test garden. Through the cooperation of Portland Parks and Recreation and the American Rose Society, the project came into fruition. Groups of rose lovers volunteered and started to work having 20 miles of streets bordered with roses.
Jessie Curvey, the president of Portland's Rose Society during that time, petitioned for the city of Portland to be the safe haven for hybrid roses grown in Europe during World War I for fear that these roses could be destroyed as a result of the ongoing war. Foreign hybrists then started to send roses for test. Now, the garden takes its pride as America's oldest and still existing public rose test garden. It is where new breeds of roses are tested for qualities, colors, fragrances, resistance, or even diseases.
Take a Tour with Me
Measuring 4.5 acres, Rose Garden faces downtown Portland and the Willamette River. On a real nice day, Mount Hood and the Cascade Mountain are highly visible.
Inside the garden, there is an amphitheater that hosts several events throughout the year, mostly concerts and plays. The ampitheater also accommodates picnics on good weathers, mostly during summer. The garden is divided into sub-gardens to differentiate one specie from another. The Shakespeare Garden includes botanicals and sun-loving plants surrounded by an abundant amount of shades by the trees. The rose varieties in this garden are named after the characters of Shakespeare's plays. There is a formal walkway with raised sitting areas that are used for special occasions such as small weddings and anniversaries. The Gold Medal Garden is a formal garden with award-winning roses, walkways, gazebo, and a fountain. This is a very popular venue for weddings. The Royal Rosarian Garden pays tribute to all goodwill ambassadors who serve at the annual Rose Festival events. A rose is planted for each of the highest ranking Rosarian Prime Minister. There is also a Miniature Garden, which is one of the six testing grounds for the American Rose Society. This garden is very popular for the unique varieties of roses planted in it.
Roses are in bloom anytime from April through October, and they are in their peak in June. I visit Rose Garden almost every year.
Rose Garden Store
The store opened in 2000, carrying its own variety of mementos that have garden and rose themes. These items are ideal as souvenirs that can be kept or given away to friends. Some of these items are gloves, soap, lotion, candles, framed pictures, and other things that will make your visit to the garden a very memorable one. The store, which also serves as the garden's Visitor Information Center, is being run by the Portland Rose Festival Foundation volunteers. It is a non-profit organization, and all proceeds are applied to support the maintenance of the Rose Garden.