International Rose Test Garden in Portland
It seems fitting that The Rose City would have the oldest, continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States. The garden features over 600 varieties, blooming from late May into October.
The main purpose of the International Rose Test Garden is to test new rose varieties. It opened in 1924 as a way to preserve hybrid roses grown in Europe during World War I.
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The City of Roses
Portland is known as the City of Roses.
The Portland Rose Society was founded by Georgiana Pittock and her neighbors in 1889 after exhibiting their own roses, creating a buzz about roses in the city. Prior to the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905, the streets of Portland were lined with roses. Ever since, Portland has been known as the City of Roses, with the first Festival of Roses held in 1907.
All the views are beautiful, whether from far away or close up. It’s especially glorious when Mt. Hood is seen in the distance.
The Rose Garden
Designed by Lee Kelly, the stainless steel fountain honors Frank E. Breach who is said to have named Portland The Rose City.
The Royal Rosarians are a civic group who are the goodwill ambassadors for the City of Portland. They do many charitable projects, but what I remember most about them is seeing them in parades, particularly the Rose Parade. The Royal Rosarian Garden holds each Royal Rosarians Prime Minister’s namesake rose. The bronze statue celebrates 100 years of the organization.
Dedicated in 1946, the Shakespeare Garden features plants mentioned in his plays and roses named after his characters.
Of all flowers methinks a rose is best.
Once upon a time we could park at the Oregon Zoo, enjoy the zoo, and then catch the train at a station located inside the zoo to ride to a station near the Rose Garden. It was a 30/40 minute ride through the beautiful trees of Washington Park.
I would love to see the train run on those tracks again.
With all the beautiful colors and views, the Rose Garden is a great place to enjoy a little time outside. I recommend at least a quick stop if you get the opportunity, especially in June.