Although Portland is considered one of the greenest cities, its revered International Rose Garden offers visitors hundreds of other hues. With a climate ideal for growing the austere flower, Georgiana Pittock of Portland's famed Pittock family (her husband was an original owner of The Oregonian) was responsible for the city's first rose show that spawned the creation of a testing garden in 1917. Hybridists worldwide have been submitting roses to the garden since, much to the delight of residents and visitors alike.
The International Rose Garden is the oldest of its kind in the United States, and continues to solidify its reputation as the best. Stroll the 4.5 acres and just try to take in all 7,000 rose bushes of nearly 600 varieties. Be sure to visit between April and October when the roses are in bloom – but June is the real stunner. Once there, please keep your hands off because the city implements hefty fines for tampering with flowers.
If acres of roses aren't enough to satisfy you, be certain to visit specialty gardens such as the Shakespeare Garden. The flowers here were either mentioned in or inspired by the playwright's works, and are named after his characters. It should also go without mentioning that the Gold Medal Garden can't be missed. Winners of prestigious awards are gathered here and if the botanical sight isn't impressive enough, the delicious floral scent will be. During summer visits, be sure to enjoy outdoor concerts in the amphitheatre.
With a view overlooking downtown Portland, the Cascades, and Mt. Hood on clear days, the park is a quick walk to the Japanese Gardens, the Portland Zoo, Washington Park, tennis courts, and a children's playground.
- 7:30am to 9pm daily
- Bus Stop:
- 63-Washington Park, Washington Park Shuttle to the SW Rose Garden Blvd & Sherwood Station
- Location: 850 SW Rose Garden Way, Portland, OR
- Phone: 503-227-7033
- Website: www.rosegardenstore.org