Nestled in the heart of Portland, the International Rose Test Garden is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and flower enthusiasts. Established in 1917, the garden is the oldest continuously operating public rose test garden in the United States. Spread across 4.5 acres in Washington Park, the garden offers visitors a breathtaking display of over 7,000 roses in more than 550 varieties.
The International Rose Test Garden was created as a response to the “war to end all wars” that had just ended. The garden was meant to serve as a symbol of peace, and its first planting was made up of roses named after war heroes. Since then, the garden has become a beloved attraction for locals and tourists alike, and it remains a symbol of the city’s beauty and resilience.
The garden is divided into different sections, each featuring a unique collection of roses. The Shakespeare Garden, for instance, is home to roses named after characters from Shakespeare’s plays, such as Othello, Juliet, and Falstaff. The Gold Medal Garden, on the other hand, showcases the roses that have won top honors in various competitions around the world.
The garden features a wide array of colors, from soft pastels to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges. Visitors can walk among the roses and take in the sights and smells, or they can simply sit and relax on one of the many benches scattered throughout the garden.
In addition to the roses, the International Rose Test Garden also features stunning views of Portland’s skyline and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can take in the beauty of the garden while enjoying a picnic, reading a book, or simply unwinding.
The garden is not just a place to admire roses, however. It is also a research facility, where new rose varieties are tested and evaluated. The garden’s staff works with breeders from around the world to identify new roses that are disease-resistant, drought-tolerant, and beautiful.
The International Rose Test Garden is open to visitors from May through September, and admission is free. The garden also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the Portland Rose Festival and the annual Rose City Classic Dog Show.
For those who want to take a piece of the garden home with them, the Garden Store offers a wide range of rose-related products, including books, postcards, and rose bushes. Visitors can also purchase freshly cut roses from the garden, or order them online for delivery.
The International Rose Test Garden is a true gem in the heart of Portland. Its beauty, history, and significance make it a must-visit destination for anyone who loves flowers, gardens, or simply the beauty of nature. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, the International Rose Test Garden is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.