I have been to many rose gardens in my time throughout Canada, England, Italy and Florida, but I have yet to see anything like The International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon. It surpassed all my expectations and I look forward to visiting it again as there is so much to see and lots of pictures to take!
Located in Washington Park, where the delightful Hoyt Arboretum and exquisite Japanese Gardens (watch for my upcoming blog) also reside, this rose garden features over 10,000 roses with 650 varieties. Volunteer guided and self-guided tours help visitors navigate the 4.5 acres. Their signage and information displays are extremely helpful, but since there is so much to see, give yourself half a day or a full day to fully appreciate it.
Portland’s rose garden was established in 1917 making it the oldest public rose garden the USA. It receives over 700,000 people a year. No wonder Portland’s nickname is
“The City of Roses”.
For more information check click here:
Garden hours: 7:30am-9:00pm
FREE public tours are offered daily at 1:00pm, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
Why so many roses?
This garden is one of 11 testing sites for The American Garden Rose Selections, formerly the All American Rose Selections. Approximately 2,500 new rose introductions from all over the world are sent here to be rated for disease resistance, fragrance, flower form and colour. In 2006 it received The Garden of Excellence Award from the World Federation of Rose Societies.
June is when most roses are in flower, however, we visited on a cool rainy day in October. To my surprise, most of the roses were in blooming and had lush green, healthy foliage. The garden beds are full of all kinds of roses, which are grouped together according to their type from hybrid teas to miniatures and everything inbetween.
Informative displays boast the best and the most fragrant roses for Portland. Their recommendations also applies to anyone who gardens in the Pacific Northwest including British Columbia, which made this rose garden very relevant to me.
Educational rose workshops are offered by The Portland Rose Society. They provide the volunteers to help with plant labellingW, planting, deadheading as well as fundraising, garden tours and many other tasks that help keep the garden running.
Hybrid Tea Roses
To learn more about hybrid tea roses click here.
To learn more about floribunda roses click here.
David Austin English Roses
To learn more about David Austin English roses click here.
Miniature & Ground Cover Roses
To learn more about miniature and ground cover roses click here.
Climbing Roses & Ramblers
To learn more about climbers and rambler roses click here.