Stroll Among The Trees At The Oregon Garden
From the Portland area, a one hour drive will deliver you to the cool green oasis of the Oregon Garden. The Oregon Garden boasts 80 acres of meticulously planted themed botanical gardens connected by a series of meandering walking paths that invite visitors to stroll among the trees and plants that thrive here.
On summer weekends, a narrated tram ride gives visitors an overview of the expansive gardens. Given the sprawling size of the gardens, the overview might help you decide which specialty gardens to prioritize in your itinerary. The specialty gardens are themed based on landscaping styles, plant uses, plant characteristics, and garden visitors.
On a recent hot summer day, we were drawn by the sounds of trickling water near the visitor center to the Amazing Water Garden. Frogs and dragonflies abound in the lily pad-covered water surface. This section of the garden showcases a hidden ecological purpose of the garden. The terraced wetlands and water gardens cool treated wastewater from the city of Silverton. The water is collected and used for irrigation of the grounds.
The Conifer Garden is one of the largest collections of small conifers in the country. Many of these specimens are from other countries and are unfamiliar to most Oregonians.
The Silverton Market Garden highlights Oregon agricultural crops and reveals the importance of agriculture to the region. The impressive bounty of this garden is donated to help feed families in need. The cherry tree seen above was laden with bright fruit when we visited.
Though the Oregon Garden has only been open to the public since 2001, some of the trees date back hundreds of years. The Signature Oak, an impressive Oregon white oak specimen, grows in the oak grove west of the other gardens. This Oregon Heritage Tree has been growing there for over 400 years, since before European settlement of the area.
The Rediscovery Forest is a densely shaded demonstration forest that teaches visitors about forest management through a series of interpretive signs along the trails.
Other highlights of our Oregon Garden visit included the hobbit house in the Children’s Garden, the sounds and smells of the Sensory Garden, the educational Home Composting Garden, and the ice cream menu at the Garden Cafe. One day at the Oregon Garden was not enough time for us to explore everything. The year-round event calendar and the changing seasonal character of the Oregon Garden will entice us back for a return visit soon. To plan your visit to the Oregon Garden, check out their website for directions and the event calendar.