Portland’s International Rose Test Garden

Portland’s International Rose Test Garden

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

Walking through the gardens of Washington Park in Portland’s West Hills is a surreal experience. You have to drive up to the area through a neighborhood of gorgeous estates then walk down into the gardens from a stone lined enclosure. It feels like stepping through the looking glass into the garden of the Red Queen in Wonderland. It was especially surreal since we tried to go up to the gardens at the beginning of Spring, but they were completely bare.

Portland’s love for roses started over a century ago. It began with the Pittocks starting the Portland Rose Society and sharing their cross pollinations and different types of roses with each other at shows. Roses became such a fascination, Portland was adorned with the name ‘City of Roses.’ The city residents and policy makers even planted the thorny, flowered bushes all along the cities sidewalks. There were 20 miles of Rose lined streets at one point in time throughout the city. The International Rose Test Garden was started to show all of the different hybrids that rose enthusiasts were breeding as well as to have a place for the public to enjoy them and not wander into someone ones personal garden or yard. It’s a safe haven for European Rose varieties to grow during World War I, away from the bombings and trench digging that was going on.

I love learning the history of beautiful places like the Rose Test Gardens. Even more, I love experiencing the beauty it offers with Jade. Being able to walk among such beauty and color I think allows both of us to find whole new ways to utilize our creativity. One of our favorite parts about exploring the roses has to be the interesting and sometimes hilarious names of the different breeds including the Ketchup and Mustard, the My Girl, the Singin’ the Blues, the Doctor Dick, and the Social Climber.

It’s almost hard to believe that a place like this exists in our own backyard and this is the first time we have been able to experience it together.

If you are in Portland or planning a visit, I urge you to visit the gardens…

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers #portrait

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

'Portland Rose Gardens' by Endlessly Enraptured #endlesslyenraptured #flowers

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10Comments

  • Vickie / 23 June 2013 12:33

    absolutely gorgeous 🙂

    there is a nice rose garden in Adelaide, but last time we went they had just pruned the roses, lol – need to go again at the right time of year.

    • endlesslyenraptured / 24 June 2013 11:34

      Aren’t they beautiful!? Haha, aw, what a bummer! That’s how I felt when we went to visit the tulip gardens this year. Most of them were already dried up and dead. I was so disappointed. Like you said, I just need to be sure to go back earlier next year!

  • Yelle / 24 June 2013 3:55

    Gorgeous photos! And those peony bushes? I am swooning! You always look so flawless.

  • Irela / 24 June 2013 7:57

    Every single one of these shots is so beautiful. I dream of having such a lovely garden one day.

  • Jacqueline / 25 June 2013 1:54

    I’ve been there! It was gorgeous but I think it was really sunny that day, which isn’t great for flowers. But the weather on the day you went looks perfect for shooting — overcast and gray skies make flowers pop so well…

    • endlesslyenraptured / 25 June 2013 2:09

      We were going to go the weekend prior, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it was super sunny and I convinced Cory that we needed to wait. Then, on the day we ended up going it was completely overcast and gloomy… so in other words, PERFECT! Haha! It was almost too perfect because I couldn’t stop taking photos, haha! I have SOOO many. I hope to get back there and shoot again before they die out 🙂

  • elizabeyta / 25 June 2013 8:31

    When I am visiting family in Portland and Vancouver, this is one of my favorite places to visit. My grandmother loves it too which just makes it more special. Thanks for sharing. It has been a few years since I have been here.

    • endlesslyenraptured / 26 June 2013 9:19

      I’m so happy to share and I hope you find yourself walking in the beautiful gardens again soon…