'Tis the season…
With the Portland Rose Festival well underway Portlanders are staking their spot on parade routes, building milk carton boats, honing their paddling skills for the Dragon Boat races and of course celebrating the flower of our fair city…the rose.
There is many a champion rose grower in this town but for those of us not from champion rose growing stock OSU Extension Service has a few great publications to ensure that you enjoy blossoming success growing roses.
In the spirit of our city's celebration, take time to smell the roses... at one of Portland’s public rose gardens:
International Rose Test Garden
400 SW Kingston Avenue
The crown jewel rose garden of Portland Parks, founded in 1917. The rose garden is located in Washington Park in SW Portland, featuring 10,000 plus rose plants showcasing over 500 varieties.
Ladd's Addition Rose Gardens
Between Hawthorne, Division, 12th and 20th.
Located in the historic Ladd's Addition neighborhood - the oldest planned neighborhood in Portland. The Ladd's Addition rose garden consists of four small diamond-shaped “circles” to the east, west, north, and south of the neighborhood's central circle park. The diamonds contain bountiful beds of roses totally over 3,000 plants and 60 varieties.
Peninsula Park Rose Garden
700 N. Rosa Parks Way
Considered Portland's first Rose test garden. This North Portland jewel contains over 9,000 roses, many newly planted in the past 3 years by Master Gardener volunteers. The rose garden is maintained by Portland Parks and Recreation along with the support, stewardship, and hard working efforts of Friends of the Peninsula Park Rose Garden (founded in 2013 by three OSU Extension Service Master Gardener trainees) and neighborhood volunteers.
Pioneer Rose Garden
SE 26th Avenue between Stark and Morrison streets
Located in the Lone Fir Cemetery in SE Portland this very small yet very special rose garden is significant as it contains some of the oldest known roses in Oregon. The legend was that pioneer women brought roses on their journey via the Oregon Trail, keeping the rose cuttings moist in their apron pockets as they traveled. Further research revealed that they had actually taken rose cuttings and stuck the cuttings into potatoes to enable the cuttings to utilize the moisture of the potatoes – reducing the need for constant re-hydration during the 6-month journey. Talk about hardy roses and hardy women!