Portland’s International Rose Test Garden is what you imagine an English rose garden to be but on crack. It is basically a test of how many roses you can shove into a garden before someone starts asking questions. It’s amazing!
Consisting of several gardens, such as the Gold Medal Rose Garden and the American Garden Rose Selection, the International Rose Test Garden is every garden lover’s dream. David Austin step aside!
When I visited the garden, I was lucky to pick a cool early morning just after a rain shower. Everything was just soggy enough to keep away most of the tourist hordes. And it turns out the middle of August is primetime for rose watching! I’d definitely rate this as one of the must see’s in Portland, if you are here in spring or summer.
Even though I find roses to be merrily pretty, I too was quickly swept into the rose picture-taking craze. The Garden has a massive selection and variety of roses, and I was amazed by the colours, differences of blooms and sizes, as well as the sheer abundance of blooms. Of course, I know that flowers can come in all shapes and sizes, but to be confronted by that reality is something very different. I went a bit off, if I may say so.
The International Rose Test Garden is free to visit, with the best times between May and October. It’s part of the Washington Park, which also includes amongst other things the Japanese Garden and the Hoyt Arboretum. Find more information here.