Each day has a color, a smell. Something that reminds you of that adventure. It takes you back to a happy time.
Do you remember in Alice and Wonderland when she plays croquet or “flamiquet” in the Queen of Hearts’ rose garden? The International Rose Test Garden in Portland is essentially the same place except the white roses are not painted red and you won’t lose your head… unless you just really love roses and can’t handle it. 😉
Today I am going to take you on a rose garden adventure that hopefully makes you want to book a trip to Portland after you read about it.
The rose garden is nestled in between the Hoyt Arboretum which is a wonderful adventure in itself, beside the Japanese Garden(you do have to pay for this place), and a fantastic playground for the kiddos. There are usually two small food trucks there so you do not need to worry about the family getting hangry. This place is great if you are by yourself, on a date, or traveling with the family. There is plenty to see for all ages.
If you are like me then you will want to go during the week usually in the morning if you want to miss all the crowds or the heat. This rose garden has hundred of other plants besides roses but the roses are really something to see. There are over 10,000 rose bushes and hundreds of different kinds or roses. The smells alone are a reason to go. I wish I could bottle it up.
I remember a Psych episode where they talk about how certain smells remind you of a memory that would otherwise be lost. When I smell roses now I think of the adventure I had with my sister(really his sister but I like her so much I claim her as my own), after Breck and I had just moved here. We were laughing and enjoying ourselves being almost the only people in the garden. Now, when I smell a rose it makes me think of that happy time.
If you are going because you want to see the flowers then usually mid May to early October is when the flowers are in bloom. I have gone in the winter time too and had just as much fun but there are no flowers to see. You can see a great view of one of the mountains from the garden(if I was better with my sense of direction I could tell you which one but I never know which way is North), they have plenty of beautiful fountains, reading spots, and a great green space for a picnic. You can always spot a true Portlander because they will be laying out in the green space. Lol!
If you go during the week then you will not have a problem with parking but on the weekend it can be a hassle so be prepared to do some walking. The spaces closer to the garden you have to pay for but the garden itself is free.
If you enjoy playing tennis then they have free tennis courts you can play on with roses surrounding either side of you. I always think I want to take up tennis when I see them. Breck isn’t sold on the idea yet. 😉
After the rose garden you should make your way to the Pearl District which is only about 10-15 minutes away. There you can find wonderful places to eat, ie The Salt and Straw (homemade original ice cream flavors, they even have dairy
free), Papa Haydn (mouthwatering desserts), The Meadow (amazing popcorn and chocolate shop), and many other little restaurants and places to shop. Can you tell I have a big sweet tooth?
If you are not a big shopper or brought a picnic with you to the rose garden then I recommend taking a small hike over to the Hoyt Arboretum and enjoying the rest of your day there. There are fruit trees you can eat from, many benches to sit and read on, many trails for hiking, and it’s so large you rarely run in to anyone.
Although one time my mom and I thought we were alone at the arboretum. We were swinging from tree branches and having a grand ol’ time. When we gathered our stuff to leave we realized a guy was sitting on the bench across the way and he let us know our show was amusing. Hah!
I usually spend at least an hour at the rose garden taking pictures, enjoying the smells, and just enjoying the view that God made. Plan to spend at least two hours at the Pearl District if you like shopping and eating. There is not really a time limit for the Arboretum unless you need to use the restroom. 😉
This place always inspires me to go home and do some gardening. How many hours do you think it will take until my yard looks like this place?
I hope you enjoyed and are inspired to go out and smell the roses!