Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Year Round Beauty: The Oregon Garden

It’s only an hour from Portland and just outside Salem in the quaint town of Silverton. The Oregon Garden is an 80-acre botanical garden, featuring more than 20 specialty gardens showcasing the diverse botanical beauty that can be found in the Willamette Valley and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
They have educational specialty gardens for everyone, from the Sensory Garden and Rose Garden to the Children’s Garden and Pet-Friendly Garden, or the Silverton Market Garden and Amazing Water Garden. And, I visited for the first time this month.

As we approached the garden, we wondered if there would be anything to see. After all many of the fall leaves had dropped and plants were going into hibernation. But the closer we got to the parking area, the more we were reassured that there was great natural beauty to be discovered, even in the fall.
Before we reached the entrance we enjoyed a manicured garden complete with blooming iris. I had never heard of a fall blooming iris!

The main gardens are easily walkable in a few hours. But to visit the outer natural areas, you might plan for an enjoyable hike and tack on more time. It was our first visit and we wanted to explore and so kept to the central gardens. We discovered that there were still flowers including one last rose in the Rose Garden. There were bright leaves galore, many varieties new to us.

They have a small Tropical House with a collection of carnivorous plants. The whole garden is pet friendly and you’ll want to take your best friend to see the special Pet Friendly Garden.

My inner child took delight in the Children’s Garden and Train Garden. Both were fanciful. Of course I watched the garden railway and had my picture taken with the “Pot Head Family.”
I guess I wasn't surprised to find a family of "Pot Heads" in Oregon

There is much to explore and learn about at The Oregon Garden. Those who don’t make it to the coast will enjoy the coastal plants in the Lewis and Clark Garden. Lewis and Clark documented the plants they found in their explorations. 

Want to know what a young Douglas Fir forest looks like? Well, they have that there too. You can hike the different trails through this dynamic demonstration forest and learn about reforestation, forest management, seed tree forests, growing Christmas trees, and hardwood forest management through the interpretive signage placed along easily accessible trails.

As we walked, we saw the preparations for the annual Christmas in the Garden. Lights were being strung everywhere. We heard they even have an ice rink. But for our visit, we were glad that it wasn’t crowded and we could enjoy the last of the fall color before Santa arrives.

When You Go
The garden is open 365 days a year.
Address: 879 W. Main St. Silverton, OR 97381