Portland’s International Rose Test Garden


If there was ever a good place to stop and smell the roses, it’s in Portland.  The “City of Roses” has an ideal climate for growing roses — which makes Portland the perfect place for the International Rose Test Garden.

Okay, I admit, I took this picture during my visit in 2006.  During my 2011 visit, for some reason, it never occurred to me to take a wide-shot of the entire gardens.  Instead, this time…

… I focused on individual blooms…

… of which, there is no shortage.  7,000 rose bushes grow in the International Rose Test Garden, which occupies a small corner of Washington Park, on Portland’s west side.

The park, and the rose garden, are free and open to the public.  As you wander around, you’ll quickly realize that there are more colors and shapes of roses than you ever imagined (roughly 550 varieties, with new ones routinely added and tested).

And then, you start sniffing, and discover that all roses do not smell alike.  Some offer only a faint fragrance, others are quite pleasant, while a few are as sickeningly pungent as your aunt Edith’s cheap perfume.

Oh, and some don’t smell at all… but how could they?  They don’t have noses!

You can easily spend an hour or two here, wandering around, picking out your favorite scent, color, and style — be it purple…

… or yellow…

… or a more traditional red.

During my rose garden visit, I was quickly running out of daylight.  But back in 2006, I had more time to explore Washington Park on Day 1 and Day 9

Drivelapse Video

Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive around Portland, Oregon, including Washington Park:

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