Rhododendron Gardens

A Portland, OR magical wonderland

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens is a must-see public garden this time of year when thousands of Rhodies and Azaleas are in bloom.  Located at 32nd and SE Woodstock (by Reed College) this 9.5 acre paradise of color, fragrance and raw nature has something for everyone.  Even if you miss the Spring blossoms – the garden offers fragrant blooms, rare plant species, lush greenery, wildlife, lakes and fountains year-round (autumn’s another stunning time to visit).  Several architects are responsible for the designs of the garden which include, waterfalls, fountains, bridges, and pathways.

I remember coming here in the 80s when my son was small. He loved to feed the ducks and geese at the spring-fed lake which surrounds much of the garden. Besides the ducks and geese you’ll find other waterfowl and birds that nest and feed in this natural habitat. The paths wind through the park on two levels and there are many spots to stop and smell the roses or sit for a spell and enjoy the scenery. Pick sun or shade – you’ll find both. If you happen to find yourself here at the end of the day you can watch the sun set on the west hills.

Since the garden is not far from the city center it makes a good get-away where you’ll find yourself ensconced in nature. Even on a busy day (I went on a free day when everything was in bloom) there are still places to find a quiet bit of solitude far from the maddening crowd.  You’ll discover a new surprise around every turn and multiple paths to head down and explore. A magical element about this place is how it remains obscure from all major roadways.  When you drive away and look back you’ll marvel at how all that beauty got tucked away into one sprawling domain.

Check out my Flickr photos of Rhododendron Gardens

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Mark DeFazio
    Jun 03, 2011 @ 08:47:55

    What a treasure to be able to find such beauty right in the heart of a large city.

    Reply

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