INTERNATIONAL ROSE TEST GARDEN: Established in 1917, International Rose Test Garden in the “City of Roses” Portland, Oregon is a 4.5 acres of haven. There are over 600 varieties of roses and over 10,000 rose plants in this spectacular garden. For me, it was the first time going to this garden…actually, it was the first time to go to any rose gardens. I love visiting different types of garden and this one was sure a unique place to visit.
It was an early morning of October, 2015. I headed to the Washington Park after dropping my girls off to school. I have visited Japanese Garden here before (which is one of the best Zen gardens I’ve visited so far). This time I was in the mood for some roses. Other than hundreds and thousands of roses, I saw a fountain, some sculptures, and a serene atmosphere under the soft morning sun. It was not crowded at all…few scattered visitors and some gardeners here and here.
The garden is divided in few section, like Shakespeare Garden, Royal Rosarian Garden, the Gold Medal Garden, and Miniature Rose Garden. Each section is adorned with mixed of modern and classical styles, different varieties of roses, sculptures, and trees.
International Rose Test Garden is the oldest continuously operating public rose test garden in the U.S. Once the trial for the test roses are over, the best roses are introduced into commercial production and the other roses are destroyed. The oldest rose you can find here is Grand Duchess Armstrong which was planted in 1943 by the Grand Duchess herself.
There is no fee to enter the garden. Park your car at the nearby paid parking spots and walk over to the tiers of garden. Once you are there, you can spend half an hour to couple hours depending on how much you are in love rose. I was there for little more than an hour. From April to October is the best time to visit this garden when the roses are in blooms.