It was on Monday, the 23rd of June 2008 when Nena and I were brought by our hosts, Ronnie & Mila Tandingan, to the International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon. The couple have been long-time residents of Portland where Ronnie is an architect and Mila a registered nurse.

The rose garden which is in Washington Park has over 7,000 rose plants of approximately 550 varieties. The roses bloom from April through October with the peak coming in June, depending on the weather. When the roses are in bloom the park area comes to life with more than just the color of the flowers, and our short visit to Portland last June was just very timely.

This rose garden is one of the oldest continually running rose test gardens in the United States and throughout the world and exemplifies Portland's nickname of the City of Roses. As a rose test garden, Portland's garden receives hundreds of roses each year for testing to determine their resistance to disease, their color, and many other specific rose attributes.

Five acres in Washington Park were set aside here as a rose-growing test garden in 1917. During World War I, the Portland Rose Garden became a haven for varieties European growers feared would be destroyed during the bombing. The roses are planted in rows, and it's easy to get up close to "smell the roses," or to capture their beauty at close range with your camera, and it appeals most to gardeners, photographers, and visitors.

The Rose Garden of Portland features multiple gardens with many kinds of flowers, though of course roses are the most prominent. The Royal Rosarian Garden is full of roses meant to honor goodwill ambassadors and greeters from the yearly Rose Festival and parade. A rose variety is dedicated to each new ambassador and showcased in the Royal Rosarian Garden. The Miniature Rose Garden in the Portland Rose Garden tests miniature roses, while the Gold Medal Garden is home to roses which have won awards and is a popular place for wedding ceremonies. The Shakespeare Garden is where rose lovers will find a collection of flowers and plants mentioned in the literary works of William Shakespeare.

Nearby is an amphitheater which hosts many events throughout the year, predominantly classical music concerts and a few plays. During good weather the amphitheater is popular with picnickers. The Queens Walk is a brick walkway at the side of the garden with a bronze star honoring each Rose Festival queen since 1907.

I did bring my Nikon during our visit to the Rose Garden and the photographs I took should tell you how beautiful the roses were. To view the photographs, just click on the link shown below:

Portland's Rose Garden

Enjoy the beautiful roses ...