Spring is an enchanting season in Portland. April showers bring May flowers that fill our parks this time of year, and behind every bursting azalea are hundreds of Portland Parks & Recreation staff and dedicated volunteers that make these beautiful blooms possible. Below are our top Portland Parks flower displays (in no particular order) that will leave your heart singing and camera full of pictures. Thanks to the volunteers at the Portland Garden Club for helping compile this list!
1. Lilac Gardens in Duniway Park [pictured above]: Over 225 plants grace the Lilac Garden in Duniway Park and are cared for by the Portland Garden Club. Blooming from late March to early May, the fragrance of the flowers wafts throughout the park.
2. Portland Memory Garden: One of a few memory gardens on public land in the nation, the garden is designed specifically for people who are experiencing Alzheimer’s disease and other memory problems. It includes many beds of flowers that bloom throughout spring, summer and fall.
3. Powers Marine Park: Driving along Macadam Avenue south of the new Sellwood Bridge, you may notice swaths of white toward the Willamette River. These are dogwoods planted by volunteers in the Portland Garden Club on this strip of park land near the water.
4. Leach Botanical Garden: This best-kept secret garden in SE Portland includes such a profusion of greenery; it is sure to please any time of year. Touted as a library of plants, the volunteers at this garden post garden highlights on their website each month.
5. Pittock Mansion: You may visit Pittock for the spectacular view of Portland or the historic house tours, but you’ll stick around for the beautiful garden. Volunteers help make sure the gardens are picture-perfect this time of year.
6. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden: The Azaleas and Rhododendrons at Crystal Springs are so beautiful this time of year it is almost hard to believe. A feast of tangerine, fuchsia, red, yellow and purple delight your eyes in this garden at every turn.
7. Lan Su Chinese Garden: Where Crystal Springs is the picture of overabundance, Lan Su is the champion of the perfectly placed flower. If you especially enjoy the rare and small things in life, the blooms at Lan Su are sure to please!
8. Peninsula Park Rose Garden: This historic garden in NE Portland was Portland’s first rose garden and the volunteers at this garden carefully tend each bloom. Early blooming roses turn into hillsides of blooms by June.
9. Tom McCall Waterfront Park Japanese American Historical Plaza: The celebrated cherry blossoms lining the paths in this historical plaza along the Willamette provide the perfect cure to the winter blues and bring promise of sunnier days ahead.
10. Washington Park International Rose Test Garden: Last but definitely not least are the renowned rose gardens in Washington Park. While the roses are the star of the show later in the year, there are plenty of other flower beds woven into this park to please early spring visitors.
Photo credits – visit these groups’ websites linked above for more beautiful photos!
1 Portland Garden Club
2 Friends of Portland Memory Garden
3 Portland Garden Club
4 Leach Botanical Garden
5 Pittock Mansion
6 Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society and the Friends of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
7 Lan Su Chinese Garden
8 Friends of Peninsula Park Rose Garden
10Portland Parks & Recreation