Oregon Garden Review – Celebrating 15 Years

On most weekends my husband and I are privileged to be able to take an early morning walk in the Chicago Botanic Garden.  We take a long walk to the lagoon where it is our practice to search for egrets and herons.  We have learned the pattern of the plants and animals to look for and we always leave renewed.


Great lunch at the Growler Cafe

Gathering together Farm.

In mid-June we were in Oregon to attend our grandson’s graduation from Oregon State University.  After participating in the required graduation activities- the graduation itself a lovely lunch at the Growler Café and a celebratory dinner at Gathering Together Farm, we found ourselves with a day of unscheduled time. This provided the perfect opportunity for a visit to Oregon Garden about an hour away from our hotel.


Oregon Gardens

Having observed the Chicago Botanic Garden mature over 40 years, we were very impressed with our visit to this 15 year-old garden.  Though relatively young, it offers many unusual and fascinating features.  We began our visit on the tram, which was a free ride that served as an introduction to the various garden areas and features. Interestingly, The Oregon Garden opened in 1999 it had 250,000 visitors that year.  Then times changed.  Eventually a site was purchased and a hotel was added.


Approaching the Garden

The garden is described as follows:  It is an 80-acre botanical garden, featuring more than 20 specialty gardens showcasing the diverse botanical beauty that can be found in the Willamette Valley and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Educational specialty gardens for everyone include; the Sensory Garden and Rose Garden to the Children’s Garden and Pet-Friendly Garden, or the Silverton Market Garden and Amazing Water Garden.  A complimentary narrated tram tour is offered April – October, and they are pet-friendly.

Children's Garden



The Oregon Garden is also committed to sustainability. The Rediscovery Forest is managed in partnership with the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, and reveals insights on forest management. Visitors will also encounter one of the largest collections of miniature conifers in the country, in the Conifer Garden, and a 400-year-old Signature Oak, which is an Oregon Heritage Tree, in the Oak Grove. The Wetlands Habitat, which cools the City of Silverton’s treated wastewater through a series of pools, brims with local wildlife. The Garden also promotes sustainability through green roofs, composting, edible landscaping, barley straw algae control and more.”


A unique plant


Gift shop

Volunteer, extraordinaire


We enjoyed wandering through the gift shop, talking with an extraordinary volunteer, JerriAnn Rufener, and the tram tour.  I thought that being able to incorporate the Oak Grove into the garden was remarkable.  The Amazing Water Garden is unique among gardens I have visited.  The conifer garden was impressive and the Children’s Garden was charming.


Oak Grove/Ancient trees

The walking paths are extensive and we found ourselves confused about directions when we walked to the Oak Grove.  We were very pleased that our time allowed a visit to this beautiful, uplifting garden.


The Gordon House


Drought resistent plants


Sculpture/fountain/center of the garden

Teaching- Using an old structure effectively


Leaving, the grounds we stopped by the Gordon House, the only Frank Lloyd Wright house in Oregon. The Conrad and Evelyn Gordon home, the only Frank Lloyd Wright home in Oregon was built in 1964, after Wright passed away. It was his final final Usonian designed home. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on September 22, 2004, not long after it was moved to the Oregon Garden. Unfortunately, our time didn’t allow for a tour of the house.

Thegordonhouse website


Information on the Oregon Garden and the Oregon Garden Resort








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