Walk Among the Flowers: Two Portland Gardens to Visit This Summer

“Everything is made out of magic, leaves and trees, flowers and birds, badgers and foxes and squirrels and people. So it must be all around us. In this garden – in all the places.” —from The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Though this summer looks a lot different than years past, there are still things I’m looking forward to: more sunshine, outdoor adventures, and wearing some of my favorite sundresses.

As states have slowly opened up and eased restrictions, many of us are planning local summer getaways and outdoor pursuits. In this post, I’m highlighting two historic gardens in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. Both of these gardens I visited myself last week and are absolutely stunning this time of year. Keep in mind that there are some changes and safety precautions that have been made because of the current pandemic.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. See my full disclosure here.

Note that if an exact item is no longer available for purchase online, then I link similar styles.

Portland International Rose Test Garden

Up first is the Portland International Rose Test Garden, which opened over a century ago in 1917. It’s the oldest public rose test garden in the US and a lovely example of why Portland is often called the “City of Roses.” While it’s open year round, the best months to visit are May through September.

Outfit details (and similar styles) are linked here. These Cole Haan mules are a recent purchase, and they’re currently on sale on Nordstrom Rack’s website.

This garden has free admission, though keep in mind it can get quite crowded on sunny weekends. I visited on a weekday afternoon, and while there were other visitors there of course, it wasn’t hard to maintain social distance and keep at least six feet away from others.

Portland Japanese Garden

Just across the street from the Rose Test Garden is the Portland Japanese Garden. This majestic space, with its lush greenery and Japanese aesthetics, was designed back in 1963.

It re-opened a few weeks ago, and they’ve done a wonderful job with extra precautions and social distancing. To limit lines and capacity, they only allow a certain number of tickets for each time slot (which you can purchase in advance online).

Their website requests visitors to wear face coverings (we chose to wear our masks throughout the garden). However keep in mind that in accordance with the Governor of Oregon’s orders, face coverings are required in all indoor spaces. While the majority of the garden is outdoors, they do have some indoor areas.

We visited on an overcast, mild Sunday afternoon, and I was glad I wore jeans and a long-sleeved blouse. Though Oregon summers can be very warm and pleasant, we still have plenty of summer days that are cloudy and/or rainy.

Outfit details (and similar styles) are linked here. These black Topshop jeans are such a classic staple in my wardrobe!

2020 has been a difficult time in so many ways, yet visiting these gardens provided a much-needed dose of tranquility and splendor. And like The Secret Garden quote says at the beginning of this post, magic is “all around us. In this garden – in all the places.” We just have to remember to look for it.

Have a great weekend, loves! Stay safe and stay well ❤️

2 thoughts on “Walk Among the Flowers: Two Portland Gardens to Visit This Summer

  1. We went back to the Japanese Gardens after our visit in June and it looked so different in October. We were hoping for bright oranges yellows and reds, but I think we were about 1-2 weeks too early. It was still a great visit, super crisp outside and plenty of social distancing still in effect.

    Liked by 1 person

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