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.
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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.
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.
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 ❤️