The International Rose Test Garden, established in 1917, is an internationally renowned garden in Washington Park. This garden is home to over 10,000 plants of over 500 varieties! Within its gorgeously designed walls you will find various fountains, paths, statues, outdoor art, wedding and picnic sites, and, of course, roses of every sort! This particular garden is known as the oldest public garden of its kind in the United States, owing much to the help of the Portland Rose Society. The prime purpose of such an establishment is to test ground for new rose varieties, which it has done spectacularly since 1919, the year of the garden’s first Gold Medal Award. The entire garden served as a great safe haven for hybrid roses grown in Europe during WWI.
Once on the grounds you will be able to stroll through the four different main gardens, including the Shakespeare Test Garden, the Gold Medal Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Miniature Rose Test Garden. The Shakespeare Garden was established in 1945 and gained quick popularity for the herbs, trees, and flowers grown here exclusively mentioned in Shakespeare plays. The terrace above this garden is quite famous and many gardens have in turn been modeled after it. The test gardens are a part of one of 24 testing sites for the All American Rose Society, a reason that hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world visit annually. Your group will see spectacular views of downtown Portland and Mt. Hood in the skyline, as well as be able to take in all the heavenly sights and scents of the various roses. Stop by the gift shop before you go for the perfect gardening souvenir, tool, or book, or stop by the on-site amphitheater for more information or a show!