The Oregon Garden

The Oregon Garden features foliage and conifters as the predominate theme.

If you are not familiar with it, The Oregon Garden is located in Silverton, Oregon (near Salem).  It came into being when the EPA required that Silverton improve its water treatment facility or pay a $10,000 a day fine.  The garden is designed around many large ponds and wetlands that serve the purpose of treating a very large quantity of water.   The project was successful as a water treatment option, but for visitors, the key is that it was a success at offering a large display garden.

Some tropicals are mixed into the garden, including this large potted banana.

The tall flower in back is ‘Lemon Queen’ and the Hakonechloa is pretty here despite being sun bleached.

Conifers are the heart of The Oregon Garden.  They comprise the premier display garden on the site, but also are featured throughout the garden.  The Oregon Garden was built with the donations of nurserymen, and they wanted to donate their best plants.   As a result, a huge number of conifers are represented.  Most of these are sold at Tower Perennial, since  we also love dwarf conifers.  I  have built conifer gardens for a few clients, and if that’s something you want, advance planning is best.  I always have many, but with planning I can find a special grouping.

One of the few instances where annuals were included in a bed is this bed with lantana.

What’s missing at The Oregon Garden is annual plantings.  Yes, there are a few annual plantings, but in general, the number and impact of the annual plantings is minimal.  There’s a swath of lantana, there are some tropical bananas, but there are not the huge color plantings like we see at Butchart Gardens (Victoria) or Duncan Gardens (Spokane).  There are not even that many perennial flowers.   This time of year, it is ‘Goldsturm’ (Black eyed Susan) that we see in bloom in most areas.  They did make use of Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ in more than one location.  That’s a beautiful flower.

The Japanese maples are many, and some are huge.  The first tree donated to the garden was a weeping Japanese maple.  Go see the garden in fall, and these will be spectacular. Also in fall you’ll find the ornamental grasses in bloom.   Not a bad time to go for a visit once the trees start changing color.

Visitors should take the tram and see the basic layout, then do a walk about.   You can take a beer into the garden and the beer selection is good.  Wine selection…well, there is wine, but nothing like the best Oregon has to offer.  Did I say the beer selection was good?  Nice lunch of Shepard’s Pie.  You’ll like the gift shop/restaurant.

An example of creative conifers is this weeping Blue Atlas cedar that has been trained into a large trellis.

So conifer lovers, this is your place.   Come any time and it will be so.  

This Canna lily display is another of the more tropical components of the garden.