Spring Flowers Have Sprung
Winter showers bring stunning spring flowers across the state. Catch the whole rainbow of dazzling colors from March through June at these floral hotspots. Many of Oregon’s display gardens also carry bulbs and starts, so if you’re inspired, you can spread the color to your own backyard.
The Oregon Garden in Silverton, is a good place to start. It has 20 distinct plant displays, water features and other landscaped areas put together by designers and nurseries from across the state. A perennial favorite is the Northwest section featuring a huge pergola. Elsewhere, the blossoms range from familiar dogwoods and azaleas to the exotic Japanese snowbells and flamboyant day lilies. A garden web portal gives you a sneak peek at what is blooming each month so you can time your trip based on your floral tendencies.
If rhododendrons pique your fancy, Crystal Springs Rhododedron Garden in Southeast Portland is not to be missed. More than 2,500 of these Northwest natives and other plants line the spring-fed pond here, all of it maintained by an army of volunteers and favored as a backdrop for Portlanders tying the knot.
A taste of the Netherlands is on offer at Wooden Shoe Tulip Garden in Woodburn, where 40 acres of fields come alive in April. Keep an eye on the farm’s field reports to hit the tulips at their height. And don’t forget your clogs!
Atop the arid meadows of the Tom McCall Nature Preserve near Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge, wildflowers burst into brilliance in April and May. This is a flora-phile and nature lover’s treat. Two different routes —a mile-long loop and a two-mile climb — carry you through fields of grass widows, prairie stars, lupine and Indian paintbrush, representing 200 native species in all. Both hikes offer sweeping views of the Gorge.