Opened in 1917 during the height of World War I, the Rose Test Garden soon became a safe haven for European rose hybrids that would otherwise have been destroyed by battles and bombs. It's still a working test garden, with bulbs and cuttings sent here from around the world to be monitored for color, scent, disease resistance and more.
Now one of the largest rose gardens in America, the Test Garden has over 600 rose varieties and more than 9,500 bushes. Special features of the Garden include one of only six miniature rose test gardens in America; a Shakespeare Garden, where the rose varieties are named for characters in the Bard's plays and a natural amphitheater, which hosts plays and classical music concerts in warmer months. Roses bloom here from April through October, typically peaking in June.
Set on 4.5 multi-level acres facing downtown Portland, East Portland and the Willamette River, the International Rose Test Garden is an ideal place to get your city bearings from above, as well as catch a glimpse of the Cascades and Mt Hood.
Our guide, Jeff, was great - he was from Portland and knew the city and the general area very well and could answer all questions articulately. Jeff offered coffee and pastry - I suggest he take his guests to one of Portland's many great cafe's (and charge another $5 if necessary).
A fantastic insight into the heartbeat of what Portland is all about. Our guide Jeff could not possibly be improved upon...with any other company, anywhere. I am recommending it to everyone! Portlanders need to take this trip, no matter how well they think they know the area. A+++
Very well organized small group trip. Would recommend it to my friends. Will use it again when I visit the pacific northwest.