"Oregon Garden" Silverton Things to Do Tip by glabah
Silverton Things to Do: 5 reviews and 9 photos
One of the first things you need to be told about the Oregon Garden is to not expect it to be what you have been told. Quite a number of people have written reviews of this spot that say "It's terrible, because it isn't at all like the xxxxx Garden in YYYYY."
It is not like some other garden in some other city or country. It is the Oregon Garden, and designed to be what people will pay to visit who are visiting the Willamette Valley. Don't expect it to be just like some other garden you have visited. If it were just like some other garden from somewhere else, it wouldn't be the Oregon Garden would it?
The concept was to create a garden attraction displaying the best of what can be done with plants and other outdoor features in the Willamette Valley climate. A location just outside Silverton was chosen, and construction of the first phase was completed and open for business in 2000. Thus completed a dream started in the 1940s by the Oregon Association of Nurseries.
There are currently over 30 separate smaller gardens within the Oregon Garden, including such pieces as: A Pet-Friendly Garden, a Children's Garden, some Edible Landscaping (including growing plants for the Silverton Farmer's Market), and the Lewis & Clark Garden (reserved for plants discovered by the Corps of Discovery).
More has been added since the opening, and in fact more continues to be added. Wanting a bit of extra income to provide for the financial needs of the garden complex, a deal was signed with upscale California hotel operator Moonstone to construct a resort hotel on the grounds. This hotel was opened in September 2008. As of 2010, the children's garden now features a few additional things for the children to play with, and there is a demonstration of a garden railway (which can be watched but not played with).
A fair amount of land at the Oregon Garden has been retained as natural habitat or sculpted to resemble various ecosystems (for example the hillside never had wetlands, but it does have wetlands now thanks to recycled wastewater and land shaping to create a new wetlands area that looks natural). This means there are things here for those interested in natural beauty, and for birders there are always visits by local bird life. This has included nests, and nest boxes have been provided. Chickadee and killdeer are among those you can find.
Historians may also be interested in the Gordon House, which is Oregon's almost-demolished single example of a Frank Lloyd Wright house. It was moved here from its original location.
Note that entrance fees in the winter are less than in the summer. April and October have in the past had special rates, but this year they are back to charging more for April through October, and reduced rates for November through March. Note also that the winter hours are reduced over the summer hours as well.
Picnicing is allowed in the garden, so long as you obey some common sense rules, such as having the picnic in designated areas rather than just anywhere you please, and no outside alcohol or barbecue cooking equipment. Pets are allowed so long as they are kept on a leash no longer than 8 feet (2.5 meters) and you pick up after your pet.
Watch for special events, both on the web site and on posters scattered throughout town. Concerts at the ampitheatre in the lower edge of the garden are now regular events. Earth Day has brought special events too.
The garden is located just outside Silverton, and connected to the city by city sidewalks.
Address: 879 West Main Street, Silverton OR 97381
Directions: From I-5 south, follow signs from Brooks exit. Garden is south of downtown on Cascade Highway (note highway 213 is Cascade Highway north of Silverton, but not south of downtown)
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