Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is a botanical garden in southeastern Portland, Oregon, near Reed College and the Eastmoreland Golf Course.The property was formerly owned by William S. Ladd, who spent two years as mayor of Portland in the 1800s.Crystal Springs Farm was the name he gave it.The current garden’s earliest rhododendron was planted before 1917.

The Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society started planning a demonstration and test garden in 1950.The Oregon Journal’s owner, Sam Jackson, had donated 27 acres on Terwilliger Blvd for the garden, but the location was considered inappropriate due to the high topography.One of the members of the committee tasked with finding a new location suggested the garden’s current placement near Reed College.Because of the Shakespearean plays that had been performed there, it was dubbedShakespeare Island by Reed College students. It was abandoned and overrun with bush and blackberries.The garden thrived thanks to the efforts of Portland Chapter members and other volunteers, as well as Park Superintendent C.P. Keyser’s encouragement.The inaugural rhododendron show was conducted in 1956, and the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden was officially established in 1964.

The garden was originally designed as a test garden, allowing new rhododendrons to be examined over a period of several years.Due to a lack of security and proper protection, this project was abandoned.Ruth Hansen, a landscape architect and Portland Chapter member, designed the initial garden on what is now known as the Island.Wallace K. Huntington, a well-known Portland landscape architect, built the Peninsula section of the garden, which was dedicated in 1977.Mt Hood and Mt Adams provided the rocks required to construct the waterfalls and other features. Visit the Portland Art Museum.

The garden’s more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants were all donated or purchased with specially donated monies by volunteers and interestedindividuals.Beginning in early spring and extending into summer, they put on a spectacular show of color, allowing visitors to observe a variety of plantsthat are rarely seen in the Pacific Northwest.Many companion trees offer spectacular color to the landscape in the fall.A large portion of the garden is surrounded by spring-fed Crystal Springs Lake, which attracts a variety of birds and ducks.

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