I've heard about this place for some time now, but since an acquaintance mentioned planning his wedding here, I knew it was something worth seeing. I'm not familiar with this part of the city at all, so we actually did one of the "Walk There" walks and started at Eastmoreland Park and then onto the Gardens themselves.
It's enchanting the way that it's all in a sort of canyon, and the noise of any traffic or any clues that you are still in the middle of the city are drowned out by it's location and it's three waterfalls.
This Garden, is every bit as beautiful as our famed Portland Japanese Garden. Bring a camera, a loved one, even your dog is allowed. Share it with friends.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
One of the world’s finest collections of rhododendrons and azaleas in an idyllic woodland setting, Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is a unique seven-acre garden containing an outstanding collection of rare species and hybrid rhododendrons, azaleas, and other lesser known ericaceous plants, as well as many companion plants and unusual trees.
This internationally recognized garden is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. March through June, when the azaleas and rhododendrons are in full bloom, the garden is spectacular. A spring-fed lake surrounds much of the garden, attracting countless waterfowl to nest and feed in this natural habitat. In fall and winter,
trees and shrubs add their own color and interesting structure.
Visitors stroll by three waterfalls via two picturesque bridges and wander down shaded paths to Crystal Springs Lake. Feeding grain to the ducks, marveling at the reach of the fountain spray, exploring the garden, and watching the sun set over Portland’s West Hills are favorite pastimes. Long regarded as a photographer’s dream, this tranquil setting makes it easy to forget that downtown Portland is only minutes away.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden was jointly established in 1950 by Portland Parks & Recreation and the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Volunteers from the Rhododendron Society, Master Gardeners, and other experts care for the plants and maintain the garden year-round.
A Multiplicity of Birds for Birdwatchers
94 species of birds are seen in the garden, among them the Great Blue Heron, Townsend’s Warbler, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Chestnut-Back Chickadee, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck, and the American Coot.
April 1-September 30: 6:00am-10:00pm
October 1-March 31: 6:00am-6:00pm
• Admission is free to all from the day after Labor Day through the month of February.
• A $3 admission fee is charged between 10:00am-6:00pm, Thursday through Monday, March through Labor Day.
• Admission is free for children under 12 and Friends of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.
The Early Show and Plant Sale are held on the first Saturday in April. The Early Show is a judged showing of choice specimens of early blooming rhododendrons and azaleas.
The Mother’s Day Rhododendron Show and Plant Sale are held on Mother’s Day weekend when the rhododendrons and azaleas in the garden are at the peak of their glorious color. This is a judged showing with awards offered by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. An exceptional selection of plants are on sale, as well as books, and free cultivating information, including pruning, is available.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is just minutes from downtown Portland on SE 28th Avenue, one block north of Woodstock, between Reed College and Eastmoreland Golf Course. Or take TriMet bus #19 Woodstock. This bus takes alternating routes as it goes through Eastmoreland; ask the driver for the stop nearest the Garden.
Volunteers from the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, the Friends of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, and the Master Gardeners program care for the grounds and are responsible for all education programs and special events. Regular volunteer work parties take place every Wednesday, February through November. There are also volunteer days on selected Saturdays. New volunteers are always welcome. For more info, call 503-771-8386.
Friends of Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
The Friends, an auxiliary of the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, is dedicated to maintaining Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden as a year-round place of great beauty. Friends enjoy free admission for themselves and one guest. Membership applications are available at the gate, or call 503-771-8386.
The development of a display and test garden was initiated in 1950 by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Sam Jackson, owner of the Oregon Journal, had donated 27 acres on Terwilliger Blvd for the garden, but the site was deemed unsuitable because of its steep terrain. Claude I. Sersanous, one of the group assigned to select a new site, suggested the garden's present location near Reed College. Referred to as Shakespeare Island by Reed College students because of the Shakespearean plays that had been performed there, it was abandoned and overgrown with brush and blackberries. Through the efforts of chapter members and other volunteers, and with the support of Park Superintendent C.P. Keyser, the garden flourished. In 1964, the garden was officially named Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.
Originally, the garden was developed as a test garden, which meant that new rhododendrons could be evaluated over a period of several years. Lack of security and adequate protection made this impractical and the concept was dropped. The original garden, on what is now called the Island, was designed by Mrs. Ruth Hansen, a landscape architect and Chapter member. The portion of the garden known as the Peninsula was designed by Wallace K. Huntington, a well-known Portland landscape architect, and was dedicated in 1977.