Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Oregon Garden - the Second Time Around

In my last post I wrote about our recent visit to The Oregon Garden in Silverton, OR. This was my second visit - this time with my parents. On my first visit with Chris we went in a clockwise tour on foot following the map. This time after being unable to get a seat on the Tram, he and I walked in a counter clockwise direction starting at the Conifer Garden (his favorite), meandered through the Northwest Garden (one of my favorites) to the Oak Grove. Since the trail was closed we headed back to meet my parents.

The 400 year old Oak tree

The Oak Grove trail was closed

We met up with my parents on the Tram for the tour, then finished off by going back to a few gardens after getting a glimpse on the tour. These photos are from the Home Demonstration Gardens, designed by "industry specialists with practical ideas for home use" (from The Oregon Garden Guide.)

The Tram tour is very nice, informative, and free. Unfortunately, there was only one and most of the passengers were seniors who didn't want to give up their seats. That's because at each stop the bus was full, people looking for a ride were out of luck. 

I had hoped that my parents could see individual gardens, by getting on and off the Tram. Not on this day. Accessibility is an issue on an 80 acre garden, especially if you can't get back on the Tram you rode because it's too far to walk. I would imagine that this park has a lot of senior visitors and wonder why one Tram is the only available. 

I did see several people in wheelchairs with their families. I just went back and looked at their site and found they do have wheelchairs available, "The Garden is ADA compliant. Wheelchairs are available to check out from the Visitor Center at no charge, on a first-come, first-served basis."

I would recommend using the wheelchair in order to fully explore the gardens, just be sure to get there first.

We didn't get to all the gardens, but as we were leaving my mom asked if I'd seen what I'd hoped to and I said, "more than I'd hoped". We had great weather and even in fall the gardens were attractive. I'm sure when I go back I'll find all sorts of things I didn't see this time.

The Oregon Garden hosts a variety of events and includes a Resort for overnights and wedding parties. For more information see their website:

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