Portland’s International Rose Test Garden

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‘Isn’t it sad your wedding is over?’ is something I’ve been asked a lot recently. Explained further by variations of, ‘you put so much time and effort into the one day and then it’s just over.’

It’s true, I guess. We never thought of it like that though. Yes, our wedding came and went faster than I drink my morning coffee, but I don’t feel sad about it. The special day arrived and it was the absolute best! With the help of a hangover, we cleaned up the venue the next day. The rest of that week was spent finishing work and packing up our house. And the following week we left for our five-month honeymoon. We haven’t had time to feel sad about it.

We’ve reminisced about how magical the day was, of course, and wished it would have lasted forever, but I’ve mostly been planning future anniversary celebrations. If our wedding taught me anything it’s that 1) it is okay to want to celebrate love and commitment and us, and 2) piñatas are the best. We had always been embarrassed to publicly celebrate our love; it felt so show-offy. But that was silly. Everything in life that brings about happiness should, and will, be celebrated!

Having said that, I’ve already found the venue for our three year wedding anniversary: Portland’s International Rose Test Garden.

Have you been? It’s just far away enough from the main areas of Portland to be considered a hidden gem. It is just like it sounds – a beautiful green garden filled with rows upon rows of colorful roses from all over the world. An estimated 7,000 rose bushes live there. The test garden started in 1917 during World War I by the still-operating Portland Rose Society. They feared that European rose breeds and other unique plants would be destroyed due to bombings, so they did something about it. England started sending their roses shortly after and Portland created a safe haven for them. Since then the garden has grown to be one of Portland’s most romantic and well known attractions.

Now I get why Portland is known as “The City of Roses” and, subsequently, why Washington Park is known as “A Great Place For a Picnic and a Make-out Sesh.”

International Rose Test Garden
Inside Washington Park
400 SW Kingston Ave
Garden hours: 7:30am-9:00pm


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