Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024
Sunset, Kailua-Kona, The Big Island, Hawaii, March 11, 2024

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Oregon Garden - Fri., Sept. 27

Major rainstorms with wind are predicted for Oregon. It was supposed to start tonight. Guess what? The rain and wind kicked up on our way south to The Oregon Garden in Silverton. As we drove south from Tigard, the rain decreased. By the time we got to the garden, we had wind and a few sprinkles. That was about to change.

We used my Groupon for half-price admission for four people ($22) which was pretty good. As soon as our hands were stamped to prove we paid, the docent in the visitor center said, "A tram should be arriving right about now." The 25-minute tram tour is included in the admission.

Sure enough, as soon as we walked out to the tram stop, a tram arrived. The tram is open air, but has plastic "windows" that can be rolled down to provide protection from wind and rain. Mom and Jan rolled their windows down, but I wanted to take photos and so did the lady next to me. We left our window up. There wasn't any rain, but the wind was chilly. 

Mom and Jan before they rolled their "window" down.
The tram.
The garden is 120 acres, 80 acres are developed. Water for the garden is provided by twice-filtered water reclaimed from the sewage treatment plant. In order to meet water-quality standards, the water has to be cooled as it is too warm as it comes from the treatment plant. The first area the tram took us through was the wetlands. A number of ponds were created so the water could flow from pond to pond, thus cooling it.

Here is a photo log of our tram tour:

Conifer garden

White oak savannah
The large tree on the left in the photo below is a protected signature oak, one of the oldest on earth.

400-year-old Signature Oak, an Oregon Heritage Tree.
I call these "wizard" trees.
Still lots of color in the garden!
Beautiful plant - don't know what it is.
Willamette Valley Ponderosa Pine.
The trees in the following photo are poplars. These are planted as a crop and can grow eight feet in one year. Their bark is ground up, mixed with water and used to create pressboard, cardboard and high-quality paper. This is a great renewable resource.

Ooh...weird plant.
The "living" sea serpent made with succulents/sedums.
Jan, Mom, Mike in the Conifer Garden.
I love all the different greens in these conifers.
A few weeks ago, the tree below was hit by lightning. The garden is leaving it as it is to show the power and destructive force of Mother Nature.

Tree struck by lightning.
One of the reflecting pools. I'm reflecting on autumn.
Our tram driver spent quite a bit of time talking about the Oregon Garden Resort next to The Oregon Garden. All stays include free admission to The Oregon Garden and you can walk from the resort, through a gate, and be at a tram stop or on a trail to take you into the garden.

We finished our tram tour, then walked through part of the garden. As we were walking up to the reflecting pools, I started to have a vertigo attack and became very dizzy. My sister had me sit down on the rock wall that goes around the reflecting pool. I closed my eyes and stayed very still for a couple of minutes. Luckily the episode passed and we continued on.

It was lunch time, so we walked up the path to The Oregon Garden Resort to have lunch in their dining room. (Most lunches are under $10.) What a lovely place to have lunch. The view overlooks the gardens and the Willamette Valley. Today was not the best day to enjoy the view because the rains came while we were eating. The clouds lowered giving limited views.
We walked through here to The Oregon Garden Resort for lunch.
Front door of the Oregon Garden Resort.
In October, The Oregon Garden is having an event called "Scarecrows in the Garden." The resort is getting in on the fun and created these two lovely scarecrows.

Scarecrows at the Resort.
After our healthy lunch, we headed out to wait for the tram to take us back to the visitor center. Picture if you will, strong, gusty winds and driving rain. We have ten minutes to wait for the tram in the gazebo. The gazebo has no walls. Mom and Jan went up to the covered patio to wait. Mike and I kept an eye out for the tram from the gazebo. Brr. Four chilled people boarded the tram. Thankfully, all the "windows" were rolled down and zipped up. So ended our day at The Oregon Garden.

Back at Mom's by early afternoon, we decided to watch a DVD called "Evening" that we had checked out from the library. The cover description sounded pretty good with an all-star cast: Meryl Streep, Vanessa Redgrave, Toni Collette, Claire Danes, Hugh Dancy, and Glenn Close. It's supposed to be about the power of the past and the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters, family, and the loves of their lives. Our recommendation: don't bother. We didn't finish watching it. About half-way through Mom and Jan stopped watching to finish dinner preparations. It was a weird, boring movie.

For dinner we had dark turkey meat that had been in the slow cooker all day, broccoli, mashed yams, and cranberry sauce. Such a good meal for a cold, wet day. For dessert, Mom made peach crisp from peaches we bought in the orchard yesterday.

Jan took off after dinner to go to a singles social at church. Mike, Mom and I played Rummikub. Mike headed home about 8 p.m. At 9 p.m., Mom and I watched Shark Tank, which we absolutely love.

In all the driving we've been doing the past couple of days, we have seen many RVs out and about...many heading south, but some probably heading out for the start of hunting season. I'm thinking they've been hearing the weather forecast and decided to skedaddle out of here. 

Plans for us to go to the coast tomorrow are off. Weather maps are showing red, there are weather alerts on TV about heavy rain, with wind gusts up to 60 mph, and possible flooding. No way do I want to drive two hours out and two hours back in that kind of weather.

Instead, Mike and I are going to see "The Grandmaster" in downtown Portland. Enjoy your weekend.

Travel Bug out.


  1. Replies
    1. There weren't any photos of me in today's blog. You must be looking at my sister (purple coat) or my mom (light blue coat).

    2. (We were all quite chilled by the wind and damp weather if you meant "you" in a universal sense.)

  2. Thanks for sharing your time in Oregon. I am taking notes of places to visit while we are there the second week of October.

    1. If you are on the south coast near Coos Bay and there is a storm at sea, be sure to stop at Shore Acres State Park to see the ocean waves crashing into the cliffs and booming 30-40' straight up in the air. They have an enclosed observation deck to watch. It's quite a site. Also Silver Falls State Park near Silverton is a wonderful place to see a number of waterfalls in one day. Hopefully our current storms will die out and you will have gorgeous weather and beautiful fall colors while you are here.

  3. I've never been to the Oregon gardens. I do love going to Silver Falls State Park nearby. Stay warm and dry this weekend! :)

    1. The Oregon Garden had just been built a couple of years before we moved from Oregon. I have never been before. It's nice to see it now after the trees and plants have had a chance to grow in for 12 years. Still, it's nothing like the 100-year-old Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC.

  4. Loved seeing all the pics of your trip. Steve and I enjoyed our time in Oregon and hope to go back one day. It's hard to explain to people just how beautiful it is. Pictures don't do it justice!

    I did Oregon Garden twice. Beautiful!

    1. Thanks, Joan & Steve. I'd like to go back when the weather is nicer and explore all the garden trails.

  5. It does look chilly but the gardens are so pretty what's a little chill? Yum...that meal does sound perfect for a cold drizzly day.

  6. Thanks for coming to visit The Oregon Garden! Sorry to hear it was so chilly during your visit. But we hope you had a fun day, and that you'll come back again in better weather. Thanks for sharing your great photos of the Garden.

    1. You're welcome. The pleasure was ours. We still got a good look at parts of the garden.

      Can you identify the plant with purple, fuzzy, tall flowers and the "weird" plant in my photos? That would be helpful.

      You truly have a beautiful conifer collection. We'll definitely be back.

      P.S. A bit of rain and wind doesn't deter Oregonians much.



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