Portland International Rose Garden, Gold Medal Garden

The Portland Rose Garden offers a beautiful break from the city. It also has some great views over Portland and is close to several other sights in Washington Park. This and its fee free admission make it a great place to start exploring Washington Park


The Portland Rose Garden is in Washington Park above downtown Portland. The parking lot is small, so arrive early or park along the road from the garden to Portland. The TriMet light rail red and blue lines stop in Washington Park and are a good way to avoid parking.

Some interesting sights close to the Portland Rose Garden in Washington Park include:

  • Portland Japanese Garden
    • The Portland Japanese Garden has really great views of Mt. Hood on clear days. The garden has examples of landscape, strolling and rock gardening styles from Japan.
  • Oregon Zoo
    • The major zoo for Oregon with animals from around the world. It also features many animals native to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Hoyt Arboretum
    • A large collection on conifers though some deciduous trees are included too. The arboretum also has 12 miles of hiking trails if you want to get in a long walk.


The Portland Rose Garden was started in 1917 to save roses during World War 1. It was feared that bombings could destroy hybrid roses that only existed in Europe. English rose breeders sent many samples of their roses to Portland for safe keeping. This lad to Portland being chosen as an international rose test site.

The garden grounds were completed in 1924 and opened to the public. The garden was designed by the city landscape architect Florence Holmes Gerke.

The garden has severed as an international test site for rose hybrids since 1919. This week’s view is of the Gold Medal Garden. It features the rose breeds that have won the rose hybrid gold medal in Portland since 1919.


The Portland Rose Garden was designed by Florence Holmes Gerke. She was charged with the design of the garden in 1921. In designing the garden she used a formal design.

French Formal Gardens became popular in the 1600s and 1700s in France. They used geometric plans to show order and reason. The most famous French formal garden is the Gardens of Versailles.

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