With its rich soil and temperate climate, the Salem area has become home to a number of farms featuring jaw-dropping display gardens that draw visitors by the thousands. Combine these garden gems with the more than 30 award-winning wineries in the area, and you’ve got the makings for the perfect spring getaway to the Mid-Willamette Valley.
Just north of Salem, enjoy the ultimate garden experience by visiting the twelve nurseries, farms and stores that make up the new Gardening 263 Trail. Find your perfect peony at Adelman’s Peony Gardens or Brooks Gardens, get lost in the sea of colors at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens and meander through the lush display of hostas and other shade-loving plants at Sebright Gardens.
After enjoying the stops on the Gardening 263 Trail, head west to visit some of the vineyards in the beautiful Eola-Amity Hills AVA. At Stangeland Vineyards & Winery, savor beautiful hilltop views as you sample their award-winning, estate grown wines. Named for an ancient oak tree that was used as a surveyor’s landmark in 1854, nearby Witness Tree Vineyards produces first-rate Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Pinot blanc and Viognier. Finish your Eola Hills area wine wanderings with a stop at Cristom Vineyards – recently named one of Oregon’s best wineries to visit by Food & Wine Magazine.
In the city of Salem, take a step back in time with a visit to Deepwood Gardens, a 4.5-acre English-style garden created by renowned landscape architects Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver in 1930. The gardens at Deepwood feature covered arches, gazebos and a nature trail that weaves its way along the western border of the property.
Of course, no Mid-Willamette Valley garden tour is complete without a trip to the region’s crown jewel: The 80-acre Oregon Garden. Stay overnight at the Oregon Garden Resort – the perfect home base from which to explore the charming town of Silverton. Be sure to stop at Howard Hinsdale Cellars & Bistro, a cozy riverside restaurant featuring a wide array of hand-picked wines paired with great food. In the surrounding area, you’ll find more friendly faces and boutique-style wines at family-owned wineries like Pudding River Wine Cellars and Silver Falls Vineyards.
For more gardens and places to explore in the Salem area this spring, visit the Official Salem Area Website, www.TravelSalem.com.