12 spots to find blooms in the Salem-area
Someone once said, “A garden is a friend you can visit any time.” In the Mid-Willamette Valley, you’ll find an abundance of friends to choose from. From rich roses to hardy hostas, many local growers not only showcase their plants for sale but have also created awe-inspiring display gardens that draw visitors from far and wide.
The Mid-Willamette Valley is home to several breathtaking botanical gardens. One you’ll definitely want to visit is the Delbert Hunter Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Dallas. You’ll find perennials, conifers, oaks, wetland species and even dryland desert plants, thanks to the varied terrain contained within the arboretum.
Celebrate the start of spring at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm’s Tulip Fest in Woodburn. From March 24 to April 30, visitors are greeted by a sea of brightly-colored tulips arranged on 40 acres of land. Enjoy expansive views of vineyards and nearby mountains while participating in a range of family-friendly activities.
From deep black to pure white, Schreiner’s Iris Gardens, located just north of Salem, features more than 500 varieties of irises and countless companion plants. Take a walk through 10 acres of display gardens, where thousands of irises will be in bloom this May.
Sometimes referred to as Salem’s secret garden, the Martha Springer Botanical Garden is located on the campus of Willamette University and offers a quiet place for contemplation and reflection. Opened in 1988 in honor of Professor Martha Springer, the one-acre garden contains 12 smaller gardens stretched along the creek that bisects the campus.
Just a few miles west of McMinnville, the Stastny Garden Gallery boasts a unique combination of plants and hand-sculpted masterpieces. The garden art includes granite and metal sculptures, mosaic pieces and fountains. After touring the three-acre garden, guests can view local works of art in the indoor gallery.
Looking for peonies? Between early May and mid-June, you’ll encounter 500 different peony varieties at Adelman Peony Gardens in Salem. Stroll through 25 acres of fields while experiencing a kaleidoscope of colors and the varying smells of peonies.
Brooks Gardens also offers the chance to see flowers in bloom. Explore three acres of iris gardens or wander into the peony fields, where more than 100 varieties of peonies bloom. Pick out fresh-cut flowers or a potted plant to take home.
Roses and other fair flowers can be found at Historic Deepwood Gardens, a five-acre English-style garden surrounding Historic Deepwood Estate in Salem. Created by landscape architects Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver in 1930, the garden features covered arches and gazebos, ornamental gates and fences and a nature trail that weaves its way through the western border of the property.
Bush’s Pasture Park is a 90-acre oasis of fruiting and flowering trees, native plants, a formal rose garden and majestic oaks near downtown Salem. The gardens, part of a Victorian farmstead established by pioneer businessman Asahel Bush II, include an 1878 Italianate mansion and a conservatory built in 1882.
The Salem-area is home to beautiful Sebright Gardens, which offers more than 900 varieties of hostas, as well 150 varieties of ferns and other shade-loving plants. Wander through four acres of beautiful display garden and then select the perfect additions for your yard or patio. The garden is open April through October.
If you’re looking for wildflowers, head to Deer Creek Nature Park. Situated southwest of McMinnville, it contains one of the largest wet prairie ecosystems in the Willamette Valley. Each spring the park’s native wildflowers burst into bloom. The 29-acre park also offers abundant picnic areas, streams and nature walks.
No garden tour is complete without a trip to the area’s shining showpiece, the Oregon Garden. The 80-acre botanical wonderland, located in Silverton, features 20 specialty gardens, a hobbit house, water features and more. Well-behaved pets on leashes are welcome at the garden and a trolley takes visitors on guided tours daily from March to October.