Sunday, March 20, 2016

Visiting Portland, Oregon--Gardens in the Rain

gray Oregon sky; flowering trees
Portland: Flowering trees, but note the gray sky.
We went to Portland, Oregon for just a weekend in the middle of March, 2016. Oh! the contrast with northern Colorado. Northern Colorado has had mild early spring weather, but the dominant color is the brown of the plains and the bluegray sky.

Colorado in March
Colorado, with a snowstorm coming. 

Portland was richly green, chilly and drizzling.

Portland, OR

The cool rain didn't stop the plants from being spectacular!

Pieris japonica
Pieris japonica, Japanese andromeda
Rain made the leaves of Pieris japonica, Japanese andromeda (blueberry family, Ericaceae), above, shiny and bright.

green lawns
green lawn!
A record wet winter, just ending, had Portland's lawns emerald green. The roses here, in Portland's famous rose garden, were just expanding their first leaves (below).

rose leaves
Roses will new, wet leaves
Around the rose garden were earlier-blooming flowers, such as this hellebore (Helleborus sp., buttercup family, Ranunculaceae--or hellebore family, Helleboraceae, depending on the expert you read):


Hellebores tend to nod, which protects their flowers from the rain. Bees have no problem getting to the flowers (although they weren't visible as I stood there in a light rain. Smart bees!).

flowering azalea
Flowering azalea
Bright purple azaleas were in flower. I saw huge rhododenrons, three times the size of this plant, but the dramatic display they make was weeks away.

Rain gave everything intense color:

Japanese garden
In Portland's Japanese Garden, the light rain made rich colors. 
Not all the plants agreed it was spring. This lovely-shaped tree had neither leaves nor flowers yet.

dormant tree
Wherever people let them, the trees in Portland grew tall!

Oregon forest

Three more flower pictures, just because, since spring was not nearly so far along in northern Colorado, I enjoyed them so much:


Oregon flowers


If spring is this far along where you are, enjoy it! If not, well, it is coming. 

Comments and corrections welcome.

Kathy Keeler
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