“intense display of rhododendrons”
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens are botanical gardens located between Reed College and the Eastmoreland Golf Course in southeastern Portland in the U.S. state of Oregon. The gardens, at Southeast 28th Avenue and Woodstock Boulevard, cover 9.49acre, and are named for Crystal Springs Creek, which flows along its western side. Crystal Springs Gardens feature more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and other plants in a setting of small lakes, paved and unpaved paths, fountains, and small waterfalls.The gardens are open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. from April through September and from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from October through March. Admission is $4 from March through Labor Day and free from Labor Day through the end of February.The project began in 1950 as a rhododendron test garden on a site previously covered with brush, blackberries, native trees, and the remnants of a Shakespeare theater developed by students of Reed College. In 1964, the park's name was officially changed to Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.In addition to the manicured areas that make up most of the gardens, patches of less orderly shrubs, upland forest, marsh vegetation, and submerged logs attract wildlife, especially waterfowl, most prevalent in winter. The Rhododendron Society has counted 94 species in the garden, including grebes, herons, ducks, Canada geese, wigeons, gulls, thrushes, nuthatches, hummingbirds, and others.
The development of a display and test garden was initiated in 1950 by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. Sam Jackson, owner of the Oregon Journal, had donated 27 acres on Terwilliger Blvd for the garden, but the site was deemed unsuitable because of its steep terrain. Claude I. Sersanous, one of the group assigned to select a new site, suggested the garden's present location near Reed College. Referred to as Shakespeare Island by Reed College students because of the Shakespearean plays that had been performed there, it was abandoned and overgrown with brush and blackberries. Through the efforts of chapter memebers and other volunteers, and with the support of Park Superintendent C.P. Keyser, the garden flourished. In 1964, the garden was officially named Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.
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Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
- Sun - Sat: 6:00 am - 10:00 pm
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