Silverton, Oregon, nestled in the cradle of the Willamette Valley, and located forty-five minutes southeast of Portland, is the perfect blend of small town charm and the Portland “weirdness” we all know and love. It has vast farmlands, incredible greenery, horses, stunning mountain views, small shops, local merchants, affordable and classic housing and, a close knit community. It celebrates diversity by electing and reelecting a transgender mayor. Silverton is also home to numerous microbreweries, a Bible college, an equestrian college and of course, the Oregon Garden.
The Oregon Garden is an 80 -acre botanical garden, “[F]eaturing more than 20 specialty gardens showcasing the diverse botanical beauty that can be found in the Willamette Valley and throughout the Pacific Northwest.” The Garden has educational specialty gardens for everyone, from the Sensory Garden and Rose Garden to “Children’s Garden and Pet-Friendly Garden, or the Silverton Market Garden and Amazing Water Garden”. Of course, like any good outdoor area in Oregon, it is pet friendly.
Keeping true to form with Portland, Oregon’s “green” standards, the Oregon Garden is sustainable. The dedication to sustainability is evidenced in “green roofs, composting, edible landscaping, barley straw algae control and more.” Visitors to the Garden can see the Wetlands Habitat, and the pools that support wildlife and assist in cooling Silverton’s treated waste water.
My first experience with the Oregon Garden, however, was not flowers… or anything having to do with nature, really. It was actually a birthday present and, more specifically, a concert given to me (and a couple thousand screaming fans) for my birthday by my very thoughtful sister. The artist was none other than Pat Benatar.
Obviously, this is an example of how odd and wonderful Silverton, Oregon can be: a concert by a living legend held among flowers and the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and the Willamette Valley in particular. I watched and sang along as she sang, danced, bantered and drank what she called, “Oregon water”, but which you and I know as beer. I did all this, not knowing my darling sister could have saved some money by purchasing a membership, which would have allowed her access to even more shows on the cheap. But, all summer long, you can see these shows at the Oregon Garden.
The Oregon Garden is a must see experience for any residents and visitors to the Pacific Northwest and is just one more reason why living in Portland, Oregon is so amazing. The Oregon Garden is located at 879 W Main Street in Silverton. For information, visit http://www.oregongarden.org/.