Elk Rock Garden at the Bishop's Close
A few weeks ago Danger Garden posted about Elk Rock Garden at Bishop's Close. Wow, thanks, Danger! I had never been, and being a gardener and a native Portlander...what shame! I did not even know it existed. Danger's post was so intriguing we had to go. It was so wonderful I thought it worthy of yet another post and certainly more photos.
We had a dry-ish Sunday last week so after a quick stop at Xera Plants, we headed out. What follows is a visual journal of our visit, it will not be our last. I will go on a few of the suggested trails to view several rare species of trees. For now, let's sit back and enjoy some spring foliage at a well-established, 100-year-old garden.
The Garden of the Bishop's Close is known as Elk Rock Garden. It was created over many years by Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kerr. Mr. Kerr was from Scotland and came to America in 1888.
The house and grounds are now owned by the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon. The garden is managed by the Elk Rock Garden Foundation and the Friends of Elk Rock. It is free and open to the public, and is a fine, fine garden.
The house was designed by D.E. Lawrence to resemble a Scottish manor home. Construction started in 1914 and took two years to complete.
So that's the house, now let's go for a walk around the 13 some acres. What follows is a fraction of the photos we took, heavy editing was a must as it's a photo-worthy place indeed.
Ready? Here we go.
Ribes sanguineum, a shrub native to the area. Bees and hummingbirds adore it and it blooms very early in the season. Easy to grow, too.
Here are a few Pacific Northwest Natives that have naturalized in many locations throughout:
Mahonia nervosa, one species of our native Oregon grape.
Polypodium blycyrrhiza, our native licorice fern. Vancouveria hexandra above.
Tellima grandiflora, our native fringecups.
And some lovely Saxifrage
This is Elk Rock, the garden's namesake, situated in the Willamette River.
Mosses, the quintessential Pacific Northwest woodland plant.
The native trout lily Erythronium hendersonii.
Arbutus menzesii, or our native madrone trees. Lovely bark.
A trail along the river lined with madrone trees and licorice ferns. From this height you are above Canada geese honking around in the river below. They make a fine music for your visit. Honk! Honk!
The maples emerge!
Another lovely native plant, Trillium.
A field of hellebore.
I believe these trees to be Acer griseum, paperbark maple.
A Spotted Towhee hanging out in a viburnum.
This is why I have no camellias in my garden.
On the way out, such loveliness everywhere.
I leave you with David's parting shot: A lonely dandelion saying Hello Spring!
Elk Rock Garden is special. It's open year-round and although picnicking, games, weddings and groups are not allowed, I think it's for the best. It is a garden for walking and contemplation maintained with funds from an endowment and contributions to the garden fund. You can become a member of the Friends of Elk Rock or donate a little something at the visitor's center.
Thank you for reading. Until next week, happy gardening!