Thursday, April 03, 2014

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 hummers love it and it blooms super early. Easy to grow, too.





Here are a few Pacific Northwest Natives that have naturalized in many locations throughout:






 
 And some lovely Saxifrage


 This is Elk Rock, the garden's namesake, situated in the Willamette River.








The native trout lily Erythronium hendersonii (I think).


 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, anyone?






 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!


16 comments :

  1. Loved your photos of this moss-strewn garden. What a special place!

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    1. Thanks, Alison - it is special, hopefully you can get there someday!

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  2. Wow, your pictures are marvelous, that garden is of an outstanding beauty. Should love to visit it but is too far away.

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    1. Hello Janneke,
      Thanks for reading and for your kind words. You have some amazing gardens there, and we certainly love reading your posts from the Netherlands. I guess blogs are a good way to travel virtually and one reason why we take the time to do so, to share what we are experiencing in our own backyards.

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  3. A true Pacific Northwest winter-garden. I love the mossy rocks and interesting tree bark and tree structures. And the brook and waterfall are the stuff of dreams. What a fun outing. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi Grace,
      Thanks for reading! The pond and waterfall are special...a great outing indeed. I hope you get the chance to see it in person someday!

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  4. GOSH! You took me away with this post! This garden is absolutely AMAZING friend! And your photos are just stunning! Look at all of the green where you are! WOW!!!!!! Happy weekend to you! Nicole xoxo.......and thanks for inspiring!

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    1. Hi Nicole, thanks for reading! This is an amazing garden, thank you again for your kind words! It's a special place, happy to share :)

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  5. Great photos Tamara, I'm glad you visited and enjoyed it. Something I find odd, with all the restrictions, is that they do allow dogs on a leash. I plan to take advantage of that on my next visit.

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    1. Thanks, Danger - and thanks for your great post(s). Yes, the dog thing - it seems like a little pug would feel right at home here :)

      I'm really grateful you shared this garden in your post!

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  6. What a beautiful place! That moss-covered rock wall is fantastic... Wow!

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    1. I know, it's so...oh, I don't know...primeval? A super special place, very Northwest. :)

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  7. I saw that Nicole (My Garden Diaries) had pinned a bunch of photos from your post. I live in Portland, as well, and used to go there all the time. I'm sorry to say that I haven't been in years. I had to come on over and read your whole post. I'm so glad to have the reminder that such a beautiful place is here. I need to haul the kids on a dry day, for sure! There were baby ducks the last time I was there. So, so sweet. It's an amazing garden, and the drive in (the houses in particular) is stunning. I see Grace has commented, as well. I'm a follower of both her and Nicole's blogs. Now, I'm anxious to peruse your blog, being an obsessive-compulsive gardener/blogger myself, and knowing that you're in my hometown. I also need to head over and check out Danger's.....

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    1. Hi Mindy, thanks for reading and for commenting! It is a special and somewhat hidden place, I'm so glad to know about it now. Definitely bring the kids, there were many exploring and having fun getting to know nature a little better. Thanks for reading my blog too, I'm honored! All those you mention are great bloggers, it's a wonderful thing to network and check out all the amazing posts out there. :) Danger Garden's blog is stunning, the first I ever followed, hope you get a chance to read some of her posts.

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  8. What a wonderful visit. I’m fascninated by those big boulders covered with moss and all the ferns - just gorgeous. I’d love to see that field of hellebores in bloom. Can’t wait to see more of your lush Portland gardens at the Garden Bloggers Fling this summer.

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    1. Hello Diana, how exciting you are coming to Portland! I look forward to meeting you! I don't think this garden is on the tour, but if you had an extra day or so, it's worth the visit. I love your last post too with Pam, such a sweet place. Thanks for sharing and reading this blog too! Cheers...Tamara

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