According to the online “Time” website…
One of Portland’s nicknames is the City of Roses, and this town has long been an incubator for the scented beauties. Nearly a century ago, a farsighted citizen convinced the local government to set up a rose test garden during World War I to preserve the species of European roses that might be decimated by the bombings. Thus, in 1917, the International Rose Test Garden was born, and lives on as the oldest official, continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States.
I had a chance to go to the Portland Rose Garden in 2011. I was excited as this was my first trip to Portland, the city of roses. It was a beautiful June weekend and I was hoping to see some good blooms. The Rose Festival was also happening.
The International Rose Test Garden is the main, famous garden, although there are some other smaller ones around the city. Its a few minutes from downtown but its easy enough to get their by bus, bike, or train.
Its a very nice walk and there’s also a Japanese garden as well as the Oregon Zoo. I was in the mood for some roses though, of course.
Unfortunately, not only were they not in bloom, but it was closed for the morning. I managed to sneak in and grab some pics though, even though it was mostly bare canes. In doing some research I found that it tends to bloom anywhere from May to June, depending on the weather. Looks like my visit was just a little too late!