It’s hard to believe, but the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Ore., is seven years old. And following some early struggles, now may just be the garden’s time to shine. Moonstone Hotels is about ready to open the Oregon Garden Resort, a 103-room hotel complete with restaurant, spa and wedding facilities. Although construction is slightly behind schedule, there will be a soft opening of the resort rooms on Monday, Sept. 15, with a full resort opening to follow by the first of October.
It is hoped that the synergy between the resort and the garden will combine to increase the visitor count, which has declined to about one-fifth of what it was in its opening year. This resulted in revenue troubles and the garden going into receivership, before Moonstone stepped into the picture. Resort officials now are hoping that people will give the garden a second look. “People who haven’t been to the garden in a few years are amazed at how mature it is,” resort manager Lynda Gill said.
On a personal note, I took my wife out there yesterday to check it out, and one could not have asked for a more beautiful day. The garden is a wonderful showcase for the Oregon nursery industry and its quality plant material. The garden contains a dazzling variety of perennials, shrubs, trees and wetland plants, plus a vegetable garden that grows food for local food banks and looks great while doing it. On top of all that, there was a classic car show going on, complete with a DJ spinning classic tunes, and a large crowd was out there to enjoy it.
All in all, I would say the Oregon Garden is one of the best gardens you can see in the Northwest without having to get a passport, drive a long distance and take a long boat ride to Victoria, B.C. (and that one has had years to mature into the attraction it is today). And at 80 acres (larger than Butchart), nestled into the Cascade foothills with a commanding view of the Willamette Valley — The Oregon Garden is only going to get better.