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Visit a local garden for relaxation, restoration, and inspiration

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Want to get outside this summer? (We know we do!) Visiting a local garden is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air, sunshine, and plants. It’s also a great way to learn about water-wise gardening, including smart irrigation, plant choices, and mulch options. 

With drought as a growing concern around Oregon, it’s important that we optimize our water use to protect our resources while creating beautiful spaces. Portland is not facing a water shortage thanks to our two water supplies - the Bull Run Watershed and the Columbia South Shore Well Field. However, it’s always important to conserve water in our gardens as much as possible. 

The Portland area has many great gardens to visit. Dive into gardening history at the Leach Botanical Garden. Find serenity at the world-famous Japanese Gardens. Learn all about water-efficient plant choices, mulches, and drip irrigation technology at the Multnomah County Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden. 

Tours are still cancelled at many gardens due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but most gardens are open to visitors. Here are just a few of our local gardens that are worth a visit. Check websites for schedules and availability. 

Be your own tour guide! Even without a guided tour, you can still get the most out of your visit. An open garden is a great place to view efficient growing and watering practices. 

What do you see? As you walk around the garden, make observations! How is it being irrigated? Do the beds have mulch? How many water-efficient plants can you find? Do you notice any other growing practices that allow the garden to save water? 

Be inspired! If you are a gardener, you might notice an efficient growing technique or new plant that inspires you. Bring the idea home to your own garden to try! One trip to a plant nursery or the hardware store later and you could be installing your very own water-wise garden. 

Interested in an irrigation controller? You can get a rebate up to $100!  Want some new plants? Explore water-efficient plants for the Pacific Northwest or shop for plants at a local nursery. Curious to learn more? Check out OSU’s Master Gardener Program

Even for those without a green thumb, visiting a local garden is a way to get your plant “fix” without hours spent digging and planting. For gardeners and non-gardeners alike, let’s all get outside, enjoy some fresh air, and make the most of the summer.