A trip to the Elk Rock Garden, the garden at the Bishop’s Close.

The best things in life really are free – especially in Portland. I can’t believe it took me this long to discover this hidden gem just a stone’s throw away from my house! Although we just missed the crocus in bloom, there were still many wonderful sites to behold in early March and many promises of beautiful things to come.


Matthew The Lent’s Farmer with Yvee at the entrance on a rare sunny afternoon! As you can tell by her smile, Yvee is as excited to explore as we are!

My family and friends who aren’t in the gardening community often give me a lot of grief because I’m constantly dragging them to places like this but what a wonderful way for a fairly new gardener to see fully realized and mature plants.

This could be a photograph from our trip to Ireland!


On to the garden and it’s wonders….


Rhododendron sinogrande (right?)

A lesson I’ve learned over the years is to take pictures of plant tags! I’m pretty sure this is the one I saw at the Portland Home and Garden show in February.

Although I don’t particularly like rhododendron flowers, I do have a thing for interesting foliage so they present a bit of a conundrum for me. Then there are the ones like in the picture below….wow! If only I had the setting for something like this..


If you are a magnolia lover, the garden will be a delight for you! Everywhere you turn around there is one waiting to be discovered!


Magnolia dawsoniana

One could get dizzy looking up and down so much! So many tall, mature trees providing shade to a plethora of goodness below! Take this oxalis for example. I’m always to tempted by oxalis and this incredible carpet really is making it hard to resist!


In my head, this is what the slope of my shade/fern garden looks like!


My harsh reality!


This will be my shade area’s second year so there is still a lot to do and a bit of a blank canvas! There are about 15 hostas still to pop up, though! 

Visiting gardens can be great for inspiration and this field of hellebores gave me a great idea for my shady slope!




What a great place to see fully realized attributes of your favorite plants! I’m going to be an old man by the time mine gets anywhere near this!


Stewartia pseudocamelia

One of the meandering paths. Caution: not completely “wagon accessible” throughout.

Remember what I said about their magnolia collection? This one was a “clutch the pearls” moment!


Magnolia delavayi

SWOOON! If only I had the space for this beauty!


One the other end of the spectrum, there were darling little woodland beauties lining the paths along the way!


Not sure what it is but it’s adorable

Look at the color! I must figure out what this is and find it!


I had to smile as I stumbled upon a familiar nursery tag!


My favorite nursery Xera Plants. 

The madrones (Arbutus menziesii) had the best view!

I’ve seen troughs before at open gardens and, if memory serves me right, McMenammin’s Edgefield, but this is the first time I’ve seen them in a more natural setting. I thought they were pretty cool and wondered how old they might be.



The lawn was beautiful, too, and reminded me that we were actually in what was once a residence.


Look at that green space!

A little perspective for scale.


Another magnificent magnolia! Matthew and Yvee were good sports putting up with my picture taking but decided to go on ahead.


I met up with them for some selfies before leaving.

One last look….incredible!


Looking forward to my next visit and seeing what new wonders will have appeared!

For more information for your own visit http://www.elkrockgarden.org



4 thoughts on “A trip to the Elk Rock Garden, the garden at the Bishop’s Close.

  1. Clutch the Pearls? You remember that?
    It is odd to see Southern magnolia in Portland. I noticed them at the airport, and was told that they do well there. The windmill palms about town look funny too.


  2. I can see you receive plenty of rain in your neck of the woods. Everything looks so lush and green. The little blue plant (I don’t know what it is either) is gorgeous.


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