Much is rightly made of
Portland's Japanese Garden, which expanded this year. But few know that Portland has a public Scottish garden just as large, and in many ways just as lovely.
On Dunthorpe's Elk Rock bluff facing Mount Hood and the river, flush from the grain business, a turn-of-the-20th-century Scotsman named Peter Kerr built himself a 13-acre garden manse in the old English style befitting naturalists and romantics—a place of winding paths and fish ponds and streams that is carefully tended to appear somewhat untended. At the Elk Rock Garden at the Bishop's Close, there is an almost unfathomable bounty of plant life. Rare magnolias and chrysanthemums bloom, wisteria snarls against the manor walls, and bishop's hat nestles against the oaks. Witch hazel grows in the parterres, where curving paths are lined with low hedges, and Japanese paper bush grows to the height of a man.
In Oregon's wealthiest neighborhood by real estate pricing, Elk Rock Garden is a place of uncommon serenity that is accessible to all. And in a sort of photo negative of Oswego Lake, it is a private garden that is always open to the public. After Kerr's death in 1957, his children donated it to the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon on the sole condition that it always be available to the public at no charge. And so it is, from 8 to 5 every single day at 11800 SW Military Lane.
Best of Portland 2017 This Year, More Than Ever, It's Important to Stop and Take Note of Everything That Makes Portland What It Is Here are the Winners of the Best of Portland Readers' Poll 2017 Here are the Things WW Declared "The Best" in the Last 12 Months Inside Mall 205, You'll Find Oregon's Last Remaining Magic Shop Portland's Raging Grannies Have Been Protesting Since the 1960s, And You Do Not Want to Mess With Them A Vancouver Man Bought Naked Falls Swimming Hole, So He Could Re-Open It to the Public Rodney Scott Puts On Portland's Greatest Indie Firework Show Cabel Sasser Found a McDonalds Mural That Led Him to Uncover a Secret Collection of Art Two College Students Started An Organization to Provide Bras and Underwear to Homeless Women Jim Hipsher Is Portland's Greatest Live Book of Poetry These Two Women Make Showing Up for Jury Duty A Lot Less Terrible On Northeast Broadway, You Can Learn Boxing From Two-Time World Champ Molly "Fearless" McConnell Portland Urban Golf Makes the Entire Changing City Its Ever-Evolving Personal Golf Course Did You Know You Can Play a 9-Hole Portland-Themed Mini-Golf Course? Seven Years Ago, New Trail Blazer Caleb Swanigan Was 360 Pounds and Living in Homeless Shelters Each Week, a Group Goes to Laurelhurst Park to Throw Axes Through the Air—And They're Really Good Portland Now Has a Nonprofit That Gives Kids Access to Free Pinball Marathon Taverna Hosts Portland's Best Late-Night Raffle, Giving Away T-Shirts and 100-Level Blazers Tickets The City of Portland Made a Sign Reading "Heartbreak Dead Ahead" There's a Secret, Profit-Free Bookstore "Forest" on Division Street You Can Get a Pre-Addressed Letter to Trump from Paymaster Lounge's Vending Machine A Local Business Totally Trolled Willamette Week—And It Was Awesome The ACLU of Oregon Has Emerged as Portland's Most Consistent Free-Speech Fundamentalists Division Street's Oregon Theater Is Portland's Greatest NSFW Twitter Account There's a Library in Vancouver Full of Hundreds of Books That Have Never Been Published, And Never Will Be Alberta Street's American Legion Post 134 Went Rogue—Inviting Homeless In and Hosting LGBTQ Nights Beaverton's Spectra Gymnastics Provides Play Spaces for Kids on the Autism Spectrum There's a Hidden, Underground Sculpture Inside the Standard Insurance Center in Downtown Portland One of the Oldest Retail Businesses in the City is a 127-Year-Old Woman-Owned Costume Shop—Now, It's in Danger of Closing In the Portland Area's Wealthiest Neighborhood Lies a Hidden, Public Scottish Garden As Large as the Japanese Garden The Zymoglyphic Museum is a Self-Contained World of Rogue Taxidermy and Steampunk Every Sunday, Portland Hosts a Real-Life "Fast and the Furious" Portland's Best Daycaction is a Cheap Flight to Pendleton, Where the Cowboys Still Walk The Streets Oregon City's Tim Kovar Is one of the Nation's Foremost Tree-Climbing Experts Hero Punk Stole the Satyricon Sign and Sold it to VooDoo Doughnut Owner in Exchange for Lifetime Doughnuts High School Junior Won a Major Science Competition in the World By Investigating Where Portland's Fish Went Who Do You Call When Your Goat Is Throwing Up? Portland's Go-To Goat Doctor, Of Course Meet the Portland Poodle Who Dresses Better Than You Every Saturday, A Train Runs Through Oaks Bottom, Making Birdwatching Actually Fun Right Now, Three Dogs Living at a Southeast Portland Dispensary Are High on CBD Dog Treats Feeling Sad Lately? Snuggle Up to One of Portland's Therapy Bunnies Pet Barn Will Watch Your Boa Constrictor While You're Out of Town, But Not Your Dog In the '90s, Two Portland Teenagers Aired Old WWF Matches. Now, They Have a Treasure Trove of Wrestling Archives Portland Science Rapper Coma Niddy Has the Best Rhymes About Black Holes You've Ever Heard There is a Secret Willamette River Bridge Most Portlanders Have Forgotten Exists Hero Portland Man Built an 8-Foot Tall Multnomah Falls Out of LEGOs There's An Alley in North Portland Where Robots Will Call Out To You Daddy Mojo's Has the Finest Gallery of Signed Celebrity Memorabilia of Any Bar in Portland Portland's Black Book Guitars Owner Has Tracked Down Guitars from Elliot Smith and Kurt Cobain Thank God for the Los Cactus Food Cart, Which, For 14 Years Has Fed Junkyard Customers for Cheap Two Portlanders Created a Willy Wonka-Style Edible Forest Near Milwaukie Portland's Best Bagelmaker Was Saved By Someone in Line at WinCo—Now, He's Repaying Strangers' Kindness You and Your Friends Can Drink for Free for an Hour on Your Birthday at This Portland Bar The Portland-Area Finally Has Hong Kong-Style Ice Cream Bubble Waffles Yes, There Is a Place in Portland Where You Can Try Witches' Brews and Heal Yourself with a Fire Pit Portland's Best Fritters Come From Donut Queen on 58th and East Burnside When a Pro-Trump Rally Came to Portland, a Good Samaritan Helped Calm the Tension By Handing Out Free Weed If You Haven't Noticed Yet, the Trail Blazers Twitter Account is on Fire The New Market of Choice On Belmont Has The Very Best Grocery Store Beer Selections We've Ever Seen Yes, There a Secret Underground Bowling Alley in the Center of Portland When Portland Saw Snowstorms, the National Weather Service Twitter Became Our 24/7 Therapist