Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



It's pretty much volunteers who maintain Southeast's famous Rhododendron Garden. You could be one of them!

RITA A. LEONARD - The celebration starts at the entrance to the historic Rhododendron Garden, on S.E. 28th Avenue. One of Portland Parks' treasures is about to celebrate its seventieth birthday. It's the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, at 5801 S.E. 28th Avenue, just west of Reed College. Here you can observe waterfowl, enjoy year-round rhododendron and azalea blooms, and scenic vistas, or just refresh yourself in a lovely natural area.

The Garden was established by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society in 1950, and its 70th anniversary this year will be recognized at the Society's national convention this year in Portland, and in Vancouver, Washington, from April 30 through May 3.

The 9.5-acre public garden features over 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, and companion plants. Its care and upkeep depends on its memberships, entrance fees, plant sales, special events, and volunteers; significant beautification projects are completed there every year.

This year, Garden Chair Dan McLaughlin reports, the Jane Martin Garden near the entrance is being re-landscaped by McQuiggin's Inc., since many of the old rhododendrons there had begun to die off. Volunteers spent some six weeks relocating plants before landscaping began, with plans for an end-of-March completion.

RITA A. LEONARD - Among the projects needing repair in the historic Rhododendron Garden are the deteriorating walls below the gatehouse. Due to the well-publicized cutbacks in Portland Parks and Recreation's budget, the internationally-recognized garden must become more self-sufficient, in order to complete several necessary projects. These include rebuilding the deteriorating walls below the Gatehouse, and relocating to the peninsula the Fran & Ed Egan Garden – which has been eroding into the lake.

Last year, the Friends held their first ever fund-raising event, "An Evening in the Garden". The successful program included good food, wine, beer, live music, and an art raffle. Plans are already under way for a similar event on September 10 of this year. The annual Mother's Day Show & Sale (May 9-10) and the Spring Daffodil Show & Sale (April 4-5) also offer special opportunities to enjoy the famous 70-year-old garden. If you'd care to be among the volunteers who gather every Wednesday morning from February through November each year to clean and update the scenic areas, e-mail – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And, to obtain a garden membership, or just to find out about the garden's days and hours open, call 503/267-7509.

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