May in Oregon's Willamette Valley means many wonderful flowers are blooming (and therefore tons of pollen fill the air too, gesundheit!), and one of my favorites is the iris. Not much better than sticking your nose right in the heart of an iris flower and basking in the aroma! One of the best spots to see and smell (and purchase) irises is Schreiner's Iris Gardens, located a bit north of Salem, Oregon. Elaine and I visited on a lovely, gray morning and tiptoed through their irises... And peonies and alliums and poppies... And more. It was magnificent.
Molalla River Recreation Area, May 2017
Southeast of the town of Molalla (itself southeast of Portland) is an Oregon hidden gem, the Molalla River Recreation Area. It follows the river as it cuts through foothills of the Cascade mountains and has a series of hiking and mountain biking trails that take you through forests so thick they make you feel a million lightyears from the Willamette Valley just a little below.
Flower Gardens, May 2017
On Memorial Day weekend 2017, Amanda and I visited two incredible flower farms (both family-owned) north of Salem, Oregon: Adelman Peony Gardens and Schreiner's Iris Gardens. I've seen a fair number of breathtakingly lovely sights in my life, but it's hard to top looking out across acres and acres of irises or peonies, wow! And the aromas, sigh, were so good too. It's hard to beat Oregon in the spring, and these spots (along with the Wooden Shoe tulips earlier) are living proof. Plus, you can buy the flowers for your own yard...
Swan Island Dahlias, August 2018
Every summer in Oregon locals and tourists alike head to the Swan Island dahlia farm in Canby for its annual showcase of stunning dahlia blooms…