Have you seen them yet? The little pops of color coming out of soggy patches of soil? We have! And we are so excited for these initial signs of spring. Below you’ll find some of our favorite places to see spring blooms.

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Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden. This garden is lovely no matter the season. But it’s at its most spectacular when the rhododendrons bloom. Rhododendrons and azaleas start to bloom as early as February, with the peak in April and May. Admission is $7 for adults (19-64), $5 for youth (7-18) and children ages 6 and younger are free. 5801 SE 28th Ave.

International Rose Test Garden. Located in Washington Park, this garden has over 7000 rose plants of over 500 varieties. Roses usually start blooming in April, with a peak in June—but you can see them all the way until October. Looking for other great spots to smell the roses? Check out Peninsula Park (and stop at the playground on your way out!). 400 SW Kingston Ave.

The Oregon Garden. Come March, the air at The Oregon Garden is sweet with hyacinth. You’ll also find Oregon grape, crocuses, Japanese Andromeda, daffodils, rhododendrons and star magnolia, and many more. So many lovely colors and smells! Check the website for admission prices. 879 W. Main St., Silverton OR

Tryon Creek. If you’ve been to Tryon Creek in the spring, you’re familiar with the trillium. These three-leaved, native white flowers are absolutely everywhere, and gorgeous to view. Their peak time is in April, which is also generally when Tryon Creek has its annual Trillium Festival. 1131 SW Terwilliger Blvd.

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Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. It’s the Portland-area’s favorite photo op! Rows and rows (and rows and rows) of tulips of every color line the fields. There are also lots of fun activities to keep the kids happy, like cow trains, bouncy slides, and more. The event usually runs from the end of March through the end of April. Check the website for prices, and activities will have additional charges. 33814 S. Meridian Rd., Woodburn, OR

Portland Japanese Garden. Every season brings new delights to this traditional Japanese garden. When the cherry trees are in bloom, though, the garden is simply breathtaking. The season for cherry blossoms is typically late March to early April. Check the website for admission prices and hours. 611 SW Kingston Ave.

Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Speaking of photo ops and cherry blossoms . . . When the cherry trees bloom in downtown Portland, it’s truly a sight to behold. Grab your kid and your camera and head out to the downtown waterfront for views of the Willamette with pink and white cherry blossoms falling around you. Late March to early April are the best times to go! Naito Parkway between SW Harrison St. and NW Glisan St.

Lan Su Chinese Garden. The smell of this authentic Chinese garden in spring is unearthly. In early March, the garden starts to really bloom, with magnolia, orchid and camellias. See admission prices here. 293 NW Everett St.

Laurelhurst Park. Cross the street from the playground to explore the blooms and animals at Laurelhurst park. You’ll find rhododendron, cherry blossoms and other blooming trees, baby ducklings and—if you’re lucky—even some baby turtles. SE 39th and Stark St.

Ali Wilkinson
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