Elk Rock Gardens at Bishop’s Close

by Rainbow Bobbins

Molly and I headed out to Elk Rock Gardens at Bishops Close in Lake Oswego. We had planned on a more ambitious hike from Tryon Park through the mansions of Dunthorpe and on to the Elk Rock Garden but we were pressed for time so we headed directly to the Bishop of the Diocese of Oregon’s house and garden for a little look see. The gardens are on a riverside estate once owned by a local grain magnate who donated the whole kaboodle to the catholic church. The grounds were designed by Olmsted and Son (the designers of NY’s central park – read “Devil in the White City” for an interesting history of some other projects Mr. Olmsted was involved in). The gardens overlook the Willamette and are lovely. The Magnolia tree, camillas and rhododendrons were in bloom. There was a small pond with a bunch of salamanders having sex – spring is in the air. Salamanders are cool. We also spotted a peregrine falcon sitting in a tree overlooking the river. I also spotted train tracks running along the river — it turns out they are for the Willamette Shore Trolley that runs from Lake O and drops you off in Portland – I’m so on that. After walking around the garden we drove around Dunthrope checking out the mansions while it hailed outside then stopped for hot coco. Nice!bishopsclose