I wanted to share one of the coolest little spots in Portland that I found on my last trip there! Now mind you, I grew up in Oregon and lived there for over 18 years and I had never heard about this secret garden the entire time I lived there so I do think it’s quite the little hidden secret spot that not everybody knows about. It’s too beautiful of a place to keep secret though so I just had to share!
Did you know that there’s a little garden in the middle of Portland, Oregon that is a magical escape from the city? There is and it’s called Leach Botanical Gardens and it’s truly a spender to see! Most people don’t know about the garden as it’s tucked away in a residential area in a nice east side neighborhood but it’s open to the public free of charge and quite a treasure if you come across it.
It is a botanical and cultural garden created by a couple, John and Lilla Leach at their residence that they purchased in the 1930’s and nicknamed it Sleepy Hollow. They began creating a beautiful tranquil garden over their 4.5 acres and it was their wish to donate it so that the public could enjoy, learn, and conserve the majestic property. The original house still sits there but has been made into a little gift shop and it also is a perfect venue for weddings and parties.
I went on a cool misty Oregon morning and found it quite easily. There’s a parking area that is just a short walk up the driveway to the main entrance. There are volunteers on staff that welcome you 6 days a week and can give you tours or you can meander through at your leisure.
I knew as soon as I got there that I was about to embark on a nature walk that was extraordinary. I meandered through the property admiring the beauty of it all. I was literally twirling and prancing through the woods because I was so happy to be in such a tranquil setting amongst the tall trees.
After exploring the Manor house I went around to the back and there is a pretty terrace that makes for a great entertaining area complete with pretty plants and pergola. I am pretty sure that if I wasn’t already married I’d want to get married here because it’s absolutely gorgeous! As you walk along down the path you go into the woodlands. Johnson creek runs through the property with a small wooden bridge to cross over to the other side.
I felt like I was in transported into another place and time when I came across the original 1932 stone cabin and outdoor fireplace with the green moss growing so effortlessly throughout. It’s almost like a movie set and I was expecting elves and gnomes to come frolicking along any minute. It was so awesome to be in the stillness of the woods even though I knew I was pretty much in the middle of the city.
The flora is so bountiful and unique with many rare plants that have been carefully tended to. The trees give way to many native plants and bushes, each of which have been labeled with their name for educational purposes.
There are quite a few walking trails that allow you to experience the different areas of the property like the childrens discovery garden and rock garden.
If you’d like to visit this hidden little wonderland you can find out more about it here. If you’re a nature lover be sure to take a trip here and you won’t regret it!