Salem Online History This site is provided by Salem Public Library (Salem, Oregon).
space space
Brief History
Natural History
Timeline Search
Historic Gardens of Salem

Bush Pasture Park                               
600 Mission St. SE
Salem, OR 97302
(503) 581-2228 

Salem Art Association, Bush Barn Gardens always open to the public.

Greenhouse: 9am – 4pm weekdays and weekend afternoons. Built by Mr. Bush for his daughters in 1882, is now the oldest greenhouse in Oregon and is filled with period plants, maintained by volunteers.Originally the home of Asahel Bush, pioneer banker and newspaperman, Bush’s Pasture Park now boasts a delicious mix of open spaces, walking paths, gardens, and a Victorian greenhouse. Native garry oaks tower over the main axis of the park, while a spectacular well-laden collection of unusual flowering shrubs and trees add color from late winter to midsummer in the area surrounding the Bush House Museum and rose gardens.The rose gardens themselves date from the late 1950s, and include extensive older hybrid tea plantings as well as the Tartar Old Rose Collection - the finest collection of old roses on public property in the Northwest.

Other features include tulip/annual beds, a small herb garden, extensive plantings of deciduous azaleas, and perennial borders. The latter are currently under refurbishment by The Friends of Bush Gardens, a volunteer organization assisting the Salem Parks Operations Division. A recently constructed Victorian-style gazebo provides a focal point for the rose gardens and invites you rest a moment in this fine and unique setting.

Historic Deepwood Gardens
Salem, OR 97302
(503) 363-1825
Gardens open daily dawn to dusk. Reserved for weddings many summer Saturdays.
The English style gardens of Historic Deepwoods Estate were created by Lord and Schryver in 1929. The formerly private garden consists of a series of beautifully designed garden room surrounding an 1894 Queen Anne style home, and a natural area of special interest in early spring. Extensive use of evergreen plant material and the excellence of the design make the garden of interest in all seasons. A 270-foot Gertrude Jekyll inspired border garden, herb gardens, shade garden, and greenhouse further enhance the property. The gardens are jointly maintained by the Salem Parks Operations Division and the volunteer Deepwoods Gardeners.

Oregon State Capitol Grounds
155 Waverly St. NE
Salem, OR 97302
(503) 378-4286
Parks open year around, dawn to dusk. Staff present weekdays, 7am - 3:30pm.

A walk through the Capitol can offer a wondrous escape from the outside world, if only for a short time. Within the boundaries of the Capitol grounds exist hundreds of varieties of trees, shrubs, and flowers which provide a dazzling display for all seasons.

Special plantings by garden clubs such as the Fuchsia Society, Salem Garden Club, and the Rose Society, give their seasonal explosion of color on the grounds. A visit to the Capitol will indeed be a memorable one.

Willamette University
Martha Springer Botanical Garden,
Sesquicentennial Rose Garden,
Germaine Fuller Japanese Garden
900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
(503) 370-6143
Campus gardens always open to interested visitors.

Three special gardens have been created at Willamette University, and the beautifully landscaped 61-acre campus which spans the Mill Race also has more than 1,000 trees and several sculptures.

The Martha Springer Botanical Garden, located behind Sparks Center, has 12 areas, including a butterfly garden, herb garden, alpine rock garden, theme borders, and Oregon native areas.

The Sesquicentennial Rose Garden, planted in 1992, is directly across State Street from the Oregon Capitol.

The Germaine Fuller Japanese Garden is south of the Art Building at State and Winter Streets.

Nearby is another campus landmark, five Giant Redwoods known as the Star Trees, the Redwoods of Willamette University. These five Sequoia Redwoods on State Street are referred to as the "Cathedral of the Centuries" by Willamette University. They were planted to honor the school’s 100th anniversary in 1942. From the interior of their pattern, they form a star to remind us that "yet unborn generations" will be served by Salem’s first college. One of the students who planted the trees, Warne Nunn, later became president of the University’s Board of Trustees. The trees were first illuminated by Christmas lights since 1997.

Oregon State Fairgrounds Oak Grove
A patch of Oregon white oaks has, for than a century, been the gateway to the Oregon State Fair near 17th and NE Portland Road. Utilized by fair-goers who sometimes came from long distances, the grove annually became a veritable tent city at what was then the outskirts of Salem. In the years before the big, statewide event, the Kalapuya Indians used the site - with its stand of oaks - during their migrations through the valley.

Camas plants used by the native people continue to grow in the grove. Although the grove has been used heavily over the ensuing years, the "scrub" oaks survived intact and, today, their size belies their age. The grove is now one of the few original stands indigenous to the area.

A member of the lily family, "camassia quamash" still grows in the Willamette Valley; it is known for its beautiful blue spring time blooms. Kalapuya women dug the camas with forked wooden sticks and then roasted and dried the root in pit-ovens. This mixture was also pressed into cakes or loaves for later use as food or as a valuable trade item. 

Brochure developed by the City of Salem, the Salem Convention & Visitors Association and all the gardens, nurseries, and businesses listed here
Printed in 1997. Received by the Salem Public Library, July 1998


Additional Links

Bush Pasture Gardens

Bush Pasture Gardens
[ View Image ]
Deepwood Gardens

Deepwood Gardens
[ View Image ]

Oregon State Capitol Gardens
Oregon State Capitol Gardend
[ View Image ]
Willamette University Gardens
Willamette Universtiy Gardens
[ View Image ]
Willamette University Star Trees
Star Trees at Willamette University
[ View Image ]

Camas flower

Camas flower
[ View Image ]
Home | About | History Resources | SiteMap | Historic Photographs | Salem Public Library
Brief History Commerce © 2005-2006 Salem Public Library (Salem, OR) Culture Education Maps Natural History People Places Timeline Search Transportation