The Oregon Garden is a great place to stroll through and take in the environment, but Jeff Pera, the staff horticulturist at The Oregon Garden points out that they can be much more.
“Gardens aren’t just to look at. These days when I hear laughter and screaming coming from the Children’s Garden, I am assured the kids are playing on [in?] the new Hobbit House.”

The Hobbit House is a submerged tunnel with both ends exposed at ground level. Kids can pull open the round door coverings and peek inside, taking the plunge into the tunnel. Pera adds that they plan to adorn the tunnel area with plants that bring out the magical nature of the hobbit theme.
In addition to the Hobbit House, the Children’s Garden central plaza also has new additions. Six topiary plants are shaped as stars, fish, a flower, kangaroo, bear and a butterfly. The “furniture garden” features a piano, pedestal sink, toilet, stove and a bicycle with basket that serve as planters that are arranged to look like a room.

Another new addition is a tree house built around the trunk of a willow tree. The tree house is accessible to most children because it stands only 15 inches off of the ground.

More features are being planned for the Children’s Garden that both children and adults can look forward to. The Oregon Garden has teamed up with Pacific Crossing Model Railroad Club who will work to build a miniature train garden. Chemeketa Community College is also working with the Garden to provide a “vertical garden picture,” which uses a concept similar to a green roof, on a wall. Chemeketa will plant the living wall later this fall during a workshop.

The Oregon Garden spans 80-acres in Silverton, showcasing the gardens mentioned above as well as other themes. Admission is $10 for adults; $9 for seniors and $8 for students. Children under seven can enter for free. For more information on The Oregon Garden, call (503) 874-8100 or visit oregongarden.org.