U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8b. Sunset climate zone 5

Sunday, February 24, 2013

In the Garden of the Columbia Gorge Hotel

Although I visited this garden last fall, I want to show it so that, if you pass close by to this place in spring or summer, you'd consider looking at it. Besides the beauty, the garden at the Columbia Gorge hotel has a historical flavor and unbelievably grand setting overlooking the Columbia River (on the west side of Hood River, Oregon).

On the hotel's  website I found these informative and interesting excerpts  from A Taste for Comfort by Anita Stewart, 1993, C&D Publishing, Portland, Oregon

"The stately site on which the Columbia Gorge Hotel now stands was originally developed in 1904 by Bobby Rand, a Hood River pioneer, as theWah Gwin Gwin Hotel (a Native American name meaning "rushing water" for the 208' waterfall on the grounds).
These were the days of steamers navigating the waters of the Columbia River from the Cascades to The Dalles. To alert the hotel, the captains would sound the whistle once for each guest he had on board. Maids would then quickly make up the appropriate number of beds.
In 1920, Rand sold his interests in the hotel to Simon Benson. Benson had just helped complete what many of the era claimed to be the world's most beautiful road, the Columbia Gorge Scenic Highway. Benson's dream was to create an opulent hotel for travelers at the end of this road. He hired some of the same Italian stone masons that had built the highway to embellish his hotel.
The hotel had barely opened before it had an international reputation. Presidents Roosevelt and Coolidge, actresses Myrna Loy, Jane Powell, and rumor has it, Rudolph Valentino are some of the notables to have graced the hotel.
During the depression, the Hotel fell on hard times and was purchased by the Neighbors of Woodcraft as a retirement home. Such it remained for a quarter of a century, until the ongoing restoration began in 1977. Now corporately owned and operated, The Columbia Gorge Hotel has been brilliantly restored to a new opulence. The Hotel stands proudly atop a bluff overlooking the mighty Columbia River greeting its visitors with warmth and elegance continuing to be an elegant oasis in the heart of the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area."

I found the hotel's grounds beautiful in early morning, before we had a delicious brunch in the hotel's restaurant, as well as at dusk when I walked our German Shepherd.
The garden is lovely by itself, and the fast narrow creek adds loveliness and dynamics to it.

The curved stone archways over the creek provide a nice romantic touch:

A couple of nymphs are playing with the water in different parts of the garden.

Don't you love these natural armchairs?

Walking around the garden brings you to a cliff with a breathtaking view of the Columbia River and the hills on the other side:

 The contrast between the groomed charming garden and wild magnificent nature stirs the emotions.

Wah-Gwin-Gwin Falls are 208 feet high:

There are several points on the top of the cliff where you can admire the views:

Hydrangeas grow happily in dappled shade:

During our visit, hosta were turning yellow, but the year round ivy created a beautiful background for this little nymph fountain.

Do you think it is a Japanese Aralia that towers above the nymph?

Simon Benson certainly was a man with a vision!
The place chosen by him for the hotel provides unbelievable sensual feelings. The views are grand and evoke excitement and wonderful emotions.

 We usually admire waterfalls looking at them from below.
Here, there is an opportunity to view one from above.

I hope you like the Columbia Gorge Hotel's Garden and stop to look at it if you find yourself near Hood River, Oregon.
I am sure it is beautiful any time of the year with different seasons featuring some of the planted  perennials, annuals, roses, bulbs and many native Oregon plants.
 Here is the Columbia Gorge Hotel Website.

***Copyright 2013 TatyanaS

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Playing With My Hyacinths. Part 2


Part 1 'Playing With My Hyacinths Indoors' is Here

***Copyright 2013 TatyanaS

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Favorite Plants -1

These are some of my favorite plants:

Peony Coral Charm (Peony -The Best I've Ever Seen), Clematis Dr. Ruppel, Clematis montana (Here), Campanula poscharkyana Blue Waterfall, Milkweed, Tree Peony (Tree Peony Is A Star Of My Garden), Sempervivum tectorum, Peony Coral Charm (late stage of blooming), Eremurus Romance, Eremurus himalaicus (Foxtaile lily), Rhododendron Honey Butter (My New Rhododendron), Calla Lily (Calla In My Garden), Thalictrum rochebrunianum (Meadow rue), Peony (Pink Peony), Lupine (My Garden. June Pictures). I included links to the posts featuring some of these plants.

To be continued

***Copyright 2013 TatyanaS

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