Friday, April 1, 2022

Tsuru Island, Gresham's Japanese Garden

As I was leaving The Other Side Nursery, Nat mentioned I should check out the Japanese Garden at Main City Park, in Gresham. Since it was a beautiful afternoon and I've never explored Gresham (east-Portland metro area) off I went...
The garden is on a small island within a city park.

The tiny print above reads: "In the early 1970's a group of Japanese American farmers designed and built this island garden using boulders gathered from nearby streams. They dedicated it to the City of Gresham in 1975. They named the garden Tsuru Island. Tsuru—the Japanese word for "crane" is a symbol of good fortune and longevity. The garden is created to provide a place where visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature. After many years of neglect, a restoration began in July 2011. The friends of Tsuru, with support from the City of Gresham, Gresham Sister City Association , local businesses and private donations, want this island to become a place for relaxation, reflecting, peace and serenity. Enjoy your visit.

I definitely enjoyed my visit.

Protection from a grazing pest? (rabbits?) Human feet? 


I was afraid to reach in and look at the plant tag for fear I would set off some sort of alarm.

Lots to enjoy that wasn't caged.

I looked for a label on this rhododendron with tiny dark leaves, no luck.

My take away from the garden was this...

It's a magnolia, a very pruned magnolia, yet it's still blooming! Or rather, about to bloom.

Those cut tips suggest this plant undergoes a fairly rigorous cut-back annually, I need to know more! If I could grow another magnolia in my garden, but keep it small and still have it bloom, oh my! The possibilities!

Finally, in the parking lot there were masses of blooming Mahonia aquifolium, aka Oregon grape, with nicely colored up leaves. Such a common plant in these parts (it's our state plant/flower), but beautiful.

All material © 2009-2022 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. In keeping with the introductory notice, the garden does have a serene feel to it. Perfect for a daily stroll.

  2. I wonder if they’re treating the Magnolia like a bonsai. Love that the bridge isn’t painted a bright color.

  3. Local treasure--sweet!

    The "protected" plant looks like rabbit guard--I have them all over my garden at the moment--#Y*^#@#$% rabbits!

  4. gorgeous bridge and a lovely space

  5. Beautiful! For a smaller magnolia, is Magnolia stellata hardy for you?

  6. AnonymousMay 22, 2022

    Looks like Kierria japonica in the cage.


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