Oregon Coast Notebook: Shore Acres

The Reflecting Pond at Shore Acres Gardens State Park, Oregon

It’s a bit implausible: an English formal garden in the middle of a remote stretch of the Oregon coast, sandwiched between two state parks. But there it is, a meticulously restored and maintained formal garden, perched on top of a cliff over the North Pacific.

The Gardens were part of the estate of Louis J. Simpson (1877-1949), lumber baron, entrepreneur and founder of the town of North Bend, Oregon. He built a mansion, complete with a formal garden designed by an Englishman, 14 miles from the town he founded. When the first mansion burnt to the ground, he built another. The Crash of 1929 and subsequent Great Depression wrecked his finances, and the mansion and grounds were repossessed by a bank. The bank sold the property to the State of Oregon in 1942. It was used by the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1948 the badly deteriorated mansion was razed. Today, nothing remains of Simpson’s estate but the formal gardens.

But those formal gardens are very impressive. WC is no botanist, but here are some photos.

Rhododendrons and Azaleas dominate the garden
Why do all English formal gardens seem to be rectilinear?
There are many non-native species, including this Monkey Puzzle Tree, less romantically a Chilean Pine

A pleasant interlude, and a blog post to demonstrate that WC does photograph something besides birds and rocks. Just in case you were wondering.