Photos by Cheryl Landes
The Rogerson Clematis Gardens has the most extensive collection of clematis of any other public garden in North America. Nineteen hundred clematis representing more than 850 species grow in this garden behind the historic farmhouse and the greenhouses at Luscher Farm in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
Brewster Rogerson started the collection in 1971 when he was an English professor at Kansas State University and became fascinated by the diversity of the flowers. He bought three clematis vines on impulse and continued collecting different specimens for the rest of his life.
After Rogerson retired in 1981, he moved to Oregon to find a suitable climate for his clematis. In 1986, Bob Gutmann gave Rogerson space for the growing collection at the Gutmann Nursery in White Plains, west of Portland.
Rogerson transferred his collection to the newly-formed Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection in 2005. The non-profit found a permanent home for the collection at the Luscher Farm, which is part of the Lake Oswego Park and Recreation System.
In addition to the clematis, the gardens have a wide range of flowers, plants, and an orchard with one apple tree. Different flowers are in bloom year-round. A “What’s in Bloom” list is updated monthly on the garden’s website.
Luscher Farm is part of a 618-acre Donation Land Claim filed in 1850 by Jesse and Nancy Bullock from North Carolina. They traveled to this area, which became known as Hazelia, on the Oregon Trail.
Today, Luscher Farm has community gardens, in addition to the Rogerson Clematis Gardens. The Lake Oswego Park and Recreation System also offers classes and other activities at the farm.
Rogerson Clematis Gardens and Luscher Farm are located at 125 Rosemont Road in Lake Oswego, 10 miles south of Portland.