Lambert Gardens’ Story Appears In Magazine

THE SUNDAY OREGONIAN, 21 March 1965, page 30

FORTY YEARS ago, Andrew B. Lambert put in a garden to demonstrate landscaping techniques. The garden grew to 10 gardens, has been seen by more than 1,000,000 and is this year honored by a color spread in America's Gardens. This is the upper rose garden, looking towards a mirrored pergola in the background across the pool.


ANDREW B. LAMBERT has enjoyed showing his beautiful gardens to the million and more visitors, many of them tourists, who have come here. This is the color spread on the gardens in new America's Gardens book.

Lambert Gardens, a Portland showplace for 40 years, is honored this month in the new publication of America’s Gardens with a two-page color spread.

The Gardens, which draw between 50,000 and 75,000 visitors a year – most of them from out of town – have passed the 1,000,000 turnstile count and are still going strong in hands of their “almost 80” creator.

They were started in the ’20s at 5120 SE 28th Ave., by Andrew B. Lambert, an Oregon visitor who was a landscape gardener in Georgia.

It was in 1925 that he made a vacation visit to Oregon, “and I was so thrilled with the plant material here, I just decided I wanted to stay.”

Lambert went back to Georgia, turned over his share of the landscape business to his brother and returned immediately to Oregon. To exhibit landscaping techniques here, he developed a demonstration plot on the site of a former Chinese produce garden.

The small garden plot, abloom with color from April through November, has grown to ten gardens on seven original acres to which has been added 18 rented acres.

Lambert and his niece, Miss Lilybel Gresham, operate the gardens there.

Actually there are a series of 10 gardens, each with a different theme, including English, French, Italian, Spanish, and sunken.

Preening themselves among the statuary and outdoor pools are ten peacocks, six flamingos and some rare cranes. The latter include Crown, Demoiselle and Stanley cranes.

Secret of the Gardens’ continuing beauty is the rapid changeovers of the flower beds. Perennials bloom and out they go, to make way for more blossoming plants in full glory.

Thus the gardens are a continuous wonderland of colors, and these include azaleas, rhododendrons, tulips and daffodils, Japanese cherries, crab apples and plums in spring. Summer brings gladioli, dahlias, water lilies, beds of annuals and a hanging garden of fuschias. Roses bloom there most of the year.

Lambert, who will be 80 in July, said he gets most of his visitors, and return visitors, from among out-of-town folk who pass along descriptions by word of mouth. He long ago gave up trying to figure why he didn’t get a more constant Portland visitation. The gardens have a modest charge, and he also thinks it is a truism that people go far away to visit things and never “get around to it” when there is something close at hand.

He is inaugurating free school schildren bus tours this year. Every year he has a free tour for blind children.