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Bloedel Reserve - Part 1

I don't know why it took us so long to visit Bloedel Reserve. Maybe because it is on Bainbridge Island and a ferry ride away. Maybe we did not like you previously had to reserve a visit. We known of the garden for many years but just never made the time to visit.

We finally made a point to visit this year during their open garden and plant sale in late April. Of course, the day was cold and dark but it did not stop of from enjoying the garden. The garden is the estate of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel. Prentice was the head of the Canadian timber company McMillan Bloedel. They were the British Columbia equivalent of Weyerhaeuser until they were bought out by Weyerhaeuser in 1999. Prentice retired in 1952 and moved to the property that they had purchased on Bainbridge Island where they spent over 30 years creating the reserve.

It is quite amazing. It is over 150 acres which are broken into several different section or gardens. One of the main gardens is the Japanese Garden which includes a lovely guest house, zen garden and pond. The Japanese garden was created by Fujitaro Kubota who also created Kubota Gardens. There is also a moss garden. Who knew moss could be so beautiful. It feels wild but controlled. The path through the moss garden leads to the lovely reflection pond. It was cold and dreary but you could imagine a summery garden party within the walls of yew. The paths intertwine and meander to the house or out to the wild bogs and ponds on the edge.

Here are some pictures of these sections of the garden. I will do another post showing the waterfall and birch gardens. We hope to enjoy it again in another season.

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Start of the moss garden

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Moss and stones and trees and snags give the garden a wild NW feel

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Skunk cabbage along the creek

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Reflecting Pool

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Entrance to Zen and Japanese Garden

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Zen Garden and Guest House

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Pool and garden below guest house

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Looking back to guest house

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
One of the magnificent pink Magnolia in bloom

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
The Estate House

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Boardwalk across the marsh

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Along the path lined with Skunk Cabbage to the bird watching area

Bloedel Reserve - Bainbridge Island
Edges of the reserve

Comments (2)


What a fabulous place! Your photos of the Northwest always make me long for a return trip.


Beautiful photos, Marta. To judge from them, Bloedel Reserve's definitely worth a visit -- or much more if it's not that far from your home! :)

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