Recently I had the opportunity to visit the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island in the beautiful state of Washington. The reserve is just a short ferry ride from Seattle, WA and was the perfect place to visit before we had to fly home to Vermont.
I love visiting other people’s gardens whether they are just a small home garden or an estate. The Bloedel Reserve is a unique, world-renowned public garden. The founder, Prentice Bloedel, intended The Reserve to be a place that “provides refreshment and tranquility in the presence of natural beauty”. Prentice and his wife, Virginia, resided on the property from 1951 until 1986. During his time as the head of several timber businesses he became a pioneer in renewable resources and sustainability. He was the first to use sawdust as a fuel to power his company’s mills. He retired in 1950 and devoted the last half of his life to the creation of these gardens.
The Reserve has numerous paths that you can wander on, all very well maintained.
You can follow a map, which describes the various parts of the garden. The Japanese Garden is incredible with a guesthouse and a Stone Garden. Further along the path is the Moss Garden. You can feel the quietness of the landscape. It almost seems surreal. Moss carpets the ground and tree stumps with lush green.
Two of my favorite areas were the white birches along the walkway; the white elegance of the trucks was in sharp contrast to the greenery surrounding them.
Near the original mansion where the Bloedel’s lived is a beautiful pond. The Mid Pond was the first feature created by Prentice Bloedel with advice from his friend, the landscape architect Thomas Church. There are many beautiful trees including a weeping willow, which reflected in the stillness of the pond.
If you are ever in the Seattle area do take time to visit this beautiful piece of property. I am so glad it is preserved for others to enjoy. I can’t wait to visit it again someday.
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