Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Bloedel Reserve

This past weekend I went to the Bloedel Reserve for a plant sale, and got to see the marvelous garden for free. The Reserve is a 150-acre public garden on Bainbridge Island where you can walk through natural woodlands and formal garden spaces, including a Japanese garden and a moss garden. You can also take a look inside the Bloedel's former estate home.

Pool and willow tree in front of the estate home

We arrived at about 11:00 a.m., parked, and then I shopped the sale, while my husband sat inside the home in the library, reading his Kindle. When I was finished shopping, I went for a long walk around the gardens on my own, while my husband waited at the car, reading.

There were lots of large clumps of sword ferns, all cut back to show the new growth.

The path went through a stand of birch trees.
I passed several silk tassel trees (Garrya elliptica), a Pacific Northwest native. It's a small, ungainly tree, but the flowers are unique and impressive.

It's on my wish list.
Everywhere I looked there were the most interesting shapes and textures in the trees.

Or old, dead stumps that had been taken over by other forms of life.

This many-eyed stump kind of gave me the creeps.

A little further along,  a pool of water formed by the stream flowing through the woodland.

The most amazing, huge Trilliums growing beside the pool.

More dancing fern fronds

A large patch of trout lilies

A mottled ginger (I think)

A little further along, a fallen log, covered with ferns and surrounded by skunk cabbage.

After the woodland garden came the Japanese garden, but I don't have any pictures to share (they're just not my thing)
But the moss garden followed, an amazing, large garden with moss covering everything, like lawn.

As I headed back to the car, I passed this robin doing the "Run and Toss" dance, looking for food under the moss.

These few pictures just do not do justice to this amazing garden. I took almost 150 photos, and I didn't even see all of it!


  1. Oh, Alison! What a truly magnificent place. How were you able to leave?! Please upload lots more pics. I could visit this post over and over again, just gazing dreamily (and enviously!) at the sheer beauty of it all!
    Thank you SO much for sharing this with us!!!

  2. I would have really enjoy this walk with you. What an amazing place.

  3. Alison, I would have been right along with you on your stroll. The stumps are amazing, and you're right, the many-eyed one is kinda creepy. Trilliums in the PNW are certainly more beautiful than our native ones here and they look enormous.

    Did the Japanese gardens contain any rocks? (I know, enough with the rocks, but inquiring minds want to know.)

    What a wonderful post, Alison, so enjoyable!

  4. Hi Alison,
    That sure is a magnificent place! I love your photos. Are you going to post photos of your plant purchases?

    Thanks for your nice comments on my goings on. Things are so busy, and the weather is cool and wet. We need the rain, but I am ready for some real gardening time.

  5. It looks really pretty there. I'd love to see it one day. It looks like the type of garden that would be beautiful in each season depending on what's blooming. Thanks for the tour!

  6. Great I REALLY want to go there!!! Especially love those Trout charming!

  7. Beautiful. That stump really is creepy. :)


Gardening is a solitary activity. But blogging about it is a social phenomenon! I don't make money from my blog by advertising, or use it to drive customers to a business. If you liked my post, or my writing or photography, or even just one picture or turn of phrase, I'd love to hear from you. That's how I get paid.