Destination: Bloedel Reserve

August 31st, 2013


Among other sights and scenes of Bainbridge Island the Bloedel Reserve is a standout. Begun as the home and estate of the Prentice and Virginia Bloedel family in 1950 the 150 acre site is now a crown jewel of gardens open to the public.

First time visitors will want to follow the trails throughout the Preserve using the self guided tour booklet available at the visitor center. In places such as this we always know many return visits will be required to fully appreciate the gardens as a whole or separately. Make time for lots of photography. This is a marvelous place for watching the seasons change and observing the ebb and flow of nature.

Our personal favorites for return visits include the Rock Garden, the Moss Garden, the Meadow, the Woods, the Japanese Garden and the Bird Refuge, all in no particular order. For us, as compulsive photographers, the gardens provide infinite opportunities to not just look but to see, what surrounds us in nature. Everyone who visits will find their own favorite quiet place to take in the essence of the garden. Among the vast array of plants are Birch trees, Red Alders and Japanese Maples. Well represented are species of Rhododendron, Huckleberry, Camellias and Oxalis. The moss garden has too many species to list. Throughout are plants and trees native to the Northwest.

The French Country style home overlooking Port Madison Bay near Agate Pass is now the Visitor Center and includes a large library for on site research. An eagle nest is visible from the house.

Garden Etiquette asks that cell phones be turned off to better take in the aura of peace. Also, picnicking and food is not allowed. Artists and amateur photographers are welcome. Please stay out of flower and moss beds.

Current events scheduled include an exhibition of sculpture by Julie Speidel through October 13. Ongoing exhibition of Botanical Artworks Exhibition by local chapter members of the American Botanical Artists.

September 14 enjoy a concert by the Bainbridge Symphony Brass and on September 29 American Flute Music by Gary Stroutsos. For current information and events visit

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