Friday, August 26, 2011

The Bloedel Reserve

A storage barn at the south end of the West Meadow, looking north.  Your visit to the Bloedel Reserve starts at the north end of the meadow, seen in the distance, near the parking lot.

Not long after you enter the woods at the south end of the West Meadow, you come upon a large pond, which is the Bird Refuge.  'The refuge islands in this large pond provide a year-round home for ducks, geese and a new resident beaver. A variety of migratory ducks spend their winters here, and kingfishers and great blue herons feast on the small amphibians and fish found in the pond. The shoreline is ringed with native western azaleas, viburnums, red and yellow osier dogwoods, and red alders.' from the Bloedel Reserve website.

Shortly after passing the Bird Refuge, you re-enter the woods.  (The brochure says, 'you next step abruptly into a dense forest.' But it didn't feel abrupt to me.  Most of the reserve is forest with a few open areas carved from it.)  'In this dense Northwest forest, Douglas fir, western red cedar and hemlock, festooned with moss, stand undisturbed along the trail. Two man-made features offer unique views of the woods. A tall trestle bridge gives you a bird’s-eye look down at a year-round stream. A boardwalk across wetlands allows you to enter a bog filled with chorusing frogs and carnivorous plants.' from the Bloedel Reserve website.

Lysichiton americanum in the bog, seen from the boardwalk.

Salix babylonica beside the Mid Pond.  'Your next steps take you from the deep woods into a formal European landscape accented by lakes, towering English elms and a stately weeping willow, with a dramatic view of the Bloedel’s former residence.  This French country-style home, now our Visitor Center, commands a view of Puget Sound’s Port Madison Bay near Agate Pass. An active eagle’s nest is visible from the east lawn.  Flanked by a gracious living room and dining, the central room in the Bloedel’s former residence houses a cozy Library with a collection of 1,400 horticultural and botanical books, available for reading and research on site.' from the Bloedel Reserve website.  Next come The Glen, The Japanese Garden & The Moss Garden, which are the subjects of separate posts.

From the Moss Garden, you enter the Reflection Garden.  'The basic elements – earth, sky, trees and still water – create the Reflection Pool, a setting of magical simplicity. The pool and hedge tame the forest with geometric precision, and the mirror-like pool invites quiet contemplation.' from the Bloedel Reserve website.

Finally, you re-enter the West Meadow at its mid-point & return to the parking lot.  These photos were all taken in April 2011.

Map of the Bloedel Reserve from the brochure.

The Bloedel Reserve in Bainbridge Island, Washington near Seattle is one of the finest gardens in the United States.  Prentice & Virginia Bloedel resided on the property from 1951 to 1986. They developed the 150-acre property, mostly 2nd-growth forest, into the present series of gardens.  The Arbor Fund, established and endowed by the Bloedels in 1974, purchased the Bloedel Reserve in 1985 & continues to manage it.  One of the 1st to work on the Reserve, under the Bloedels, was Ray Prentice of Prentice Nursery in Seattle.  He built the waterfall & planted shrubs & trees on the waterfall bank.  The famous landscape architect Thomas Church of San Francisco began working with the Bloedels in 1954.  He prepared conceptual drawings for the Mid-Pond area that became the scenic driveway loop.  He also designed the Waterfall Overlook, the Orchid Trail (1st called the Church Walk) & the Reflection GardenFujitaro Kubota of Kubota Nursery in Seattle designed & installed the Japanese Garden in 1961.  The Zen Garden was designed by Koichi Kawana, professor of landscape architecture at UCLA.

In the Treaty of Point Elliott, signed by Chief Seattle in 1855, the Suquamish Tribe ceded Bainbridge Island to the US government.  By the late 1800s, Bainbridge Island was home to the world's largest sawmill, the Port Blakely Mill, which closed in the mid 1920s.  Many of the mill workers were Japanese.  In 1942 Bainbridge Island became 1 of the first communities required to respond to Executive Order 9066, which removed those of Japanese ancestry to internment camps.  220 Japanese-Americans were sent to Manzanar on the edge of the Mojave Desert, and then to Minidoka in Idaho.  The novel Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson is set on Bainbridge Island.

1 comment:

Landbohaven said...

Jeg kom lige forbi din blog.
Gode billeder.
Hvor er der smuk.
Tak for rundvisningen.