The Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA
“Nature can do without man, but man cannot do without nature.” Bloedel Reserve’s classic Northwest woodlands and gardens allow you to interact with nature in a deeply personal way. Some refer to it as “forest therapy” because with each step taken along the trail, stress and worries melt away and the opportunity to connect with others and the natural world deepens. Whether you come with loved ones or visit by yourself for some solitude, Bloedel’s fresh air, sweeping views and unexpected gardens reconnect you to nature’s tranquility.
The Bloedel Reserve is a 150-acre forest garden on Bainbridge Island, Washington, United States, made by the vice-chairman of a lumber company, under the influence of the conservation movement and Asian philosophy. Prentice and Virginia Bloedel wished to ‘capture the essence of the Japanese garden – the qualities of naturalness, subtlety, reverence, tranquility – and construct a Western expression of it’. Although the Reserve includes a traditional Japanese garden, the Bloedels’ approach for the rest of the property stands in contrast to that of ‘Japanese gardens’ which achieve their effects through the use of ornament.
The Bloedel Reserve has both natural and highly landscaped lakes, immaculate lawns, woods, a rock and sand Zen garden, a moss garden, a rhododendron glen, and a reflection garden designed with the assistance of landscape architects Richard Haag and Thomas Church. The Bloedels’ French Chateau-style home including many original furnishings, is preserved as a visitor center. The Reserve is on property donated to the University of Washington in 1970, and managed by the University for a trust since 1985.
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