The Narnia of Bainbridge Island


Walking through Bloedel Reserve for the first time, this garden quickly reveals itself as a true gateway - a Narnia with worlds beckoning curiosity and devotion to this earth. This botanical reservoir honors such experiences arisen in nature by dividing into ten realms:


The opening trails swoop into the Meadow and Sheep Sheds, a protected field where a wooden barn rests in the outskirts of your vision. In The Woodlands, cedars, firs, and ferns frame your path just enough to liberate streams of sunlight and shelter patches of shade. Birds settle in their nests, traveling geese find refuge, and dragonflies dart along the forests’ rim in the Frank Buxton Bird Marsh and Meadow.


The woods part ways to reveal The Residence, an eighteenth-century French traditional home of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel. The back of the house opens up to views of Puget Sound and the bluff, but the most spellbinding view is in the front meadow, along the silky pond, laying underneath the bowing willow tree.

All flowers congregate nearby The Glen, where streams trickle and plants arch towards your steps, stirring up the most luscious of gatherings. Evergreen trees step into the backdrop to make space for the Himalayan white birches on The Birch Trail. Harmony blooms between the entanglement of strong, dark green and graceful, white ash in these trees.


The Japanese Guest House’s style unites all the beauty found in traditional Japanese design and a Northwest Coastal Native American Longhouse. The collection found in The Japanese Garden cares for swarming thoughts and soothes them with strokes of color and light, from a laceleaf maple to an abundant katsura. The sand and stone garden complete such rounds of reflection, and, in the lower gardens, a “wishing bench” invites you to dream.


Two acres of natural velvet assemble in The Moss Garden, the largest public moss garden in the United States. Fresh water from a natural spring fills The Reflection Pool, a long mirror placed here to realign your senses, in hopes it will also reorient your spirits.


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