Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bloedel Reserve, revisited

The Reflective Garden with its magnificent dark pool filled with natural groundwater. It was built in 1970 with some advice from Landscape Architect Thomas Church. This garden was a favorite of the Bloedels; after their death, their remains were placed here.
Last weekend, I had an urgent need to wander through the mossy forests of the Bloedel Reserve and see if it is starting to wake up from its winter sleep. And yes, small shoots were emerging, sending out their tentative, green tips to the cool, moist spring air. I've written about this amazing garden twice earlier and visited several times more, but strolling through the woodlands at Bloedel Reserve never ceases to delight me with its tranquil beauty.

This garden never feels like it was imposed to the landscape; rather, it sensitively and respectfully heightens what already was magnificent. I've always loved the Bloedels' concept of "we provide the frame; nature provides the painting", which they had as a guiding thought for the famous Reflective Pool, but which could even be applied to the garden as a whole. It is a calming and thought-evoking place that restores one's senses with its peaceful, harmonious scenery. Let my pictures tell you more...

The moss garden - a magic playground for little goblins... this was planted in 1982 with input from Landscape Architect Richard Haag and Reserve Director Richard Brown.

The entrance gate to the Japanese Garden from two directions. I love the variation in the stonework and the surrounding dark Mondo grass, alternative moss carpet.

View from the guest house to the former pool, now a gravel filled Japanese Zen garden. The guest house, designed by Paul Hayden Kirk in 1964 in a hybrid of Japanese and Native American styles, was open to the public, which is very unusual. A pink Japanese cherry tree was already in full bloom just outside the Zen garden.

If I was a bird, I would move in here, out from the rain... I love just about everything about the Japanese garden, even these hand-thrown bird houses hanging from the pines around.

There are several large ponds at the Reserve. This one is in front of the main house, welcoming the visitors that suddenly emerge from the trail winding through wilder parts of the Reserve. The soft form of the weeping willow forms a wonderful contrast to the erect, evergreen conifers behind.

The dark mirror of the pond by the the Bird Marsh. This area provides a natural wetland habitat for countless bird species, from herons to kingfishers.

See also my earlier posts, Bloedel Reserve and Bloedel Reserve, once more.


Chen said...

Great photography and garden; I can feel the peaceful and harmonious atmosphere...

Tankar från Trädgårdsmästarn; Hillevi said...

Otroligt vacker trädgård! Vilka bilder! Du besöker så manga intressanta fina trädgårdar.

Kram H.
PS. Liisa, Jag måste säga att jag faktiskt glömt att fråga dig om lov att låna din bild, det var olikt mig och jag blev själv överraskad nu när du påtalade det! Jag måste ha varit trött den dan du hade ditt inlägg, och på något sätt förbisett detta. Jag ber verkligen om ursäkt! Hoppas länkningen i varje fall gottgjorde lite av mitt övertramp. Kram H.

James Golden said...

Beautiful. Thanks for the visit. When I was last in Seattle (just after 9/11/2001), I didn't even know about the Bloedel Reserve. Too bad I missed that great opportunity.

The Intercontinental Gardener said...

Thanks, Chen!

James, the Bloedel Reserve would have been just the right place to visit after the horrors of 9/11/2001, and similarly, now. It has such peaceful, dignified calm, and I always feel deeply being "just a part of nature", in a beautiful way, while there. I can't really put the words to the feeling, must think about it more... Good to see that you're back, too.