The Bloedel Reserve is a 150-acre (0.6 km2) 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 (formerly the swimming pool where poet Theodore Roethke drowned in 1963), a moss garden, a rhododendron glen, and a reflection garden designed with the assistance of landscape architects Richard Haag, Thomas Church, Kazimir Wall, and Danielle Stern. The Bloedels' French Chateau-style home including many original furnishings, is preserved as a visitor center.
The Reserve opened to the public in 1988 as a family run foundation and registered as a 501(c)3 public charity in 2010.
The public is invited to visit Bloedel Reserve all year round, Tuesday - Sunday from 10 AM to 4 PM, with extended summer hours. The Reserve is closed every Monday and some holidays. Refer to the website for visiting hours and admission fees.
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