Bloedel Reserve

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A willow tree at the reserve
The Japanese Garden at the reserve
Closeup of a pair of rocks in the Zen Garden
Manor House at the Bloedel Reserve

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 and Thomas Church. The Bloedels' French Chateau-style home including many original furnishings, is preserved as a visitor center.[1]

The Reserve is on property donated to the University of Washington in 1970, and managed by the University for a trust since 1985.[2][3]

Panoramic view extending roughly from the Japanese tea house (near left) to the former Bloedel house (now visitor center, near right)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Garden features—main entry". Bloedel Reserve. Retrieved 2015-02-09. 
  2. ^ James R. Warren (February 17, 2003), Bloedel, Prentice (1900-1996), HistoryLink 
  3. ^ Bloedel Reserve, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, retrieved 2015-02-09 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°42′30″N 122°32′52″W / 47.70833°N 122.54778°W / 47.70833; -122.54778