Celebrating National Poetry Month with a Daytrip to the Bloedel Reserve

April 5, 2015

Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Mid pond and residence

Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island, Mid pond and residence

The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island is another of the gardens featured in Donald Olson’s The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour.  I vaguely remember visiting about 20 years ago, and I resolved to return this year with my camera.

This month is an especially good time to visit because the Bloedel Reserve has on display a special poetry exhibit to coincide with National Poetry Month.  Twenty-one poems are printed on wooden signs that are situated throughout the grounds.  This temporary exhibit was curated by University of Washington professor Linda Bierds and local author/poet David Guterson.  I thought they did an exceptional job selecting poems that fit the unique features of the landscape.  Reflecting on the images in the poems while pausing to enjoy those same subjects in the natural world around you added a deeper meaning to the experience of being there.


You explore the grounds by following a groomed trail and map.  They take you through a typical Pacific Northwest forest — very green, with tall trees swaying in the wind — past ponds and marshy wet areas.  There are more formal grounds around the residence, a Japanese garden with guest house, sand and stone “Zen” garden, a moss garden, and a reflecting pool.  So much variety unfolding before your eyes!

Path in a meadow

Path in a meadow


Trail past the sheep barns

Trail past the sheep barns






Stairs to waterfall overlook

Stairs to waterfall overlook
















Interior, Bloedel residence

Interior, Bloedel residence


The Bloedel Reserve is a perfect day trip from Seattle, and it is very easy to get there using public transportation.  When you disembark the ferry at Winslow on Bainbridge Island, catch the B. I. Ride right in front of the terminal.  The fare is $2, and the Bloedel Reserve is one of the scheduled stops.  It will drop you off at the gates of the reserve.




2 Responses to “Celebrating National Poetry Month with a Daytrip to the Bloedel Reserve”

  1. Cynthia Melcher Says:

    Beautiful, Rosemary. I would live to see Bloedel with you sometime… Have you read anything by Kathleen Dean Moore? She’s from the PNW, and I am reading her Wild Comfort now… I think you would love it as much as I do and find a lot of inspiration & quotable ideas in there… To add to the great things you have already ferreted out…

  2. Carol Says:

    Gorgeous photos!

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