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.

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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

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Trail past the sheep barns

Trail past the sheep barns

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Boardwalk

Boardwalk

Stairs to waterfall overlook

Stairs to waterfall overlook

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Interior, Bloedel residence

Interior, Bloedel residence

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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.

 

 

Autumn displays at Gordon Skagit Farm

Autumn displays at Gordon Skagit Farm

It has now become something of an annual tradition, this daytrip to Mount Vernon’s Gordon Skagit Farm.  (You can see my posts from previous visits here and here and here  and here.)  It has become my favorite way to celebrate autumn.  Each year Eddie Gordon displays his new work — large paintings showcased outdoors on the farm.  This year’s paintings included several magnificent mountain landscapes.  One barn features haunting scenes on darkened stage sets.  Bins of pumpkins and squashes and gourds are filled to overflowing.  I didn’t even visit the corn maze or U-pick apple orchard this year.  I love this place!

As usual, I took far too many photos to show in one blog post, so I will string them out.  Tomorrow’s post will be an online gallery of Eddie Gordon’s paintings.  And Saturday’s post will feature the paintings and sketches some of my women friends made on site, inspired by Eddie’s artistic offerings.  So stay tuned.

Entrance sign to the Gordon Skagit Farm

Entrance sign to the Gordon Skagit Farm

It was a foggy morning in the Skagit Valley.

It was a foggy morning in the Skagit Valley

Bin of turban squashes

Bin of turban squashes

Woodland gown made from natural materials

Woodland gown made from natural materials

More high fashion near the barn

More high fashion near the barn

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Vintage International Harvester truck, decorated with pumpkins

Vintage International Harvester truck, decorated with pumpkins

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Bottle gourds

Bottle gourds

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Staged in the haunted barn

Staged in the haunted barn

Spooky scene

Spooky scene

Indian corn

Indian corn

Thanks for this recipe!

Thanks for this recipe!

Kids visiting the farm

Kids visiting the farm