The Experience

When you visit Bloedel Reserve you’ll be treated to sweeping vistas, woodland trails, formal gardens and soothing water features. Mr. Bloedel was colorblind and as a result, was more interested in varying textures and shades than he was in vibrant flowers. You’ll be impressed with all the different shades of green you will find; it is acres upon acres of a green patchwork quilt with color sprinkled throughout.

Bloedel is an experience to not miss, but until you can get here in person, here’s a little sample of what’s in store for you.

The Gardens

Japanese Garden

Twice named one of the top ten Japanese Gardens in the United States by the Journal of Japanese Gardening. Features include a vast collection of trees including a lace leaf maple estimated to be more than 150 years old and a large Katsura that drops fragrant leaves each autumn.

The Glen

Planted with Virginia Bloedel’s favorites, The Glen features more flowers than any other area of the garden. Each spring it’s an explosion of color as more than 100 rhododendron bloom in shades of red, pink, purple and yellow.

The Moss Garden

Described as a fairyland, The Moss Garden was created by planting 275,000 Irish moss starts six-inches apart. The result was a temporary moss floor until the native mosses invaded and turned the garden into a beautiful green carpet. The Moss Garden now has at least 40 different species of moss, most native to the region.

You feel like a fairy is going to pop out from behind a rock.

—Visitor, March 2016

Bird Marsh

This is a more “wild” area of Bloedel and a tranquil spot for nesting birds and an abundance of dragonflies. The water’s mirror-like surface often creates an optical illusion, making it difficult to figure out what’s real and what’s a reflection.

The Woodlands

Forests of cedar, hemlock and fir provide for a picturesque walk. Be on the lookout for nurse logs which regenerate forest plant life. Mr. Bloedel said, “There is grandeur in decay: the rotten log hosting seedlings of hemlocks, cedars, huckleberries, the shape of a crumbling snag.”

Architecture

The Prior Residence

Once home to Prentice and Virginia Bloedel, this 1920s-era home is at the halfway point of the walk. Come in to learn about the history of Bloedel and be sure to admire the different floral arrangements created from onsite-cuttings.

Japanese Guest House

Built in 1962 for extended family visits, the Paul Hayden Kirk designed Japanese Guest House blends the features of a Japanese tea house and a Northwest Native American longhouse. (Interior view-able from outside deck.)

The Sheep Sheds

These iconic buildings once held a flock of sheep and now serve as a backdrop to outdoor concerts and The Bard at Bloedel (Shakespeare).

The Gate House

The Gate House and Gift Shop is your first stop when you arrive at Bloedel. The Gate Attendant will greet you and direct you where to go.

Inside The Gate House is where you pay admission, buy a membership, pick up maps and browse the wide variety of gift items. Be sure to bring home a memento from your visit!