The Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island

These flowers were the first blooms we noticed when we started strolling the Bloedel Reserve, a 150-acre garden on Bainbridge Island in Washington state in February. They are called Snow Drops. Is that the most perfect name?

We began our visit by hopping on the ferry that brought us from downtown Seattle over to Bainbridge Island, about an hourlong, gorgeous ride across Puget Sound. Longtime friends who live on the island picked us up on the other side.

The former estate has a dozen distinct gardens, ranging from the Bird Marsh to the Moss Garden to the Japanese Garden, which includes a Zen-like guest home.

This is the actual home of the former timber baron family that used to live here, and you can tour it as well.

We had no idea what this ancient tree is, and only guessed it was something like a Japanese Maple.


Our friend is a master gardener, but I failed to write down the names of these lovely flowers. I vowed to return someday in the spring. Everything was ready to bust out with a little warmth and sun.

This is the Zen garden in front of a Japanese-style guest house.

This was the view of Seattle as our ferry pulled in around dusk. If you are in the area, I couldn’t recommend this garden more highly. I will be jealous if you get to visit during the warm months! Our friends were members of the reserve so we got in free as their guests, but I believe the fee is $15.

If you want to grab lunch in the charming downtown Bainbridge while you are there, we ate at the Pegasus Coffee House. Food was delicious and local IPA was stellar! Other places our friends, who have lived there 25 years, recommended included Cafe Nola, Harbor Public House (on the water) and Blackbird Bakery.




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