The grounds of the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island in WA provide a calmness I adore. Originally the second home and grounds of folks from Seattle, the properties are now open to the public. For a number of years walking the reserve required a reservation, which meant more certainty of schedule than I typically have when over that way. More recently the reservation requirement has been dropped. There is a charge to explore the grounds, with the resulting funds used for property maintenance.
Mr. Bloedel had a vision and passion for landscaping and a variety of garden styles. Over time many were established with wonderful transitions along the way. The use of flowering plants is limited and in many areas, the natural wet forested inclinations are reflected in seemingly unplanned stretches of mosses and decaying fallen trees. Don't let me mislead you; organization and control are present, but there is respect for the land and areas left open to natures construct as well.
I am no expert, by any stretch of the imagination, on landscape architecture or formal gardening. What I do know is that the Bloedel's created, and left us, comfortably landscaped grounds made for walking in beauty. Having only been there twice over the years, with limited time, there is more to be discovered. What I learned this spring past is where some of the most exciting shades of green are hiding. A fine place for getting in a good long walk in the fresh air.