I’m so glad I took advantage of last week’s fine weather, as conditions have now turned more cool and damp, and snow has dusted the higher elevations in the mountains. Late last week I visited a favorite garden of mine, Bloedel Reserve, located on Bainbridge Island. I have blogged about my visit there in the past, but it has been a year since I last visited. It so happened that the groundskeepers were setting out colorful pumpkins and squash throughout the reserve, in what they are titling as the “Super Squash Scavenger Hunt.” The squash displays will be present through all of October. I probably did not get to see all the displays while there, but what I did see was pretty impressive. The colors and varieties of squash were fantastic! There is one display, in particular, that was drawing a lot of attention. In the Moss Garden, there is a big, uprooted tree in which the roots were elaborately decorated with all varieties of squash. It is really something else to see! Below is a photo I took of it. How fantastic is that!
I’m not going to post anymore photos of pumpkins and other squash, so as not to ruin any surprises for those who would like to visit the gardens on their own. I do want to talk about the rest of the gardens (made up of several mini gardens, such as the birch garden, moss garden, Japanese garden, the forest, bird marsh, meadows, etc.). When visiting the reserve, you’ll be given a map to help you find your way around.
Here are some photos to help one get acquainted with the different areas of the reserve, some but not all.
This lovely tree is the first thing you will spot as you traverse the meadows, just before the sheep sheds. (Hint: There is a squash display in one of the sheds.)
I love the attractive Red Alder trees that grow around the perimeter of the forest. They have the most interesting patterns on their bark and are very photogenic.
The trees in the forest area consist mainly of Cedars and Douglas Firs. There are lots of old, rotted trees in which new growth has entwined their roots around. These are most fantastic to look at and show how nature strives to exist.
Crossing the zig-zag boardwalk across a bog, I encountered a lone Foxglove, still managing to blossom so late in the year.
I stopped by the Bloedel residence to take a peak at what was growing in the gardens around the house. (Hint: More squash displays here.) I found lovely Hydrangeas blooms still thriving, along with Fuchsias and Toad Lilies. I do not know what the plant species is that has the large branches of tiny, white blossoms in the image below
Pink Lacecap Hydrangea
Moving along, here are some images from the Japanese garden, always a favorite spot of mine, especially during autumn. But the leaves have not started turning yet on the varieties of Japanese Maples.
I love how the groundskeepers made an attractive sidewalk border consisting of black Mondo Grass.
Here is a photo of an Asian Dogwood species that is loaded with beautiful, red berries.
I made my way out of the Japanese garden area into the Moss garden. Here is a photo I took of branches covered with moss.
I don’t know what type of tree this is below, but it has beautifully colored stripes running up and down it’s length.
I slowly made my way through the other sections of the reserve’s gardens, back to the meadow where I started from. There is so much to experience and photograph in the reserve, and so I recommend setting aside a couple of hours to take it all in. Refer to the website link at the beginning of this post for hours and entrance fees.
Photos property of Peggy A Thompson