As a horticulturist I feel especially fortunate that two of my best friends live in the Pacific NW, in particular Seattle. Over the years (I usually visit at least once a year) we have hiked mountains and visited gardens of all types, in every season. I should mention that while these friends don’t know much about plants (they like to make up names for plants we see when we’re hiking), they are both appreciative and most important, always willing to join me on a tour or plant adventure.
On my most recent visit in mid-January, 2013 we visited one of my favorite public gardens, Bloedel Reserve, located on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle. It had been years since my first visit which was in springtime and I was excited and delighted to see what the garden offered in winter. “To provide refreshment and tranquility in the presence of natural beauty” to quote the founder of Bloedel , Prentice Bloedel, when talking about the mission of the garden, sums up how the garden made us feel as we strolled through the 150 acres which include a Japanese Garden, a moss garden, a reflection pool and the Bloedels’ former home.
Winter is a great time to appreciate the design of a garden and this northwest treasure shines in January. The cold weather didn’t deter us although, a few more layers would have been a good idea (what did I expect in January in the NW?) and everywhere we looked there were beautiful scenes. Rather than talk about why this is such an appealing garden I will show you some of my favorite images and hope they will inspire you to look at winter with a new or renewed appreciation.