Gardening / Gardens

Washington Gardens

Bloedel Garden Bloedel Reserve

Rhododendrons and camellias are opening up, spring bulbs are providing color on the ground, hellebores are dazzling in shades of purple, pink, green and white, and even some early trilliums are popping up on the forest floor. Now is the time to visit.

Bloedel Reserve is a 150-acre preserve at the northern tip of Bainbridge Island; it is often named as one of the best public gardens in America.  The reserve is a mix of pristine second-growth forest and meticulously landscaped gardens. The self-guided loop trail takes roughly two hours and leads you through a bird refuge that’s home to trumpeter swans, great blue herons, and kingfishers; across hand-hewed wooden bridges and through fern-choked forest; and into a Japanese garden. The path eventually ends at a grand mansion, the former private residence of the Bloedel family


Bloedel Reserve is located at the north end of Bainbridge Island – a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle or Edmonds (Click here for link to Washington State Ferries).

Seattle to Bainbridge Island crossing time: 35 minutes.  Driving time to the Reserve: 15 minutes.

Edmonds to Kingston crossing time: 30 minutes.  Driving time to the Reserve: 25 minutes.


7571 NE Dolphin Drive, Bainbridge Island, WA (Map)

Admission  Fee

Adults ($13)

Seniors (65+) and Military ($9)

Students 13 – College ($5)

Children (12 and Under) (Free)


Regular Hours Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM Closed Monday

Summer Hours (June-August) Tuesday & Wednesday 10 AM to 4 PM Closed Mondays, Thursday – Sunday 10 AM to 7 PM Open Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day


Guided Tours

The Bloedel Reserve Website


  1. How lovely – spring is already there!
    ladyfi recently posted..Perfect balanceMy Profile

  2. That’s a beautiful place. Spring obviously happens there much earlier than it does here. Our last snowfall hasn’t even melted yet.

    • The hellebore’s come in February. By mid-March the crocuses and daffodils have come and gone. Late March the first azaleas and rhododendrons are in bloom. Having said that one of the amazing things in that garden are the variety of evergreens that gives the garden a context and provides such amazing texture and shades of green that are just gorgeous. They give the garden that feeling of tranquility.

  3. This looks like a wonderful place to visit year-round.

  4. The Bloedel Reserve (150 acres), Kubota Garden (20 acres), and the Seattle Arboretum (230 acres)I think are more beautiful in the winter than when they are blooming. The arboretum has over 4,000 species of trees of which a very large number are evergreens or broad-leaf evergreens. The trees give the gardens amazing color, texture, and character in our more rainy season. The colors run from yellow to deep emerald green and they are gorgeous. It doesn’t hurt to have sweet box planted under them so they smell like gardenias in December and January.
    Charlie@Seattle Trekker recently posted..Washington GardensMy Profile

  5. My goodness, the Bloedel Reserve is one of my favorite places on this Earth. I visited twice during the summer we were in Seattle in 2011, once in the rain, and the other in the sun. I loved it. You brought back all of those memories. Thank you.~~Dee

  6. You are so welcome. I love the ferry ride and spending an afternoon walking through the garden. When you come again you will find the Kubota Garden and the Seattle Arboretum to also be very enjoyable.

  7. I SO need to visit Bloedel someday…I don’t know why I’ve not done it yet!

    • Start by walking across the UW campus, the cherry trees are so close to blooming. If you have just a little bit of time spend two or three hours at Kubota Gardens, it is so lovely right now. Once you have done that it should be really easy to get on the ferry some beautiful Saturday or Sunday morning. The ride is amazing on a gorgeous day. When you think to yourself it can’t get any better than that you will arrive at Bloedel Reserve…

  8. Bella Remy says:

    I love how your focus on how to share beautiful Seattle with the world Charlie. Finally subscribed so you’ll see me more here. Thanks! Emily aka Bella Remy

  9. Beautiful gardens and beautiful video!

  10. I am traveling to Seattle later this week, and spending a week there. Garden-wise, where should I ask the friend whom I am visiting to take me at this point in the summer?We are going to spend a day in Vancouver as well–any recommendations there?
    Kimberley at Cosmos and Cleome recently posted..Five Things that Made Me Smile TodayMy Profile

    • This is one of the places I visited on my trip last week. A very lovely place, even in mid-August. I can just imagine how very lovely and enchanted it must look in the spring when the rhododendrons are blooming! I saw a lot of heather, wild cyclamen, and anemones on my visit.

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