Walking into Reflection Garden made me feel as if I was walking into a church. I hushed my voice when I spoke to others nearby. A sense of quiet and calm fell over me as the light slipped in through the tops of the trees like light filtering through stained glass windows. The single bench felt more like a pew where one could give thanks to the ever-wonderful Spirit of nature.
The Japanese Garden was delightful in its rustic simplicity.
The Moss Garden felt primordial but also somehow unearthly and unreal. The glowing moss seemed to be something from another planet.
The overturned tree exposing its roots is an example of the fantastic maintenance of the garden. The tree is allowed to stay and become an impressive sculpture amidst the moss. Two wispy shrubs on either side of the root mass prevent a clear view until one is up close and face-to-face with the intertwining roots. The impact is heightened by being forced to view it this way. Genius!
Much thought also seems to be given of transitions from one area to another. They are accomplished in the most beautiful way.
I really enjoyed getting to talk to some of the Bloedel gardeners. They're so great!
The woodland garden was a wonderfully wild and wet experience!
Even within this more "untamed" area, careful thought is given to delightful surprises. I walked along, never knowing how close I was to a wildlife pond until I came around a tree to be surprised by a window onto the water. Here is a photo of the approach (with no idea of the pond beyond):
And here is a few steps further down the path when the window opens up to reveal the water:
The play of light and dark, the tension of border between woods and meadow is a classic pull in the human brain - the protection of hiding in the woods versus the relief of being in the open and being able to see what is approaching. One's preference of one over the other can be interesting to examine. On this day, I was enjoying them both. The grass of the meadow was beautiful with its undulations and subtle color.
It had been raining when I was in the trees and after walking for a bit with my umbrella up, I realized that there was no rain falling - even though I could still hear the distinct and loud sound of rain. I put down my umbrella and realized it was the trees that surrounded the meadow that were still "raining" as the water dripped from leaf to leaf. It was an interesting experience to stand there in the open, staying dry, while being completely surrounded by the sound of loud rain - not of dripping - but of rain because of the large number of trees nearby.
I really enjoyed the placement of benches around the garden too. I didn't sit in any of them because I was briskly trying to not miss an inch of the place. I'd love to return and spend some extended time absorbing the beauty.
It was a wet day but I think we all had a great time. Thank you to the Bloedel staff for such a wonderful experience! I'm dreaming of coming back sometime on a crisp autumn day to see the colors turn, as a counterpoint to this wonderfully green day. I'm sure the garden is lovely in every season!