International celebrity and home and garden maven Martha Stewart spent a recent Saturday morning, August 17, visiting Bainbridge Island’s Bloedel Reserve, which she described as one of the most beautiful gardens she has visited.
Bloedel Executive Director Ed Moydell showed Stewart around, along with about 10 people, including crew members and horticulturalist friends who, along with Stewart, were in town for the wedding of Dan Hinckley and Robert Jones. Moydell said Stewart arrived at 9 a.m. and spent about an hour and a half touring most of the garden, with particular interest in the moss garden area.
Moydell said, “She was incredibly friendly and couldn’t have been nicer to spend time with. She always walked at the front of the line and was very inquisitive and extremely knowledgeable. She recognized many of the native species as well as some pretty unusual and rare nonnative things we have here.”
It wasn’t the first time Stewart has been to the garden. In 2002 Stewart featured a long segment about the Reserve, highlighting its moss garden, on her show From Martha’s Garden. Her connections to Bainbridge Island are extensive, including to Bainbridge-based gardener artists George and David Lewis, whom she last featured on her show in 2011.
About hosting such a high-profile celebrity, Moydell told me, “Every now and then I had to pinch myself.” When I asked him if Stewart is the most well-known visitor to the garden, he explained that long before his time Katherine Hepburn visited and had lunch with the Bloedels in their home.
Read Stewart’s blog entry about her recent visit to the Bloedel Reserve, with plenty of better photos.
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Photo of Martha Stewart peeking through roots at Bloedel courtesy of Ed Moydell.