Bellevue Botanical Gardens

Bellevue Botanical Garden is a 53-acre oasis located in Bellevue, Washington. The gardens showcase beautifully landscaped gardens, woodlands, and wetlands that are thriving in the Pacific Northwest. The Gardens were recently named one of the "Top Botanical Gardens to Visit" in 2016 by Nature Hills.

The dedicated staff of Bellevue Botanical Garden aim to provide a place of serenity, breath-taking beauty, and horticultural education for all of its visitors. The Gardens are free and are open from dawn until dusk, and in exchange for the free admission, the staff hopes only one thing in return: to inspire visitors to create and tend to their own beautiful and healthy gardens.

With free admission and 53-acres of beautiful gardens and trails to explore, it is safe to say that members of the entire family will find something to enjoy at Bellevue Botanical Garden. Photo: Steve Lovegrove/Fotolia


»The Gardens

The Gardens


Bellevue Botanical Garden consists of many different and exquisite smaller gardens, including: The Rock Garden, The Fuchsia Garden, The Spring Courtyard and Tapestry Hedge, The Shorts Ground Cover Garden, The Dahlia Garden, The Perennial Border, The Fern Collection, The Rhododendron Glen, The Native Discovery Garden, and The Yao Garden.

The Rock Garden closely resembles the plants and life forms found in high mountainous regions above the tree-line. Tiny wildflowers, mountain hemlock, and granite outcrops can be found here. These alpine plants, rocks, and flowers require very little maintenance and are well-adapted to the climate of the Pacific Northwest. Simple weeding, lots of sunlight, and occasional watering are all that this garden needs to thrive.

The Fuchsia Garden was cultivated by the Eastside Fuchsia Society in 1992 and is one of the most dazzling floral displays in the summer time. At any given time there can be more than 100 different breeds of fuchsias in bloom and often have the friendly company of little hummingbirds.

The Spring Courtyard and Tapestry Hedge is a tranquil space where water is emerging from stones and flowing to the edge of the patio. This symbolic garden was funded by the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust and thanks to the Seattle Garden Club, there is now a surrounding flower garden and a low-maintenance yet attractive hedge.

The Shorts Ground Cover Garden is a peaceful and lush display of ground covering plants. It is almost representative the Shire from the Lord of the Rings with its beautiful flowers, flowing fields of green, babbling brooks, and covered viewing pavilions. The Tateuchi Pavilion and the Shorts house is located in this garden. Things to Do in Washington State: Bellevue Botanical Garden - Photo: cyabou/Fotolia

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»More Gardens

More Gardens


The Dahlia Garden is host to an annual display that has been planted and maintained by the Puget Sound Dahlia Association since 1993. These flowers provide a kaleidoscope of color from the summer to the fall with new ones being added each year.

The Perennial Border is homes to thousands of different perennials, shrubs, bulbs, evergreens, and trees that are picturesque and colorful year-round. This award-winning garden was created by the Northwest Perennial Alliance and is also used for educational and volunteer purposes.

The Fern Collection was started by Cal and Harriet Shorts in the 1990s and now contains about 750 species of ferns. The Rhododendron Glen is home to more than 50 different species and provide year-round interest for visitors.

The Native Discovery Garden is used to educate and expose visitors to new plants that have adapted to the climate of the Pacific Northwest and can be grown in their own gardens. The staff of the Gardens wants the plants that visitors grow at home to be low maintenance, beautiful, and ecologically sound.

The Yao Garden is a place for quiet contemplation developed to celebrate the gardens of the Pacific Rim. Visitors are greeted by a traditional Japanese gate and can expect to explore the gardens surrounded by beautiful lanterns, azaleas, rhododendrons, and viburnums.

There are also a few different attractions and trails to explore, including The Ravine Experience, The Lost Meadow Trail, The Tateuchi Loop Trail, and The Shorts House, and The Waterwise Garden.

The Ravine Experience is a looped nature trail including an exciting 150 foot suspension bridge within a steep ravine. This wild walk features beautiful woodlands and the wildlife that lives within this environment.

The Lost Meadow Trail is an educational one-third mile trail through 10 acres of woodlands, meadows and wetlands. The Tateuchi Loop Trail is a relaxing one-half mile stroll that showcases a wide range of woodlands and gardens. There is also the Tateuchi Pavilion for shaded and relaxed viewing on the surrounding nature.

The Shorts House is located in the Ground Cover Garden and was the original home of Cal and Harriet Shorts. It is open for tours and is surrounded by lovely gardens and shady trees.

The Waterwise Garden is an educational attraction where visitors will learn new practices for growing a beautiful garden while also conserving water, lowering chemical use, reducing runoff, recycling waste, and preserving natural habitats. This award-winning garden showcases a variety of different plants while providing shady pathways and priceless horticultural education.

Between all of the trails, attractions, and various gardens, there is definitely plenty to see and do at the Bellevue Gardens. Their virtual collection search can also make any visit easier if guests are looking for a particular species of plant, shrub, or tree. Things to Do in Washington State: Bellevue Botanical Garden - Photo: alessandrarc/Fotolia

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»Events

Events


There is always something exciting to do at the Bellevue Gardens at all times of the year. All sorts of garden parties, art events, vintage collectable sales, and light events are happening this summer season alone.

The Garden d'Lights 2016 event is happening from November 26 - December 31. This event features more than ½ million lights that transfer the Gardens into a bright and enchanting holiday wonderland.

The Vintage and Collectable Sale Spring 2017 is now accepting donations for the upcoming event. This event helps fund the continued success of the Gardens as well as the educational programs offered to the community. Things to Do in Washington State: Bellevue Botanical Garden - Photo: Stephanie/Fotolia

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»Planning your Visit

Planning your Visit


A variety of different garden tours are offered during the weekends and between the moths of April through October. Free private or group guided tours can also be arranged if scheduled ahead of time.

There are plenty of events, lectures, and classes happening year-round.

The surrounding Bellevue area also has many options for fine-dining, respectable accommodations, and cultural hotspots. Beautiful parks, children's museums, and plenty of exciting shops are all just a stone's throw away from the Bellevue Gardens.

Ongoing Programs and Education

There are a variety of classes, lectures, and educational programs held at the Gardens. An exciting upcoming lecture by speaker Patrick Cullina is entitled The Emergent City: Transforming the Urban Experience with Dynamic Landscapes is on October 19, 2016.

There are a variety of different classes available throughout the falls season, pre-registration is required. Courses regarding all sorts of horticultural and garden maintenance skills will be available for any interested guests.

The educational staff at the Gardens also participate in lots of community outreach and educational programs. Adults, children, and any interested members of the community can learn the skills to tend their own healthy and sustainable gardens.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Bellevue

12001 Main St, Bellevue, Washington 98005, website, Phone: 425-452-2750 Things to Do in Washington State: Bellevue Botanical Garden - Photo: er File: #124488848 | Author: Oleksii Sergieiev/Fotolia

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Things to Do in Washington State: Bellevue Botanical Garden