As the name suggests, this botanical garden is located in the heart of Bellevue, a 20-minute drive from Seattle on I-90. It is one of the most popular destinations in the city with 300,000 visitors per year. No matter what the season, this is a beautiful place for you and the kids to discover the flora of our region. Admission and parking are free, but dogs are not allowed, even on a leash.
Before starting your walk in this enchanted place, I recommend you to stop at the Copper Kettle Coffee Bar located in the Shorts House. This former home of Cal and Harriet Shorts also houses an atrium with a beautiful reference library for you to browse. Located in the garden not far from the entrance, you can enjoy the view with a cup of organic coffee or refreshment, depending on the season, and sample one of the pastries from Macrina’s Bakery.
With 53 hectares of cultivated gardens, restored woods, and natural wetlands, I recommend you plan one to two hours to walk around this relaxing and educational place.
Take your time to enjoy the easily accessible paths and wooded trails.
Each corner of this garden is a different place offering a unique view of the vegetation that makes the Pacific Northwest so rich.
You’ll discover mountain wildflowers and see the grasses and perennials that provide food and shelter for pollinators.
You can also walk through the forest, take a 100-foot suspension bridge and see the flora in the wildest part of the botanical garden.
In addition to the flora, the garden punctuates the spaces by featuring some works of art donated by several donors. You will find them all along your journey.
For a moment of absolute calm, I recommend the Yao Garden, a traditional Japanese garden named after the city of Yao in Japan which is twinned with Bellevue.
Thanks to your Smartphone, you can scan the terminals at your disposal and learn everything you need to know about the plants and trees you will find in front of.
As an educational space, the botanical garden also offers guided tours of about one hour every Saturday and Sunday between April and October. You can also book private guided tours if you wish. You will then know everything about plants and good gardening practices!
If you want to go even further in your learning, the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society offers thematic courses in person at the garden or online in the form of webinars. With a focus on natural care, the botanical garden staff will teach you how to maintain healthy soil, water wisely and adopt good gardening practices while reducing waste and pesticide use.
Naturally changing in shape and color with the seasons, you can easily visit the garden several times a year to discover it in a new light each time. In the case of, like me, the visit gives you a desire to garden, you will just have to pass by the store and find your happiness to decorate your own garden!