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Bellevue’s Botanical Garden – Great for a Casual Walk or Reclusive Afternoon

Known for its beauty on the Eastside, there’s no wonder the City of Bellevue would like to preserve that beauty and give back to the community simultaneously. The Bellevue Botanical Garden is an “urban refuge encompassing 53 acres of cultivated gardens, restored woodlands, and natural wetlands.

Their mission, simple: display the best plants and gardening practices for healthy, beautiful Northwest gardens – and visitors are encouraged to participate in the garden’s volunteer opportunities, community events and programs as they are educationally engaging and inspiring for aspiring gardeners and botanists.


A “community jewel,” they coexist under a successful partnership between the City of Bellevue, the nonprofit Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, and the Garden Partners, an advanced Northwest horticultural organization whose mission is to preserve the knowledge, natural beauty, and ecology by inspiring all generations.


The history of how the gardens came to be is one of true passion. In 1981, a local family, Cal and Harriet Shorts, deeded their home and 7.5 acres of land to the City of Bellevue, under the provision it remains a public park. A few years later, Iris and Bob Jewett approach the city with an idea to turn the land into a botanical garden; and after an agreed resolution, the city sets aside 10 acres of adjacent land, bringing the total acreage to 17.5.

By 2006, the Garden’s Master Plan was underway and additional acreage was purchased by the city, with the help of the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society. This increased the total area to 53 acres.

In recent years, they’ve opened several additional areas to the garden, including the Ravine Experience, a suspension bridge and brief-friendly habitat trail, a visitor center, the Entry Courtyard Gardens, the Wetland, the Spring Courtyard and Tapestry Hedge, the Iris Rain Garden, and the Urban Meadows.

The entire history can be found by visiting


The type of events includes plant sales and shows, seasonal gardening classes, and artsy showcases that highlight 3D art displayed among the flowerbeds – oftentimes available for purchase! They even have holiday events, so keep an eye out! Since their events, classes, and programs change frequently, you can find their updated directory here.

Overall, the “Gardens” is a great place to lull the day away, get inspired, write a book, indulge your creative site, photograph Bellevue’s natural beauty, or simply lounge in the lush and sunny meadows.

Do you have a favorite adventure at Bellevue’s Botanical Garden? Tells us about your favorite parts, walks, flowers, or inspirations in the comments below!


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