Bellevue Washington is full of beautiful parks and outdoor areas where community members and guests can enjoy fresh air and the beauty of nature. One such place is the Bellevue Botanical Garden.
About the Gardens
The Bellevue Botanical Garden features 13 different gardens that provide varied experiences and exhibit different flowers, trees, shrubs, and plants. Throughout the garden, there are plaques where you can scan a QR Code and learn about a specific plant right on your phone. Keep an eye out for different sculptures and art pieces as you walk through the gardens, as there are many to see. Here are a few of the garden experiences you can see:
With tiny wildflowers, small shrubs,granite outcrops, and a surrounding of beautiful trees, the Rock garden and Iris Rain Garden is a beautiful mix of rock and greenery. Rock gardens take less maintenance and attention than most types of gardens. The Iris Rain Garden has a small stream of water and beautiful irises.
See nearly 100 different kinds of fuchsias when you visit the Fuchsia Garden in the Bellevue Botanical Garden. This garden has been around since 1992 when the botanical garden was opened to the public. The Fuchsia Garden is not only visited by many people, it is also frequented by humming birds throughout the summer.
Walk across a 150-foot suspension bridge with stunning views of the ravine and into the Ravine Experience. The Ravine Experience has been open to the public since 2012 and provides a unique opportunity to see wildlife and untouched forest spaces. The trail is a third mile long and is worth the venture.
The land that is now the Bellevue Botanical Garden was originally the home and property of Cal and Harriet Shorts, who deeded the 7.5 acres of land to the City of Bellevue in 1981 with the condition that it must always remain as a public park. In 1984 it was proposed to make this land a botanical garden, to which the city of Bellevue and Shorts family agreed. The City of Bellevue set aside an additional 10 acres for the botanical garden, making the area 17.5 acres.
In 1989 the Bellevue Botanical Garden took off, the City added another 19 acres to the area and the beautiful and historic Sharo cabin was relocated to the garden. This new acreage made the botanical garden 36 acres in total.
In 1990, the Short family’s old home was converted into a visitors center. On June 27, 1992 the Bellevue Botanical Garden finally opened to the public. Since its opening, the garden has grown and added things to it to make it even greater for the community. In 2006, the garden grew in acreage to 53 acres. In 2013, the visitor center was rebuilt to be larger and interactive for the visitors. Many other changes have been made to increase the quality of the guests’ experience.
If you are interested in learning more about the different plants and exhibits in the Bellevue Botanical Garden, take a tour. The visitor center offers both public and private tours, neither cost money but have a suggested donation of $5 per person.
Public tours are offered every Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 1PM. Tours are offered during the months of April through October. Public tours offer more information about the plants in the garden and the garden’s history. You don’t need to register for the public tours, just show up and enjoy the guided garden experience.
Private tours are available from April to October and must be scheduled 2 weeks in advance. The maximum number of people is 50 and the tour is tailored more towards the group’s interests.
While In Bellevue WA
While in the Bellevue Washington area, whether you’re visiting or local, make sure to check out a few other local attractions. If you’re looking for another outdoor adventure, check out Kelsey Creek Farm Park. If you are looking for a different experience, take a gander at the Bellevue Arts Museum.