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Garden in the City


Written by
Kathryn Smith

Visit a patch of serenity within the city—the Bellevue Botanical Garden—and then take some inspiration back to your home garden.

Together, the City of Bellevue Parks & Community Services and the nonprofit Bellevue Botanical Garden Society (BBGS) maintain the expansive 53-acre space that includes cultivated gardens, natural wetlands and restored woodlands. During December, locals flock to the Bellevue Botanical Garden for the annual Garden d’Lights exhibit, which attracts about 100,000 people every year. But what about the other 11 months?

“It still amazes me that people don’t know the garden is here. It is a tremendous community resource,” says Darcy McInnis, communications and events manager for the BBGS. 

The garden has free admission daily, and whether it is an educational stroll with family or friends, or a tranquil walk through the trails, the garden provides access to a variety of outdoor scenes. With proximity to Bellevue offices, McInnis invites people to “decompress here on lunch” and use the garden as a “nature outlet.” 

If the garden inspires you, try a few of the monthly classes covering a variety of topics. They are accessible to everyone for a small fee. Classes promote community connections where friends and strangers can both learn and socialize. Find a full list of classes and more information about the Bellevue Botanical Garden at

Become a Member

Becoming a member of the BBGS is easy with their online application. Members receive benefits year-round, including discounts on classes and lectures and free tickets to Garden d’Lights. Members also receive exclusive access to over 300 other gardens and arboreta throughout North America.



Upcoming Events

March 4

Permaculture for the Backyard Gardener

Learn methods of sustainable gardening to try at your own home. Expand your skills even beyond organic gardening in this forward-thinking class.


March 15

How to Prune and Renovate the Overgrown Garden

In this lecture, learn ways to clean up your garden when it especially deserves attention.


March 25

An Introduction to the Art and Horticulture of Bonsai

Bonsais are unique horticultural designs that radiate peacefulness. Learn about the basics of outdoor bonsai in this class.


March 30

Garden Habitat for Bumble Bees and Other Native Pollinators

Where successful gardens exist, so do busy insects. Understand which particular plants and features can attract and sustain native pollinators to promote a balanced local habitat.


April 1


Beautiful and oh-so-diverse, orchids are an identifiable flower to most people. Caring for and selecting the healthiest orchids are not so apparent, and this class assists beginners with those tricky steps.


April 6

Growing Tomatoes in the Pacific Northwest

From seed selection to planting and harvesting tips, this class covers the essentials to growing succulent tomatoes in the brief season of this region.


April 8

Create a Miniature Fairy Garden

Families are encouraged to attend this class, where supplies are provided to create your very own fairy garden.


April 8

Create a Succulent Terrarium

Start with the container and work your way to a fully complete and personalized terrarium ready to be on display in your home.  

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