With 53 acres of cultivated gardens, natural wetlands and a woodland trail, Washington’s Bellevue Botanical Gardens is one of the top destinations in the city, showcasing the extraordinary beauty of Northwest gardens. Whether you choose to explore the gardens on your own, or take a guided tour to learn more about the plants on display, the Botanical Garden is a lush oasis in the middle of the city and is the perfect place to enjoy some peace and serenity while taking in the natural beauty all around.
There are a number of different cultivated gardens throughout the botanical garden, each with their own individual theme. The Rock Garden is where you will find alpine plants and wildflowers, while the Fuchsia Garden displays around 100 different types of fuchsias, most of which are winter-hardy. The Waterwise Garden focuses on preserving habitats while taking into account water conservation and the minimal use of chemicals, while the Rhododendron Glen showcases over fifty different rhododendrons and a variety of companion plants.
The Ravine Experience
Situated in the heart of the botanical garden’s forest, the Ravine Experience is a trail that stretches for a third of a mile, crossing a deep ravine via a suspension bridge. The Ravine Experience has been open for four years now and is a great opportunity to observe forest life from above.
Native Discovery Garden
For those that live in the Northwest and are in the process of designing, or adding to, their own gardens, then the Native Discovery Garden will be a fascinating area to visit. The garden contains native plants that have been naturally adapted to the climate and conditions of the region, from varieties of ground cover to different types of trees, each contributing to their unique ecosystem in individual ways.
Lost Meadow Trail
The Lost Meadow Trail is one of the most popular features of the Bellevue Botanical Garden. Consisting of a third of a mile loop through ten acres of wetlands, woodlands and meadows, this is a great way to learn about how natural areas are being restored in order to provide a refuge for not only plants and animals, but also for people.
Tateuchi Loop Trail
The Tateuchi Loop Trail is a gentle and easy trail that measures around half a mile in total. The trail travels through some of the botanical garden’s woodlands and cultivated areas, with the Tateuchi Pavilion being a fantastic stop-off point to relax for a while and take in your surroundings.
The Bellevue Botanical Garden is open daily from dawn to dusk and is free to enter. If you plan to spend a few hours there, the Coffee Cart at the Shorts House is where you can go for refreshments, from hot drinks to baked goods, with a beautiful patio that is open on warmer days. While the garden may welcome over 300,000 visitors each year, it never seems too crowded, and always manages to exude an aura of serenity and relaxation, making it an ideal destination for those who want to discover the greener side of Washington.