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Gorgeous Views (and more) at the Bellevue Botanical Garden

October 4, 2020 - by Mona Ghorbani

Gorgeous Views (and more) at the Bellevue Botanical Garden

Whether you need to zen out from a chaotic day or switch up your walking routine, Bellevue Botanical Garden is the perfect place to explore the beauty and nature of the Pacific Northwest – and a few great businesses while you’re there. 

In 1981, Cal and Harriet Shorts donated their home and 7 acres of land to the City of Bellevue for a park, Nancy Kartes, Manager at Bellevue Botanical Gardens, said. This was all done with the intention that the park remain accessible to the public. Numerous volunteers came together to launch the Bellevue Botanical Gardens Society and create the Bellevue Botanical Garden. On top of the generous 7 acres of land that the Shorts donated, the City of Bellevue added ten more acres to the project, creating the gorgeous establishment it is today.

“We truly are a garden by and for the community,” Kartes said.

Each year, roughly 400,000 people from around the world discover the beauty, tranquility and alluring garden art at Bellevue Botanical Gardens. The pandemic can leave a lot of folks seeking a safe haven and respite, making the garden a great place to unwind for locals.

Although the Garden is all outdoors, safety protocols are set in place to protect all staff, volunteers and visitors.

“Visitors need to wear masks in the congested areas of the garden and follow other state guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID,” Kartes said.

Each section of the Garden has a unique collection that represents the nature or beauty of the Pacific Northwest. One of the most visited collections during the summertime is The Perennial Border. It's filled with American-styled mixed border flowers created and maintained by The Northwest Perennial Alliance. It’s a vibrant, dynamic, colorful and gorgeous garden to visit, Kartes said. 

The Bellevue Botanical Garden is also home to a pair of great businesses.  After you stroll along the trail and breathe in some fresh air, you’ll find yourself drawn by the aroma of freshly ground coffee at Copper Kettle Coffee Bar, located right within the garden. This adorable café offers great coffee, treats and small bites with the garden’s flora as a backdrop. Stop by for your favorite espresso (and a pastry to go with).

Also located in the garden is Trillium – the Bellevue Botanical Garden’s unique store. It’s the perfect spot to pick up gifts and items to recreate the garden’s experience in your own home. From soaps, jewelry and cards to children's items, books and home decor, you’ll find yourself lost in the sea of art and goods. 

Trillium currently offers online shopping with curbside pick-up, or visit the store in-person by appointment or during open hours with limited customer capacity on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. Now more than ever, Garden members and customers have been supportive and appreciative of the changes implemented, Shannon Darrow, Manager at Trillium, said.

If you are unable to make it to the Garden, don’t panic! Courtney Voorhees, Manager of the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society, emphasizes that a lot of the in-person events and classes are now available through virtual programming. This allows you to have access to enhancing your green-thumb from the comfort of your own home. 

“We are grateful for the community partnerships that make us resilient – we are stronger together,” Voorhees said.

Whether it’s for a brisk fall walk through the garden or an espresso with a view, explore all the Bellevue Botanical Garden has to offer.

This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.