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The traditional Japanese gate marking the entrance to the Yao Japanese Garden. This photo was taken from inside the Yao Garden looking out through the gate

The Bellevue Botanical Garden is a botanical garden in Bellevue, WA. It first opened to the public on June 27, 1992. Comprising 53 acres of display gardens, woodlands, meadows, and wetlands, the Gardens have become a popular area for passive recreation, photography, and education. The garden is owned and maintained by the City of Bellevue's Parks and Community Services Department in partnership with the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society.

There are numerous distinct gardens which comprise the Bellevue Botanical Garden, inlcuding the Alpine Rock Garden, a fuchsia garden (cultivated by the Eastside Fuchsia Society), a Waterwise Garden (sponsored by the Bellevue Utilities Department), the Yao Japanese Garden, and others.

The Garden is open year round including holidays and features a visitor's center with a gift and souvenir shop as well as guided tours on weekends during the months of April through October.

Garden HistoryEdit

The land on which the Bellevue Botanical Gardens now stand was once a forested tract with trees 200 feet tall. Early in the 20th century, the land was logged and then left to regenerate itself. Eventually, the land fell under the ownership of Calhoun and Harriet Shorts who practised farming in the area.

In 1984, the Shorts deeded their home (now, after some modification, the present day visitor's center) and seven acres of land to the City of Bellevue to become a public park. At the same time, the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society was formed to promote the use of the property as a botanical garden. Later in the 1980s, the City of Bellevue added land to bring the site up to 36 acres.  In 2006 another 17 acres were added to bring it up to 53 acres total.

Actual construction of the Garden began in 1990 and by 1992 the Garden was ready to be opened to the public. The Ground Cover Garden, Perennial Border, Rhododendron Glen, Yao Garden, Fuchsia Garden were ready at that time. A Loop Trail had also been completed.

The following years saw an expansion of the Fuchsia Garden, the addition of the Paisley Bed and a Summer Dahlia display, the Waterwise Garden, and the Alpine Rock Garden were added.

One of the more popular events at the Garden is the holiday light festival (Garden D'Lights).


The Bellevue Botanical Garden is part of Bellevue's Wilburton Hill Park and is located east of Interstate 405 at 12001 Main Street in Bellevue, Washington, between NE 118th Street and NE 124th Street.

External LinkEdit