The Bellevue Botanical Garden is celebrating its 25th anniversary on June 10 with guest speaker, Nancy Kartes, the garden’s manager.
Kartes began as a staff member in 1992. After taking a few years off to raise children, Kartes remained a board member until she returned in 2007 as the manager.
She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for economics, but changed to horticulture.
“I have been intrigued by the plant world since my grandpa explained grafting to me when I was 5. I excelled as an econ major, but hated it. I decided life was too long to spend it in a career I didn’t enjoy, so I changed my major to horticulture,” she said.
The garden was created when Cal and Harriet Shorts gifted their home and 7-acre property to the city of Bellevue for a park. Neighbors Bob and Iris Jewett proposed that the Parks Department create a botanical garden and the parks director, Lee Springgate, agreed on the condition that the community assist the city in creating and maintaining the garden. The Jewetts formed the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society to promote and support the garden. They have been joined by eight other horticultural groups who partner with the city to make the garden a reality.
The event will include speeches, a commemorative tree planting, ribbon-cutting of the new Urban Meadow, children’s planting activity, Mason Bee exhibit, garden history exhibit, information tables and a Kogut Butoh dance performance. The event will be open to the public from 1-4 p.m.
Kartes believes the garden is vital to the community.
“The garden is a wonderful place for citizens to gather, seek respite from a hectic world, learn new skills, be inspired, tap into their own creativity, and learn the best plants and gardening practices for Northwest gardens. Over 300,000 people visit the garden each year,” she said.
The event is celebrating the garden’s past 25 years and is looking forward to the future.
“It has been intensely gratifying to work with city staff, garden partners and volunteers over a 25-year span and witness the garden literally come to life from the work of our joined hands and combined resources,” she said.
Visit www.bellevuebotanical.org to learn more about the garden.