The entrance to the Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Native Discovery Garden. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

The entrance to the Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Native Discovery Garden. Evan Pappas/Staff Photo

Botanical Garden has new plants for summer

Improvements to accessibility and exhibits were made in the spring.

With the help of a $25,000 grant from the King Conservation District, the Bellevue Botanical Garden has made some improvements to promote the appreciation of native plants.

This spring the Botanical Garden completed upgrades to the Native Discovery Garden, a section of the property devoted to plants native to the Northwest. The upgrades were made to improve access to the park for visitors with limited mobility, to diversify the collection, and to improve circulation of visitors throughout the park itself.

Nancy Kartes, garden manager, said the changes address concerns in getting people to the Native Discovery Garden.

“One of the things we would notice was the garden was under visited, the circulation was awkward, so in general we are trying to improve accessibility throughout the garden,” She said. “The pathway was bark so people with limited mobility couldn’t go in. We improved the circulation and swapped out the surface to be more accessible, compacted crushed rock.”

The site itself, including the pathways, were reworked, and the exit was turned into a new entrance to better lead visitors into the native plant area.

Increasing the diversity of plants also serves multiple purposes, Kartes said. The Native Discovery Garden shows off how native plants can be used in personal gardens, and the intent is to inspire visitors to use them in their own gardens.

“We now have 183 different kinds of native pants — that was a 250-percent increase in just the diversity in the kinds of plants we have,” she said.

One of the challenges for people is that certain types of native plants can be difficult to find for normal consumers. Kartes hopes the garden will inspire more people to ask about the uncommon plants to drive demand, improving accessibility for consumers.

The concept and design was worked on in partnership with the Washington Native Plant Society and the East Lake Washington District of Garden Clubs. Their role will now shift into some stewardship responsibilities, Kartes said.

The revamped garden also features new benches privately donated as part of the Tribute Bench Donation program.

The project was in planning throughout 2018 and the King Conservation District grant was received in the fall. Work began in January, Kartes said, and the grand opening was held on May 12, Mother’s Day.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

April free state park days postponed

A date has not been set, though two more free days are approaching in June.

King County and Public Health have turned a former Econo Lodge motel into an emergency isolation/quarantine facility on Central Avenue in Kent. File photo
King County reports 27 coronavirus cases in homeless shelters

County has provided 60 motel vouchers so far for quarantining homeless individuals.

King County’s North Seattle isolation and quarantine site on April 8. The North Seattle/Aurora facility is located at 1132 N 128th St. in Seattle. It features six modular units with a total capacity of 23 people. Corey Morris/staff photo
King County facilities readying for COVID-19 peak

Facilities are located throughout the county to assist patients with varying levels of support.

Bellevue School District works to keep students learning

Distance learning and support services continue despite statewide schools shutdown due to pandemic.

First WA state prisoner tests positive for COVID-19

The man is the first person in Washington to contract the disease while in a state prison.

Students will not return to classrooms this school year

Monday’s decision applies to all schools — public, private and charter.

Drive-thru COVID-19 virus testing last week in the parking lot near Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett. A study by the University of Washington and UnitedHealth Group, conducted at Everett Clinic locations, found that a less-intrusive form of the coronavirus test would require fewer precautions by health care workers. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
New self-swab COVID-19 test is just as accurate, study finds

The study, under peer review, was led by an Everett Clinic doctor. It could speed up testing nationwide.

Life Care Center (LCC) of Kirkland is facing more than $600,000 in fines for its response to the COVID-19 outbreak in its facility. Samantha Pak/Sound Publishing
Life Care in Kirkland facing more than $600K in fines for COVID-19 response

The facility has until Sept. 16 to pay or address areas of concern or it will be terminated.

Dentist checking patient’s teeth. Sound Publishing file photo
Dental foundation serves Medicaid patients through COVID-19

The Arcora Foundation is also attempting to expand its urgent care database, allowing those with different insurances to use its services during the outbreak.

Most Read