A Visit to the Bellevue Botanical Garden

August 27, 2012

I get such inspiration from visiting gardens during the summer months. As as the summer winds down I want to eke out as many garden visits as I can, so yesterday I made a trip to the Bellevue Botanical Garden see the Art in the Garden show.  In addition to the art, there are many artful plant combinations to see strolling through the perennial borders.


A billowy mass planting of grasses punctuated with stone cairns welcome you at the entry of the garden


It’s also a great reminder of how BIG plants can get, and that you really can’t rely on plant tags to gauge the mature size of plants.  There is no substitute for getting ‘out there’ and seeing plants in a mature garden setting, like this huge clump of Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureloa’ (Japanese Forest grass).


Is it alive?


One of my favorite combinations was this one with Molinia caerulea ‘Variegata’ (Variegated Moor Grass) in the foreground, the pink smokey plumes of Cotinus coggygria ‘Young Lady’ (Smoke Tree), and the golden glow of the Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Aurea’ (Golden Dawn Redwood) in the background.  I just love the movement and texture that grasses add to the the garden!


Variegated Moor Grass


I also loved this ensemble of Aster ‘Monch’, Caryopteris x clandonensis ‘Summer Sorbet’, and Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’.


Aster, Caryopteris and Artemesia


And this one of Agastache ‘Heatwave’ and Allium schubertii.


Agastache and Allium


I particularly loved the view of the garden form this vantage point and the repetition of creamy white from the Hydrangea and the variegated grass behind it.


One my favorite views of the garden


Of course, the art was great too and adds such an interesting element to the garden, a topic I rently wote about in an earlier post.


Glass art by Jesse Kelly with Japanese Blood Grass in the background


These pieces add instant color to the garden


Non-invasive Glass Bamboo by Jesse Kelly


I also loved these glass ‘leaves’ created by artist Marcus Harper.


Glass Leaf by Marcus Harper


And these steel towers and ‘rock flowers’ by artist Alice Smith.


The steel towers would look great alone, filled with stones, or used as a trellis for vines in the garden


Rock Flowers: The ultimate low maintenance ‘plant’


The Yao garden is a tranquil, contemplative Northwest version of a Japanese garden. Just walking through it is a calming experience.


The Yao Garden


Pagoda in the Yao garden


The lush borders along a gravel pathway


If you haven’t visited the Bellevue Botanical Garden it is well worth a trip.  The art is gone but the gardens remain and will be at their prime for just a bit longer.




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