Demonstration Gardens

The Master Gardeners of King County maintain ten demonstration gardens, two youth gardens and one outreach garden. In each of these gardens, the community can see firsthand the types of plants that grow well in our area and learn recommended planting practices and overall garden care. Visitors can also enjoy each garden’s unique beauty and large variety of plants. Old favorites grow alongside new experimental varieties. Find the locations of all the gardens on the page King County Master Gardeners map.

Volunteers maintain the gardens throughout the year using techniques learned in the Master Gardening Training Course and continuing Education programs.   If you see a “work party” in progress, stop by and talk to our volunteers. They’ll be pleased to show you the gardens and answer your questions.

In addition to the Master Gardener managed demonstration gardens, we have included a list of the public gardens in King County and the surrounding area that we encourage you to visit to inspire, inform, and excite you about the beauty of plants for your gardens and their many medicinal, cultural and edible characteristics.

WSU Demonstration Gardens in King County

Animal Acres

This small demonstration garden is located in Pfingst Animal Acres Park at the corner of 178th and Brookside Boulevard in Lake Forest Park. The garden features fruit, vegetables, herbs, and perennials interplanted to show the public how to integrate ornamentals with food crops. The garden also features a simple drip irrigation system, making it a low-maintenance garden as well. The produce is donated primarily to the Hunger Intervention Program and also to the North Helpline.

Master Gardener work parties on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month from 9:00AM to noon each throughout the season.

Bellevue Demonstration Garden

This urban demonstration garden, located on SE 16th Street between 148th Avenue SE and 156th Avenue SE, just west of 156th, has grown from a single P-Patch in 1984 surrounded by blackberries on a steep, rock-filled slope to the flourishing garden it is today. The hands-on garden is an effective way for Master Gardeners to demonstrate gardening techniques to the community. In addition to being a complete Master Gardener Plant Clinic, the garden includes ornamental theme beds, a Northwest cactus garden, a children’s garden, vegetable gardens demonstrating comparison and composting techniques, and much more. Read more about this garden in the January 2016 issue of The Connection.

The King County Master Gardeners in cooperation with Bellevue Parks & Community Services manage BDG. The Master Gardeners are on site every Wednesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., April through October. Free workshops are offered to the public most Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. until noon during the growing season.

Cesar Chavez Demonstration Garden

This small demonstration garden located at El Centro de La Raza, 2524 16th Avenue S in Seattle. The garden serves to educate the diverse local community, including students from José Martí Child Development Center and the Luis Alfonso Velasquez After School Program, on all aspects related to organic gardening. The garden includes raised vegetable beds, composting, a kitchen herb garden, a greenhouse for seed starting, berries and fruit trees. Master Gardeners also maintain the surrounding grounds which include a rain garden and perennial beds. Food raised in the vegetable garden is provided to the on-site food bank or school.

Master Gardeners are usually on site Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 1 pm., April through September, and additional days and evenings during the growing season. Read a brief history of the CCDG and its 2012-14 renovation, and an update in the May 2016 issue of The Connection.  [Updated April 2018]

Carkeek Park Demonstration Garden

The garden is located within Carkeek Park at 950 NW Carkeek Park Road in Seattle. This demonstration garden was added in 2015 to the WSU Master Gardener gardens group. The gardens surround the educational buildings at Carkeek Park Park (the Environmental Learning Center and the Annex).  The multiple and varied gardens are 20-plus years old and represent the original plan to inform and inspire backyard gardeners to practice natural and wildlife habitat principles. These twelve separate but related gardens, from the Shady Woodlands Garden to the Prairie Garden, show visitors the wide variety of plants that thrive in PNW gardens without fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or supplemental water. The Gardens support the migratory bird populations by utilizing plants that provide food, shelter, and nesting materials year-round. Work parties every Tuesday morning, 9:00-noon, all year-round. Read more about this garden in the June 2016 issue of The Connection and its history in the September 2015 issue of The Connection.

Finn Hill Demonstration Garden

The Finn Hill Demonstration Garden is located on the grounds of St. John Vianney Catholic Church located at 12600 84th Ave NE in Kirkland, WA 98034. This garden is currently under development, and the public are invited to visit during daylight hours to view our progress. Master Gardeners are on site each Tuesday from 9 am – 11 am from April through October.

Follow the progress of this garden in recent issues of The Connection newsletter: October 2020, April 2021, July 2021, August 2021 and October 2021.

Neely-Soames Homestead Demonstration Garden

The David F. Neely House, built in 1885, is a historic landmark significant to the city of Kent and located at 5311 South 237th Place in Kent. The restoration and preservation project at this location serves as a vivid reminder of the pioneer way of life that existed during the late 1800s.

The garden reflects this period in the Green River Valley’s history with perennial beds, herbs, grapes and hops, an old-fashioned vegetable garden, and an area showcasing native plants. Master Gardeners on site April through September, Tuesdays, 10 am to noon and Saturdays, 11 am to 1 pm (except major weekend Saturdays including Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day).

Soos Creek Growing Groceries Demonstration Garden

The Soos Creek Botanical Garden located at 29308 132nd Avenue SE in Auburn was opened to the public in 2011. The botanical garden was developed as a stroll garden, set on 22 acres, and it was the vision of a family who settled the Soos Creek Plateau. The botanical garden is dedicated to promoting the enjoyment and understanding of plants in this historical setting. This Growing Groceries demonstration garden was added 2015, and it demonstrates environmentally friendly ways to grow fruits and vegetables. Work parties Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon, March through October. Read more about this garden in the August 2015 issue of The Connection.

Thyme Patch Park 

The garden is located at 2853 NW 58th Street in Ballard. Thyme Patch Park is a lot-size garden in a Seattle neighborhood park. Part of the Seattle Park System, the Park also features P-Patch plots on the south half of the Park. The north side is a landscape display garden maintained by Master Gardeners. After two years of planning, in January 2003 Master Gardeners began building the planting design for their landscaped portion of the Park. The purpose of the garden is to integrate educational aspects of home garden design, plant selection, pruning and maintenance in a home-like landscape, highlighting those plants found in the neighborhoods of Seattle. Master Gardeners are usually working in the display garden Wednesday mornings as weather and schedules permit. Produce from the pear trees is donated to the Ballard Food Bank.

Tribal Life Trail

The Tribal Life Trail is located in Maple Valley at the Lake Wilderness Arboretum, 22520 SE 248th Street. The garden is a trail-style demonstration garden that focuses on plants used by native peoples of the Pacific Northwest. It is designed to provide an educational platform and understanding of the foods, medicines, and many other practical functions derived from these plants by native peoples. The trail is approximately 270 feet long and meanders in and out of the forest edge along the meadow in the arboretum. Informational signage identifies plants and their traditional uses.

Master Gardeners are on site from 9:30 until 11:30 a.m. the first and third Thursday from April 11– October 24, and on some special event days like Make a Difference Day in October. 2nd Grade Tours are a major event each September. Read more about this ethnobotanical garden in the October 2015 issue of The Connection.

Vashon Community Food Bank Garden

This garden was designated as a Master Gardener demonstration garden in 2017 and now has 17 beds for planting plus a hoop house. The gardeners work in concert with the food bank volunteer coordinator to schedule work parties to clear and weed the gardens, install the drip irrigation systems, plant the vegetable seeds and starts from local organic gardeners and care for and harvest the food.

The garden is located at Sunrise Ridge, 10030 SW 210th Street on Vashon Island. Master Gardeners are usually on site on Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday mornings. The garden is open to the public during the daylight hours and can be accessed through a latched gate. Please make sure the gate is closed and latched if you visit the garden due to the deer problem. This garden replaces the Vashon Island Master Gardener Dry Garden also on the island and described in the August 2016 issue of The Connection.

Ronald McDonald House Outreach Garden

5130 40th Avenue NE, Seattle. Master Gardeners began this outreach garden project in the fall of 2005. There are two locations, a block apart, each with gardens. The older house had overgrown landscaping originally planted in 1983. The gardens at the newer houses were established in 2003. Master Gardeners have renewed and renovated established areas and created a number of individual focus gardens including two vegetable gardens, a giant pumpkin patch, a shade garden, a drought tolerant garden, a sun loving garden to provide brilliant colors and attract pollinators, and a patio garden. We have placed signage in individual gardens to invite people to pause to enjoy the plants and ask us questions. Work parties Tuesdays 10 AM-noon, April until November. Modified schedule December through March. Read more about this garden in the July 2016 issue of The Connection.

Children’s Garden at Magnuson Community Garden

Located behind the Magnuson Park Brig building at 6344 NE 74th St, Seattle WA 98115. This garden was founded in 2001 by the all-volunteer Children’s Garden Committee, which is made up of King Co. MGs along with other horticultural experts and community members. The garden’s original design was created with ideas generated from the hearts and minds of local children and their parents at a series of design sessions. Throughout the years, the committee has continued hosting design sessions with groups of children, resulting in the addition of multiple new garden features, many with a watershed ecosystem theme. Magnuson Children’s Garden is now filled with delightful places such as a life-size Grey Whale Garden, spiral paths leading up to a Lookout and a Rolling Hill, a Starfish Garden, Willow House, Salmon Survival Path, Pollinator Garden, and much more.

In recent years, the Children’s Garden Committee has been especially focused on making the garden more accessible and welcoming for visitors of all ages and abilities, and from all cultures and ethnicities. Additions towards these goals include child-size and adult-size wheelchair-accessible picnic tables, signage and self-guided exploration cards written in the 10 most-common languages of the surrounding community, and wheelchair-height raised beds in its “Snack House” berry garden and in adjacent 400 sq. ft. p-patch plot. 2021 garden additions include wheelchair-accessible crushed rock pathways that link to all garden entries and to two multi-language “All Are Welcome” murals.

This unique Seattle treasure has free community stewardship events and other education programs each year from March-October. You can also read more about this garden’s history in the November 2015 issue of The Connection.

Shorewood High School Culinary Arts Garden

17300 Fremont Avenue, Shoreline. The Culinary Arts class meets Wednesday-Friday 10:30-12:00 with students helping out in the garden at least once a month during class time and also volunteering after school and Saturdays for community service hours. In the winter months the Master Gardeners give short garden talks on topics such as soil, compost, worms, seeds and seed catalogs and pollinators. The garden has 3 apple trees, raspberries, strawberries, blue berries, grapes, lots of herbs and many types of vegetables. During the school year the produce is used by the students for their dinners and catered affairs. In the summer our produce goes to a local Shoreline church that provides a weekly dinner for the food insecure in the community.

Work parties vary according to class schedule and time of year. We have monthly meetings on the 1st Monday of each month at 9:00 at One Cup Coffee Shop located at 16743 Aurora Ave. N.  All interested Master Gardeners are welcome.

More Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens in Washington State

To see more exceptional gardens, search for ‘demonstration gardens’ on the WSU website to see a list of WSU Demonstration Gardens throughout Washington State by county.

Other Great Public Gardens in Washington

Puget Sound Gardens,, launched in 2020 is a compendium of public gardens in the Puget Sound region to help you plan visits to these destination gardens. Find maps, resources and photos by local artists and garden enthusiasts. Links to gardens and parts throughout the Northwest from Oregon to British Columbia make this a go to site for planning any day trip or more.

Bellevue Botanical Garden – Comprises 53 acres of display gardens, woodlands, meadows and wetlands, including a diverse selection of native plants. Bellevue Botanical Garden displays the best plants and gardening practices for healthy, beautiful Northwest gardens. Visitors are encouraged to participate in Garden volunteerism, events and programs that are engaging, educational and inspiring. The Master Gardener Foundation of King County is proud to be a partner organization of BBG.
12001 Main Street, Bellevue, (425) 452-2750

Bloedel Reserve – The Reserve’s 150 acres are a unique blend of natural woodlands and beautifully landscaped gardens, including a Japanese Garden, a Moss Garden, and Reflection Pool, and the Bloedel’s former estate home.
7571 NE Dolphin Drive, Bainbridge Island, (206) 842-7631

Carl S. English Botanical Garden at the Ballard Locks – The grounds combine the elegant lines and vistas of the romantic English landscape style with the original character of more than 570 species and 1,500 varieties from around the world, including local natives. The garden offers color, fragrance, and open spaces to awaken your senses all year long.
3015 NW 54th Street, Seattle, (206) 789-2622 x375

Covington Water District Waterwise Demonstration Garden – This garden showcases WaterWise gardening. Some areas never get water beyond what Nature provides.  Come stroll, touch and smell in this beautiful water-efficient landscape while picking up ideas for your own yard. Includes drought tolerant native plants.
18631 SE 300thPlace, Covington, (253) 631-0565

Ethnobotanical Garden at Daybreak Star Cultural Center – The Bernie Whitebear Memorial Ethnobotanical Garden is a learning garden that contains a treasure of over 60 species of native plants. These plants are key to supporting the health, welfare, and traditions of the Coast Salish and other indigenous people of the Pacific NW.
3801 West Government Way, Seattle (206) 285-4425

The Dunn Gardens – This Olmsted Bros. designed garden displays plants ranging from diminutive trilliums to towering Douglas firs. New and old intermingle, as plants dating back to the 1910s coexist happily with those just set into the soil. Woodland gardens, perennial borders, and great sweeps of lawn are just a few of the elements that make up the garden. Month by month, year by year, the garden grows and changes, while its historic quality endures. Tours may be arranged April-September.
13533 Northshire Rd NW, Seattle, (206) 362-0933 or [email protected]

Eastpointe Native Plant Demonstration Garden – Part of project of NATIVE (Native Appreciation through Indigenous Vegetation at Eastpointe), this garden uses volunteers to educate the public about native plants and their environmental benefits.
3600 – 136th Pl. SE, Bellevue, (425) 296-6602

Erna Gunther Ethnobotanical Garden at the Burke Museum of Natural History – Ethnobotany is the study of the plant lore of a people. The Gunther Garden displays many of the most useful plants in the Northwest; plant labels indicate traditional uses, as well as natural habitats and suggestions for use in wildlife enhancement, land reclamation, or waterwise gardens.
Corner of 17th Avenue NE and NE 45th, Seattle, (206) 543-5590

Highline Community College  – Their campus in Des Moines has a Washington native plant habitat garden. Divided into four regions, eastern Wash, coastal, NW forest, and subalpine, about 100 representative species.
South 240th Street & Pacific Highway South, Des Moines, (206) 878-3710

Kruckeberg Botanic Garden – This four-acre public garden contains a unique blend of Pacific Northwest native plants and unusual exotics set in a naturalistic wooded setting. It may take multiple visits to see the more than 2,000 species, which include native and exotic conifers, hardwoods, rhododendrons, magnolias, ferns and groundcovers. Several trees are the largest or most rare in the state. Birdwatchers have identified over 40 bird species in the garden.
20312 15th Ave NW, Shoreline, (206) 546.1281

Lake Hills Greenbelt Ranger Station Backyard Habitat Demonstration – A model for creating your own backyard habitat with native plants.
15416 SE 16th St Bellevue, (425) 452-6885

Lakewold Gardens – Offers landscape architecture by Thomas Church surrounded by rare and native plants, State Champion trees, over 900 rhododendrons, 30 Japanese maples and stunning statuary. A Washington State historic landmark, Lakewold’s Georgian-style mansion and historic architecture complete the 10 acres. Tours available by reservation, walk-ins welcome.
12317 Gravelly Lake Drive SW, Tacoma, (253) 584-4106

Olympic Sculpture Park – Transformed nine-acre industrial site into open and vibrant green space for art. This new waterfront park gives Seattle residents and visitors the opportunity to experience a variety of sculpture in an outdoor setting with native plants, while enjoying the incredible views and beauty of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. Admission is free.
2901 Western Avenue, Seattle, (206) 332.1377

Point Defiance Park – Thematic gardens, including a Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, Dahlia Trail, Rhododendron Garden, Fuchsia Garden, Herb Garden, Iris Garden, and Northwest Native Garden provide a wide variety of horticultural experiences for visitors. Tacoma Garden Club currently maintains the Northwest Native Plant Garden that offers visitors the chance to see native plants in cultivation, including rarities that the general public rarely sees.
5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA, (253) 305-1010 ‎

Rhododendron Species Garden at Weyerhaeuser – Home to one of the largest collections of species rhododendrons in the world, the garden displays over 600 of the more than 1,000 species found in the wilds of North America, Europe, and Asia, as well as the tropical regions of southeast Asia and northern Australia. Conservation has come to be a primary importance in recent years with the destruction of Rhododendron habitat in many areas of the world.
2525 South 336th Street, Federal Way, WA  (253) 838-4646

UW Botanic Gardens – Has many distinct gardens on its two main sites at the Center for Urban Horticulture and the Washington Park Arboretum. The north end of the arboretum features representative native trees and shrubs and a nature walk. The Soest Herbaceous Display Garden aims to help local gardeners select plants appropriate to a variety of site conditions commonly found in Pacific Northwest urban gardens. This garden features over 280 kinds of herbaceous plants that include perennials, annuals, and bulbs. Irrigation is applied using “water-wise” techniques to avoid wasteful runoff and evaporation.
3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, (206) 543-8616

Woodinville Water District Waterwise Demonstration Garden – Waterwise demonstration garden includes NW native plants, providing visitors with information and techniques to achieve a healthy, waterwise landscape.  Each year a Spring Garden Fair is held, hosting seminars on waterwise gardening topics taught by local horticulture experts.
17328 Woodinville – Duvall Rd, Woodinville, (425) 487-4102

Updated February 2023

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