Bellevue Demo Garden Workshops

Bellevue Demo Garden Workshops

The Bellevue Demonstration Garden (BDG) Workshop series is offered annually to all who are interested in increasing their general gardening knowledge and skills. These workshops are a continuation of the workshops that have been held in the Lake Hills Green Belt Parks Department Ranger Station in Bellevue for over twenty years.

Classes are appropriate for both beginning and experienced gardeners. Presentations on a broad range of gardening topics are based on scientific information emphasizing plants and techniques that are successful in the Pacific Northwest. Participants can expect to learn about new methods and ideas to improve their gardening skills with an emphasis on ornamental plants, landscape planning, and pollinator habitat. Speakers bring their practical experience and best scientific practices to share.

What: Workshops cover a comprehensive offering of gardening topics with a focus on ornamental plants and gardening issues. Workshops are offered from January through October with approximately two workshops per month.

When: All workshops are held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 10:30 AM.

Where:All workshops are held online via the Zoom platform. Registrants will receive Zoom instructions to access the online class via email in advance of the class the day of the workshop.

Recordings: Recordings will be available to all registrants.  In some cases, speakers may have restricted the availability of recordings, and this information is provided with the registration information.

Cost: Advance registration is required for these workshops. The workshops fees help the Master Gardener Foundation support the activities of the WSU Extension Master Gardener program in King County. Registrations for these classes will open the first week of January.

Per workshop fee. The fee for each workshop will be $7.50.
Series subscription will be available. There will be two series with ten workshops in each. Series 1 will include workshops 1 through 10, Series 2 will include workshops 11 through 20. The cost for each series of ten workshops is $56.00 per series, a savings of 25% over the cost of ten individual workshops.

Financial Need Fee Waivers. Financial Need Fee Waivers are available for all workshops. To request a waiver, complete and submit the request form prior to registering.  The link to the waiver request form can be found on the registration page for each workshop. All requests must be approved by workshop staff prior to registration and will cover the complete cost of the registration.  Please note that Financial Need Fee Waivers may not be used for a series subscription.

Registration: Advance registration is required for these workshops. Registration links for each workshop will be listed below.

Contact us: If you have questions about these workshops, you may contact us at 

WSU extension programs and employment are available to all without discrimination. Evidence of noncompliance may be reported through your local extension office. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities and special needs; contact WSU Extension at at least two weeks prior to the event.

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Series 1: List of 2023 BDG Workshop Presentations
January 21 – May 6, 2023
Register for all workshops in Series 1 at one time.
Register for Series 1 here
January 28 – Starting Seeds for Flowers and Vegetables. Speaker: Colleen Donahue, Master Gardener. This workshop will teach everything you need to know about growing plants, vegetables, and flowers directly from seed.  Colleen will cover seed selection, home nursery tips, and seedling care, with practical knowledge that new and experienced gardeners alike will appreciate. Register for this workshop here
Cancelled. The scheduled February 4 workshop, Peonies in the Pacific Northwest, with speaker Kit Haesloop, Former President NW Perennial Alliance, has been cancelled. (updated January 25, 2023)
February 4 – Soft Fruits and Berries. Speaker: Krista Fay, Board Member NW Perennial Alliance. The maritime Northwest is one of the premier berry-growing regions in the world – favorites like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. We’ll introduce you to berry cultivation and care, bare-root planting techniques, hardy varieties for the PNW, pest management strategies, trellising, and harvesting berries at home. Register for this workshop here
February 11 – Caring for Fuchsias. Speaker: Caroline Zebrowski, Fuchsia Gardener at Bellevue Botanical Garden. This talk will cover the cultivation and care of hardy and non-hardy fuchsias – a favorite flower of hummingbirds. Topics include growing fuchsias from cuttings, pinching techniques, pest control, and preparing potted fuchsias for winter storage. Register for this workshop here
March 4 – Pruning Fruit Trees. Speaker: Brandon Bray, Master Gardener. Do you have fruit trees in your yard that you want to know more about? Like how to improve their yield, battle common pests, and prune them properly? Brandon Bray is an experienced pruner who can teach you how, when, and why to prune your fruit trees for optimal health. Register for this workshop here
March 18 – Bling on the Wing: Creating Habitat for Hummingbirds. Speaker: Greg Butler, Owner, Design of the Times. Everyone loves hummers. In this workshop, Greg will share how to attract hummingbirds to your garden with year-round flowering plants that thrive in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll also learn about hummers’ life cycles, behavior, and the habitats they’re drawn to. Register for this workshop here
March 25 – Growing Tomatoes in the PNW. Speaker: Marcia Dillon, Master Gardener. Growing tomatoes in the PNW is much different than other climates in the US.  Marcia has met these challenges and is happy to share her tips for starting tomatoes successfully – so you can reap gorgeous ripe fruits throughout the summer season. Register for this workshop here
April 15 – Preparing Soils for Hot, Dry Years. Speaker: Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU Associate Professor of Horticulture. Landscape trees and shrubs can be an expensive investment, in both money and time. Yet many woody plants die within a few years of installation.  Linda will explore why so many trees and shrubs fail, and how gardeners can avoid common problems with proper care and thoughtful selection. Recording of this talk will be available for only two weeks. Register for this workshop here
April 29 – Success with Growing Lavender. Speaker: Sarah Richards, Founder, Lavender Wind Farm. The Pacific Northwest is known for its impressive lavender farms and favorable growing conditions. Sarah will share best practices for lavender cultivation, pruning, and propagation – as well as beneficial companion plants, and what to do with this versatile aromatic herb once it’s harvested. Register for this workshop here
May 6 – Natural Pest and Disease Control. Speaker: Laura Matter, Program Director of Natural Yard Care, Tilth Alliance. Most typical garden problems can be successfully managed with natural methods, instead of synthetic pesticides. Laura will explain what Integrated Pest Management means, why it’s important, and natural techniques for preventing pests. You’ll also learn how to navigate “organic” products on the market and treat pesky problems with greener solutions. Register for this workshop here
Series 2: List of 2023 BDG Workshop Presentations
May 20 – October 11, 2023
Series 2 workshops are listed below. Registrations for these workshops will be posted later.
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May 20 – Adapting Old Gardens to New Ways. Speaker: Christina Pfeiffer, Horticulture Consultant. This workshop explores sustainable strategies for updating established gardens amidst a changing climate. Watch for registration to open
June 3 – The Art & Science of Watering. Speaker: Jim Olson, Master Gardener. Learn the chemical properties of water molecules and how they influence the success of keeping your garden properly watered. Jim will help you select the most effective watering techniques for your site, by learning how water interacts with elements in the soil. Watch for registration to open
June 10 – Plant Propagation. Speaker: Gordon Polson, Master Gardener/Master Composter. With over 80 years of experience in England and the US, Gordon will explain basic plant propagation, with expert tips for softwood and hardwood cuttings. Included is a video demonstration by Alison Johnson on how to make a Forsythe Pot and how to divide large and tough perennials. The goal is to teach you how to cultivate more plants from your own garden stock. Watch for registration to open
July 15 workshop: TBD Watch for registration
July 29 – Creating Your First Rock Garden. Speaker: Ross Bayton, PhD, Garden Director, Heronswood Garden. Join Heronswood Garden Director, Ross Bayton, on a journey of creation as he guides you through the process of building a rock garden. He’ll provide tips on construction, soil selection, and the best plants. Watch for registration to open
August 12 – Bringing Tomatoes to Harvest. Speaker: Marcia Dillon, Master Gardener. Marcia will share useful tips on ripening tomatoes, and how to save seeds of your favorite varieties for next year’s crop. She’ll also discuss end-of-season preparation for your garden beds to ensure success next spring. Watch for registration to open
August 26 – Winter Gardening. Speaker: Patrick Kennedy, Molbak’s Landscape & Horticultural Consultant. Learn all about winter garden maintenance, including best practices for planting bulbs, perennials, and trees. Patrick will discuss how to design beautiful landscapes that provide interest even in the depths of winter. Watch for registration to open
September 9 – PNW Gardening and Climate Change. Speaker: Molly Van der Burch & James Little, Master Gardeners. Molly and Jim will demystify the complex topic of climate change and how it impacts gardens in the Pacific Northwest. They’ll explain how to make your garden more eco-friendly by harnessing natural processes to store more CO2 in plants and soils, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home. Watch for registration to open
September 23 – Gardening with Native Plants. Speaker: Rita Moore, Washington Native Plant Steward, King Conservation District. This dynamic workshop will explore the amazing variety of Northwest native plants and suitable environments to cultivate native species in your own garden. Watch for registration to open
October 14 – Fall Garden Preparation. Speaker: Laura Matter, Program Director of Natural Yard Care, Tilth Alliance. Get a jump on spring by preparing your garden properly in the fall. Laura explains how to protect your soil over winter with different mulches and cover crops. Good fall plantings will also be discussed, to encourage and support wildlife in your garden in the winter. Watch for registration to open


January 21 – Creating Beautiful Landscapes for Wildlife Habitat. Speaker: James Gagliardi, Director, Bellevue Botanical Garden. Join James for inspiring stories on how to create pollinator-friendly habitats and healthy ecosystems that support native wildlife. As a lead horticulturist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, James pioneered pollinator garden design with the Urban Bird Habitat. Handout for this presentation. Register closed for this workshop

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Updated January 25, 2023

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