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. Workshops are appropriate for both beginning and experienced gardeners. Presentations on a broad range of 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 plants and refresh their knowledge on a variety of topics that vary from vegetable to ornamental cultivation in your garden beds.

What: Comprehensive offerings of gardening topics. Classes are offered from January through October 2022. Watch for classes to be added below.

When: All workshops are held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 10:30 AM and workshops will begin Saturday, January 22. Registrants will receive Zoom instructions to access the online class prior to the class start. Bookmark this page to find talks for 2022 when they are posted.

Where: Online via the Zoom platform.

Cost:  There is a charge for these classes. The registration fees help the Foundation support the financial needs of the Master Gardener Program in King County.

Registration: A separate registration is required for each workshop, pre-registration is required for fee-based workshops.

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

Below is the list of BDG Workshops that were offered in 2021.

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.



The BDG Workshops  for 2021 are completed for the year.
Thank you for your interest and participation.
We look forward to seeing you in 2022.
January 16, 2021 — Speaker: Pat Roome, Master Gardener Alumna. Topic: Planning for a Vegetable Garden, how to grow vegetables in garden and containers.
Pat Roome began planting flowers at her home in London when she was three years old. During WWII, as the oldest of the children, Pat took over the responsibility for the family vegetable garden. In 1958 she and her husband moved to Seattle and bought a home where she was able to plan her own yard with elements of an English garden, fruit trees and a vegetable garden. In 1975 Pat became a Master Gardener and started her landscape design company. Pat’s books are now available online.
January 23, 2021 — Speaker: Jim Olson, Master Gardener. Topic: The Enjoyment and Challenge of Growing Orchids. Learn the basic practices that will keep your orchids thriving and blooming year after year.  
January 30, 2021 — Speaker: Christina Pfeiffer, Horticulture Writer & Educator. Topic: How to Prune Spring Blooming Shrubs for Year Round Display. Learn how to prolong the beauty of the shrubs and trees in your yard. Here is the How to Prune Flowering Shrubs handout for this talk.  
February 6, 2021 — Speaker: Bruce Williams, Master Gardener. Topic: The History and Art of Bonsai. An introduction to Bonsai for the Curious. As a docent at the Pacific Bonsai Museum, Bruce will introduce you to this ancient and worldwide gardening art form.
This talk is an introduction to this ancient and worldwide gardening art form. Bruce Williams is a docent at the Pacific Bonsai Museum and is secretary of the Puget Sound Bonsai Association.
February 13, 2021 — Speaker: Patrick Spenser, Owner, Cascade Iris Gardens in Lake Stevens. Topic: Using Iris to Enhance Your Perennial Beds. Learn to select the right iris for your garden from the amazing choices available. Here are the handouts for this class: Slide List, A Flower for all Seasons, Iris 101 Classes.  
February 20, 2021 — Speaker: Laura Matter, Garden Hotline Manager, Tilth Alliance. Topic: Safe and Healthy Edible Gardening. Laura specializes in watershed health, pollinator gardening and IPM. Learn how your garden can be a safe and healthy landscape. Handout for this talk. Please complete this survey for Laura’s talk.  
February 27, 2021 — Speaker: Laura Watson, Master Gardener. Topic: Great Understory Plants for the PNW. Learn about Laura’s top ten choices for great understory trees for your garden. Handout for this talk.  
March 6, 2021 — Speaker: Krista Faye, Master Gardener. Topic: How to Plant Bare Root Raspberry Plants. Master Gardener and Berry enthusiast, Krista Faye will be demonstrating how to plant bare root plants.
Bare-root trees and shrubs are a type of nursery stock delivered without soil or a pot around the roots. These plants are lifted from the field in winter while the plants are dormant and are shipped in large bags. Bare-root plants are affordable, hardy and are easy to transport and plant. It is important to understand how to care for and properly plants them. Krista is planning to demonstrate how to plant a bare-root raspberry.
March 13, 2021 — Speaker: Marcia Dillon, Master Gardener. Topic: Growing Tomatoes in the PNW. Handout for this talk.
March 20, 2021 — Speaker: Sharon Collman, WSU Extension Professor Emeritus. Topic: Top 10 Garden Pests and Their Natural Enemies. Gardens are alive with birds and wild birdfood, pollinators and, yes, pests, but also have enemies to keep their numbers low. Handout for this talk.  
March 27, 2021 — Speaker: Laura Matter, Garden Hotline Manager, Tilth Alliance. Topic: Choosing the Right Plants. Right plant, right place ensures best results.  
April 3, 2021 NO WORKSHOP
April 10, 2021 — Speaker: Molly van der Burch, Master Gardener. Topic: Creating Beautiful Containers. Learn to arrange flowers and small shrubs in containers and baskets to create eye popping color in your garden. Learn everything from pot selection to soil, fertilizer, and designing containers for maximum impact. Container plant choices for both shade and sun will be featured so you can feel confident in creating your own container. Handout [text file] for this talk.
April 17, 2021 — Speaker: Christina Pfeiffer, Horticulture Writer & Educator. Topic: Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt. Learn simple yet incredibly effective soil care tactics every gardener can use. Many home gardeners assume their soil will need drastic help or may need to buy new topsoil to grow anything well. But it’s very likely their soil just needs the right care and may actually be better than importing new soil. Drawing on current research, this lecture provides simple yet incredibly effective soil care tactics every gardener can use. Handouts for this talk: Better Soil, Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt.
April 24, 2021 — Speaker: Marta Olson, Education Specialist, King County Noxious Weed Control Program. Topic: Noxious Weeds. Marta will discuss identification of weeds, how to safely control and/or eradicate weeds in your yard and much more. Learn to identify and control difficult noxious weeds and invasive plants found in King County. Problem plants are found in a wide variety of habitats including our backyards. Handout for this talk: Noxious Weed Pocket Guide 2019
May 1, 2021  — Speaker: Bruce Williams, Master Gardener & Master Pruner. Topic: Water Saving Irrigation. Learn how to think differently about watering, how to save time and money. Learn how to use a water meter and how to monitor soil moisture on all plants and shrubs. Watering may seem like the simplest thing we do as gardeners, but, in reality, proper watering of our gardens may be the most complicated, time consuming and expensive part of our garden work. Handout for this talk: Water Saving Irrigation.
May 8, 2021 — Speaker: Jim Olson, Master Gardener. Topic: Melons. Learn about seed selection, timing of seed start and transplant, and most important, how to make the most of the heat we get in this area. There is nothing more flavorful than a melon picked at its peak. This workshop discusses how heat and timing can work for you to achieve the best melon harvests ever!
May 15, 2021 — Speaker: Cleo Raulerson, Master Gardener. Topic: Color in Perennial Gardens. Cleo will share her favorite perennials for year-round color in your garden. There is something in bloom every day of the year in Cleo’s garden. Learn how to select perennials that require less care. Each month of the year is discussed highlighting perennials that are tried and true, new or unusual, self-seeders or creepers that provide color for each month. Additional perennials that bloom well in our climate in the spring and summer months will also be discussed. Handout for this talk: Perennials (PDF), Perennials (RTF)
May 22, 2021 — Speaker: Art Chmura, Past President of Puget Sound Dahlia Association and Board Member of the Federation of Northwest Dahlia Growers. Topic: Dahlias. Dahlias. Art grows over 700 Dahlias each summer. He will share his success and will remove some of the mystery for attendees on how to easily enter their blooms into local competitions. Handout for this talk: Dahlias
May 29, 2021 NO WORKSHOP
June 5, 2021  — Speaker: Reingard Rieger, Master Composter Sustainability Steward, Tilth Alliance. Topic: Composting. Learn about the many benefits of composting. Handout for this talk: Resource Sheet
June 26, 2021 — Speaker: Laura Watson, Master Gardener. Topic: Grow the Heck Up! Embellish your garden with vines. Learn about vines frequently grown in the PNW, how to maximize growing space by filling unused vertical space in the garden, modes of attachment and general tips about pruning vines. Embellish your garden with the beauty of vines that do well in our area. Using great photos and an engaging presentation, the speaker will provide details about the care and pruning of various vines. Handout for this talk.
July 10, 2021 — Speaker: Jeff Wyscoff, Master Rosarian. Topic: Growing Roses. Jeff will share his love of growing roses. Jeff will discuss the many varieties of roses, which roses are the most fragrant, disease resistant roses and much more including how to plant and care for roses.
July 17, 2021 — Speaker: Gordon Polson and Alison Johnson, Master Gardeners. Topic: Basic Propagation. Gordon is a Master Gardener and Master Composter. He has been a gardener in England and the US for 80 years. Alison Johnson is a Master Gardener and co-President of the Northwest Perennial Alliance. Basic propagation techniques will be covered, along with some tips and tricks. Included is a video demonstration on how to make a Forsythe Pot and how to divide large and tough perennials. Softwood and hardwood cuttings through heel cutting and layering will be presented. Attendees will learn how to make more plants from their own garden.
July 24, 2021 — Speaker: Emilie Castle, Master Gardener. Topic: Growing Herbs. Emilie has been Master Gardener for over 15 years. She is an active member of the Bellevue Demonstration Garden currently in charge of the winter and summer Squash beds and roots and shoots (Beets, Carrots, Chard and Spinach). In this workshop, Emilie talks about how fresh herbs can be hard to find in stores and are often extremely expensive. Growing your own can give your cooking extra zip and depth of flavor. Learn about herbs such as anise hyssop, arugula, basil, bay laurel, catnip, chervil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, lavender, lemon verbena, lovage, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, sorrel, stevia, sweet cicely, tarragon and thyme. Edible flower such as borage, chamomile, chives, nasturtium and calendula petals add beauty to any salad.
July 31, 2021 — Speaker: Bruce Bennett, Master Gardener. Topic: Growing Perennial Vegetables. Bruce is a King County Master Gardener and a local garden designer and for over 20 years a gardening columnist for local area publications. Bruce will discuss vegetables best suited for growing in Western Washington. Soil preparation, plant placement, planting, pest identification and pest prevention. Bruce will share his list of top vegetables and favorite cultivars. For this workshop: Handout, Bibliography
August 7, 2021 — Speaker: Sharon Collman, WSU educator in horticulture and IPM since 1974. Topic: Building a Pollinator Garden: from Lawn to Blooming Exuberance. The workshop will document the transition from unhealthy lawn and sheared conifers to a garden of perennials, flowering trees and lots of buzzing and water quality benefits. She is most passionate about educating people about insects and their role in our lives, and she photographs insects for her enjoyment. Handout for this talk.
August 14, 2021 — Speaker: Suzi O’Bryne, Master Gardener. Topic: Starting Seeds. Growing plants from seed is a magical process. So much is created from one tiny seed. Planting from seed allows people to choose intriguing and unusual varieties typically not available from local sources. In this workshop, attendees will learn how to plant seeds indoors and outdoors for fall gardening and how to raise and plant transplants. Suzi will provide tips on how to warm soil to speed up germination. Suzi will introduce the importance of tracking and labeling with the crop name and planting date.
August 21, 2021 — Speaker: Marcia Dillon, Master Gardener. Topic: Bringing Tomatoes to Harvest. Now that your tomatoes have been growing for a few months and you’re finally enjoying the fruits of your labor, brush up on late season activities that help to maximize your harvest and prepare your garden for next season. Handout.
August 28, 2021 — Speaker: Atsuko Gibson, Nursery Manager/Assistant Curator, Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Seattle. Topic: Growing Rhododendrons in the Pacific Northwest. Atsuko will introduce many easy to grow species and choice hybrid rhododendrons for the PNW gardeners in this lecture as well as rhododendron cultivation tips and how to make them thrive in your garden. This will include how to plant, fertilize, prune, as well as pest and disease control.
September 18, 2021 — Speaker: Penny Kriese, Master Gardener and Seattle Tree Ambassador. Topic: Great PNW Conifer Families for Your Green Space. There are two tree families that have given the PNW the majority of its winter greenery. Penny will help us learn how to identify some of our favorite conifers and then talk about which ones are most likely to make the transition with ease to our smaller green spaces. You will learn more about what is necessary to do this with success. Handout for this talk.
CANCELLED: September 25, 2021 — Speaker: James Clever, Past President of the American Bamboo Society. Topic: Growing Bamboo. James has been passionate about bamboo his whole life and his expertise with bamboo in the garden covers every aspect of it from proper siting, plants selection, correct installation and containment systems including control or removal if needed.
October 2, 2021 — Speaker: Penny Kriese, Master Gardener. Topic: Homing in on Houseplants. Looking for a successful relationship with your houseplants? Knowing what you have to offer your houseplants is the first step on the road to success. Learn how to evaluate your space and your style of care as well as tips for potting, planting and possible pitfalls.  Penny will show you which are the easiest and the not-so-easy houseplants to choose to settle in your home. Handout for this talk.
October 9, 2021 — Speaker: Lory Armitage, Master Gardener. Topic: Planting and Growing Garlic. Lory will talk about what to plant, how to plant and care for, how and when to harvest, and how to care for and store this amazing plant. Handout for this talk.
October 16, 2021 — Speaker: Cleo Raulerson, Master Gardener. Topic: Shrubs that Grow Well in King County. This talk discusses evergreen and deciduous shrubs that grow well in our Western Washington gardens. Highlighted will be specific varieties that showcase the breadth of a genus. Some varieties are tried and true and other are more unusual. Handout for this talk.
October 23, 2021 — Speaker: Pat Roome, Master Gardener Alumna. Topic: Gardening Naturally with Adapted Plants. Pat will talk about where the plants we grow came from originally and discuss how to maintain a healthy pesticide free landscape. Pat is an author and will discuss information from her three gardening books.

Updated November 5, 2021

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