The Master Gardeners of King County maintain ten demonstration gardens, three 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.
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 MGFKC demonstration gardens, we have included a list of public gardens in King County and the surrounding area. We encourage you to visit these gardens 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
This small demonstration garden is located at the corner of 178th and Brookside Boulevard in Lake Forest Park. The garden grows fruit, vegetables, and perennials, and the produce is donated to POPY’s Café in Shoreline. Master Gardeners are on site most Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.
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 each Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until noon. Check here for the updated schedule.
This small demonstration garden located at El Centro de La Raza, 2524 16th Avenue S in Seattle, serves as an outdoor classroom. The garden promotes research-based organic gardening and provides programming information on nutrition and self-sufficiency, offers opportunities for service learning, and teaches environmental stewardship to the multi-ethnic population of Beacon Hill. The garden includes a children’s garden, vegetable garden that incorporates enabling beds, composting demonstration, kitchen herb garden, native hedgerow, and a cactus garden.
Master Gardeners are usually on site Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 1 pm., April through September, and some 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.
Carkeek Park Demonstration Garden
This demonstration garden was added in 2015 to the WSU Master Gardener group. It is composed of a number of smaller gardens, such as an ethno-botany garden, a kitchen garden, a shady woodland garden and more. The garden is located within Carkeek Park at 950 NW Carkeek Park Road in Seattle. Read more about this garden in the June 2016 issue of The Connection and its history in the September 2015 issue of The Connection.
The David F. Neely House 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 home was built in 1885, and all the plant material for this garden is historically appropriate. The design features a perennial bed, a rose bed, an area to grow herbs, grapes and hops, and an old-fashioned vegetable garden. Read about this remarkable garden and how it became a Demonstration Garden.
Master Gardeners are usually on site each Thursday and on third Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon, April through October. Heritage gardening classes are held on fourth Saturdays at 10 a.m.
Neely Mansion Historic Demonstration Garden
The demonstration garden at the Neely Mansion was added to the WSU gardens in 2014. It is located at 12303 SE Auburn-Black Diamond Road in Auburn. There are work parties are each Tuesday and on second Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Read more about this garden in the December 2015 issue of The Connection.
Soos Creek Growing Groceries Demonstration Garden
The Soos Creek Botanical Garden located at 29308 133rd 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. Read more about this garden in the August 2015 issue of The Connection.
Thyme Patch Park is a city-lot-size neighborhood park that features 15 P-Patch plots on the south half and a landscaped garden on the north half. Master Gardeners created the planting design for the landscaped portion of the Park. The purpose of the design is to demonstrate how to prune and care for plants homeowners might have in their own gardens and to show some alternatives to plant choices for screens and hedges. Fragrance and winter interest plants are also featured.
The garden is located at 2853 NW 58th Street in Ballard, and provides a self-guided tour with information available on site.
Tribal Life Trail at Lake Wilderness Arboretum
The Tribal Life Trail is located in Maple Valley at 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. every third Thursday and on the second and fourth Saturdays from April 11– October 24, except in May when they are on site on the third and fifth Saturday. Read more about this ethnobotanical garden in the October 2015 issue of The Connection.
Vashon Dry Garden
In 2015, Master Gardeners studied what types of tomato plants do best in a dry garden. They harvested “a ton of tomatoes” and watered only once a month. In 2016 the Master Gardeners will study what varieties of beans do best in a dry garden. Each year, Master Gardeners will select one or two types of plants to focus on.The garden is completely organic and is very low maintenance. Dry gardening conserves every bit of moisture in the soil for plants to use.
The garden is located at the Vashon Community Care Center, 15333 Vashon Highway SW, on Vashon Island. Since only a few weeds need to be pulled each week, making the garden very low-maintenance, there are no regular work parties. Read more about this garden in the August 2016 issue of The Connection.
Other WSU Gardens in King County
Ronald McDonald House
5130 40th Avenue NE, Seattle
Read more about this garden in the July 2016 issue of The Connection.
School and Youth Gardens
Bothell Children’s Garden/Culinary Garden
18515 92nd Avenue NE, Bothell
Read more about this garden in the June 2016 issue of The Connection.
Children’s Garden at Magnuson Community Garden
7400 Sand Point Way NE
Read more about this garden in the November 2015 issue of The Connection. Find more information online at Magnuson Nature Programs.
Shorewood High School Culinary Arts Garden
17300 Fremont Avenue
WSU Gardens Outside of King County
Other Great Public Gardens in Washington
Bellevue Botanical Garden – Comprises 53 acres of display gardens, woodlands, meadows and wetlands, including a diverse selection of native plants.
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 – Plants range 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 arranged April-September.
13533 Northshire Rd NW, Seattle, (206) 362-0933 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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