Bellevue Demo Garden Workshops

Bellevue Demo Garden Workshops

If you want to increase your gardening knowledge and skills, the Bellevue Demonstration Garden (BDG) Workshop series can help you. Presentations on a broad range of topics will be offered, each of which is based on scientific information emphasizing plants and methods that work in the Pacific Northwest. Workshops are appropriate for both beginning and experienced gardeners. Current science and techniques are emphasized. Participants can expect to learn about new methods and plants as well as the tried and true. Topics will vary from vegetable to ornamental cultivation and may discuss blending both in your garden beds.

What: Comprehensive offerings of gardening topics. Classes are offered from January 16, 2021 through October 2021. Watch for more classes to be added below.

When: All workshops are held on Saturdays from 9:30 to 10:30 AM. Registrants will receive Zoom instructions to access the online class several hours ahead of when the class starts.

Where: Online via the Zoom platform.

Cost:  The first talk of each month is free. For all other workshops there is a suggested minimum donation of $5. These registration fees help the Foundation meet the financial needs of the Master Gardener Program in King County.

Registration: A separate registration is required for each donation workshop, pre-registration is required. See the list of workshops below for links to register.  The Zoom access for the free workshops is listed with each those talks.

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

Here is the list of BDG Workshops for 2021 with links to register for each of the talks that require pre-registration. Bookmark this page to find new talks as they are added through October 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.


June 19, 2021 NO WORKSHOP
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. Donation Workshop. Register for the July 1 talk.
July 3, 2021 NO WORKSHOP
July 10, 2021 — Speaker: John Harmeling, Master Rosarian for over 40 years. Topic: Growing Roses. John will share his love of growing roses. John 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. Donation Workshop. Register for the July 10 talk.
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. Donation Workshop. Register for the July 17 talk.
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. Donation Workshop. Register for the July 24 talk.
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. Donation Workshop. Register for the July 31 talk.
Rescheduled 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.
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. Donation Workshop. Register for the August 14 talk.
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. Donation Workshop. Register for the August 21 talk.
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. Donation Workshop. Register for the August 28 talk.
Watch this space as more talks are added throughout the spring and summer. Workshop links will be added for each talk.
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


Updated June 18, 2021

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