Living in the Pacific Northwest, I can tell you that almost 8 months of the year it rains here. A rumor says the locals just say that to drive away tourists. That is funny.  Alright it doesn’t rain every single day for straight eight months but just about every week from October to June, there are drops and drops from the sky.  Many days I don’t mind it at all. This year, we have had a incredibly sunny days in October.

Now that I am almost finished with my novel one light year road trip, which would be a trilogy I wanted to reward myself with a new vista.

I took the opportunity to go see Bellevue Botanical Garden.  If you are a new visitor, Bellevue is a city across the water from Seattle. It sits east of Seattle. My friends had told me about the garden, but there are so many places in Western Washington to go to and places to go back to.  It never occurred to me to just go and visit until I started seeing the autumn trees changing.  I couldn’t’ get enough of seeing the autumn colors and I thought I would try out a new place.

The Northwest zen travel team, which would be the music man and the travel researcher took off to the garden to see what was special about the garden.

In the Bellevue Botanical Garden

Map of the Bellevue Botanical Garden

Map of the Bellevue Botanical Garden

The first part of the garden had beautiful blooms. Right next to the gift shop, beautiful white flowers sprayed their scent in the air.  It held the look of a white magnolia except the yellow was missing in the middle.   The aroma gave off that of a mild Gardenia.

The garden used a numbering system for your self guided tour.  Usually, I could find names of flowers or plants stuck on the ground, but not here.

Instead they had what they call scan and tap technology.  I tapped my phone and nothing scanned on my phone. I figured I needed an App.  No posted sign as of which App.

Moving along to self guide tour number three and four, I was seeing the same scanner. I couldn’t continue until I knew what some of the unique plants were. After I sought help, I downloaded the App called the QR Scanner.

After the installion of the App, I took the phone and scanned the funny lines on the post.

Tap and Scan needs QR App,visiting the Bellevue Botanical Garden

Tap and Scan needs QR App, visiting the Bellevue Botanical Garden

When the App read the code, a bleep sound blasted, like you are in the checkout at the grocery store.

Immediately after the sound, my phone screen popped with a number of labeled images similar to the flower that I was viewing.  Some of the images on the App appeared with similiar pictures of the flowers in the garden which didn’t help me identify the flower.

This one plant with a red flower was called dinosaur food plant.

The lay out of the garden

The landscape of the garden is divided into Spring Courtyard, Rock garden, Perrineal Border,  Waterwise gaden, Yao garden, and many more. The walkaway composed of gravel, cement and mini slopes.

Locations of the varied gardens

You will hear the city noises of cars passing by.

As we walked through the garden, more unique and colorful plants sprung its leaves, berries, or flowers. The garden didn’t house many tall trees but they did have a few healthy pine trees that were nicely planted along the path. Right in the middle they had a canopy of Bosnia maple in the Fuchsia Garden. It looked like those trees were trained to bend.  The autumn leaves fell as soon a breeze blew  Burning bushes framed the area nicely.

Down further a lantern stood which made it pretty to photograph. Passing through the doors were more trees.

My favorite part of the garden

A Tateuchi Viewing Pavillion was a nice touch in the Yao garden.  Inspiration for the Yao Garden comes from both Japan and from Northwest plants to create form and function.

Bellevue Botanical Garden Tateuchi Viewing Pavillion

Bellevue Botanical Garden Tateuchi Viewing Pavillion

A small waterfall cascaded down multiple levels. Down the same path we saw a pileated woodpecker doing what it does best.  Near me on the ground was a squirrel exploring like us.

The pileated woodpecker

The pileated woodpecker

And then walking up the small path led us to my favorite scene.  Bunch of orange and red maple leaves glowed under the sunset.

Maple trees basking the evening sun

Maple trees basking the evening sun

People were carrying their professional cameras. There were a couple of people holding a reflector right at the turning leaf  maple the garden.

We had to wait to walk through the path.  The foilage turning is definitely a spot for testing out your camera.We walked to another part of the garden while they finished shooting pictures.

The music man said, “Look, we found a hobbit door.”

We knocked on the small door.

The music man was hoping that Bilbo Baggins would open the door.

The door remained shut tight.  Sorry music man, he is on another adventure.

Is that a Hobbit house inside the Bellevue Botanical Garden?

Is that a Hobbit house inside the Bellevue Botanical Garden?

We went back to the maple trees and shot a few pictures, till closing time.  We covered most of the garden, except for a few areas.

Overall, the design of the garden provided a zen feeling.  I would consider Bellevue Botanical Garden to be a great photography zone in the near by Seattle area.


They have tons of parking around the garden. There were only two spots left when we pulled up in our car.

Expect on sunny weekends, parking would be a problem, so schedule your trip, accordingly.

Admission to the garden is free.  The garden has a donation slot.

I read on one of their posts that they decorate the garden for Christmas known as Garden d’ Lights, for that tickets need to purchased.

This is must do activity for locals and first time visitors if you are in the Seattle/Bellevue area.

If you would like to see addiional pictures and signs at the time of our visit:

one of the trails in the garden

one of the trails in the garden