Bellevue Demonstration Garden Workshops

A complete list of current year’s BDG Workshops

2024 BDG Workshops

The Bellevue Demonstration Garden (BDG) Workshops are held Saturdays from 9:30 to 10:30 AM from January through October each year.  They 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.  The workshops are recorded and recordings are available to all registrants. In some cases, speakers may have restricted the availability of recordings, and this information is provided with the registration information. Handouts, if provided, are linked for each workshop.

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.

Per workshop fee. The fee for each workshop will be $7.50.

Series subscription fee. There will be three series.
Series 1: 8 workshops (includes 1 free). Fee: $39
Series 2: 7 workshops (includes 1 free). Fee: $34.
Series 3: 7 workshops. Fee: $39.

Financial Need Fee Waivers. Financial Need Fee Waivers are available for all classes. To request a waiver, complete and submit the request form prior to registering.  The link to the waiver request form will be distributed by email about a week before each class is held. 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 and for each series are included below.

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

2024 Series 1

2024 Series 1 (8 workshops, 1 free):  
BDG Workshop presentations from January 20 – March 23, 2024. 
Registration is available for all the workshops in Series 1 at one time. The cost for these 8 workshops is $39.

Jan. 20, 2024


Gardening with Ferns. Speaker: Richie Steffens, Executive Director, Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden.
Presentation: Ferns are the ultimate foliage plants for our Pacific Northwest Gardens. There are few other plants that can provide the grace and beauty that a well-placed fern can provide, yet they are often underused or overlooked as we develop our gardens. Richie Steffen, executive director of the Elisabeth C Miller Botanical Garden, will share his tips and techniques for using these plants in the landscape as well as share some of the best and most beautiful ferns that thrive in our climate. Handouts for this presentation: Cutting Back Ferns, The Art of Fern Maintenance and Using Ferns in the Garden – Plant List.

Feb. 3, 2024


Trial by fire! Propagation: From Seed to Spore and Cuttings. Speaker: Del Brummet, Head Gardener at Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden.
Presentation: From the use of fire and boiling water to the impact of freezing cold temperatures, propagation can be very interesting. We will take a look at a handful of plants propagated from seeds and spores at the Elisabeth Miller Botanical garden and investigate what methods work best and why. We will also look at cuttings. You should come away with ideas of how to improve a home propagation set up as well as how to collect seeds and spores. Handout for this presetation: Trial by Fire! Plant Propagation from Seed and Spore to Cuttings.

Feb. 10, 2024


Starting Flower and Vegetable Seeds. Speaker: Colleen Donahue, Master Gardener.
Presentation: Interested in growing your own flowers or vegetables from seed? Join Colleen as she shares her knowledge about growing a garden from seed. She will cover topics such as seed selection, how to set up your growing area for success, and how to keep seedlings healthy until planting time.  New this year, Colleen will also talk briefly about starting perennials and winter veggies from seed. 

Feb. 24, 2024


Composting with Confidence! Speaker: Joan Veach, Master Gardener.
Presentation: Most gardeners know that composting turns kitchen scraps and garden trimmings into a rich soil amendment. This presentation will focus on how that process works, and how you can make it work for you. We will meet the primary decomposers, bacteria and other microbes. Then, you will learn how to select materials for your compost system that will provide the decomposers with a balanced diet of protein (greens) and carbohydrates (browns). You will learn how to estimate the ratio of protein and carbohydrates in different food scraps and garden trimmings, so that you can keep your compost system in balance throughout the season. When this presentation is finished, you will be equipped to begin Composting With Confidence! Handout for this presentation: Composting with Confidence

Mar. 2, 2024


Common Pests and Diseases of Rhododendrons. Speaker: Atsuko Gibson, Nursery Manager Rhododendron Species Garden.
Presentation: With the record setting heat and drought during the summer season, our rhododendrons are stressed more than ever. This resulted in an increasing number of plants suffering from disease and pests. This presentation will introduce you to the common Rhododendron problems and help you manage them in your garden. Handout for this presentation: Troubleshooting Rhododendron Problems.

Mar. 9, 2024


Weeds! Friends or Foes? Speaker: Jim Olson, Master Gardener.
Presentation: When does a plant become a weed? What circumstances favor weed growth? A whimsical look at how to identify, prevent, and control weeds.

Mar. 16, 2024
Free Class!


Noxious Weeds. Speaker: Skye Pelliccia, King Conservation District Educator.
Presentation: In this presentation, you can expect to dive deep on all things weeds. Are all non-native plants weeds? What is the difference between a noxious weed and an invasive plant? Learn more about how these plants work, which weeds to watch for in the PNW, and get insight on weed management options and resources available to Washington state residents. Handouts for this presentation: Noxious Weeds and LInks to Other Resources.

Mar. 23, 2024


The Complete Talk on Groundcovers. Speaker: Gary Lewis, Author and Owner Phoenix Perennials.
Presentation: Ground covers are widely thought of as purely utilitarian, but these plants also offer a diverse range of beautiful and intriguing options with a variety of colors, textures, and forms. They can unify a landscape and knit together plantings and hardscape. Gary will highlight tips and tricks for designing with ground covers to take your outdoor space to the next level and will discuss how diverse ground covers can make gardens more sustainable. Handout for this presentation: Groundcovers.

2024 Series 2

2024 Series 2 (7 workshops, 1 free):  
BDG Workshop presentations from April 6 – June 8, 2024. 
Register for all the workshops in Series 2 at one time. The fee for these 7 workshops is $34.

Apr. 6, 2024


Layering for a Dynamic and Beautiful Garden
. Speaker: Laura Watson, Master Gardener.
Presentation: One of the most important elements of a beautiful and dynamic garden is layering.  Learn how to layer a garden by staggering foreground, middle-ground, and background to create an alluring and satisfying landscape.  Principals involved include repetition, scale, flow, depth, contrast, and focal points.  Laura’s easy speaking style and great photos will help you learn how to bring layering principles into your garden. Handouts for this presentation: Layering – Follow Along and Layering – Take Home

Apr. 13, 2024


Be the Boss of your Bare Roots and Bulbs
. Speaker: Sean and Allison McManus, Owners Spoken Garden.
Presentation: Don’t let bareroot plants or bulbs intimidate you this spring. Learn from Sean and Allison how to confidently handle and plant bareroot perennials like Itoh peonies, coneflowers, and more. You’ll also learn bulb planting techniques and ideas to level up your bulb game with “Lasagna” layered bulb containers for both spring and summer flowering bulbs. Take away planting skills, like bulb planting depth, handling, and tools, to help your plants thrive this spring and summer. Handout for this presentation: Bareroots and Bulbs.

Apr. 27, 2024


Emerging Pests: Northern Giant Hornet, Japanese Beetles, Spotted Lantern Fly. Speaker: Cassie Cichorz, WA Dept of Ag: Pest Management Program.
Presentation: This presentation will cover the pests biology, detail threats, and highlight eradication efforts. It will focus on the rapidly spreading spotted lantern fly, and newly emerged Japanese beetle. Learn how you can help detect, prevent spread and protect Washington’s resources from invasive species. Handouts for this presentation: Tree-of-Heaven and Spotted Lanternfly (english version), (spanish version).

May 4, 2024


Irrigation and Effective Water Management. Speaker: Christina Pfeiffer, Horticulture Educator.
Presentation: There is more managing moisture in the garden than how often and how long to run irrigation.  This lecture will cover soil water availability to roots, how to inspect soil moisture content, best practices for watering for different soil and garden types, application methods, and the use of different garden care practices that help reduce plant moisture stress and maximize moisture retention for lawns, garden beds, and food gardens. Handout for this presentation: Irrigation & Effective Moisture Management.

May 18, 2024


Beneficial Insects. Speaker: Laura Matter, Program Director of Natural Yard Care, Tilth Alliance.
Presentation: Beneficial insects help us manage our gardens by pollinating flowers and parasitizing, eating and otherwise eliminating the pests of plants we are troubled by. This presentation covers how to protect beneficial insects in your garden, how to create habitat, minimize pesticide use and plant the types of plants they need to thrive. Resource lists for good plant choices, soil health needs and alternatives to pesticides will be provided. Handouts for this presentation: Beneficial Insects, Pollinators and Beneficial Insects, Additional Links.

Jun. 1, 2024
Free class!


Evaluating Fire Risk Around Your Home.
Speaker: Michael Lasecki, King Conservation District.
Presentation: The increase in wildfires across the Pacific Northwest, including large wildfires in King County like the Bolt Creek Fire near Skykomish and the Loch Katrine Fire northeast of North Bend in 2022, have heightened awareness that King County communities need to be better prepared for wildfire. Michael Lasecki from King Conservation District, will share how to identify fire risk and how to implement actions to reduce a homeowners vulnerability to wildfires. Wildfire mitigation services and financial support available from King Conservation District will be discussed. Handouts for this presentation: Wildfire Mitigation Additional Resources, King County Wildland Urban Interface.

Jun. 8, 2024

Native Plants in King County.
Speaker: Marion Carpenter, King Conservation District.
Presentation: This presentation will cover the countless benefits that native plants provide for landscape aesthetics, wildlife habitat, water quality and more! It will go over finding the right plant for the right place, determining conditions, plant stock types, and native plant characteristics. Advice on the best ways to reduce plant mortality, save money and improve your landscape’s overall health and happiness will be shared.

2024 Series 3

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2024 Series 3 (7 workshops):  
BDG Workshop presentations from September 7 – October 26, 2024. 
Register for all the workshops in Series 3 at one time. The fee for these 7 workshops is $39.

Sep. 7, 2024

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Saving Flower and Vegetable Seeds. Speaker: Colleen Donahue, Master Gardener.
Presentation: Interested in learning how to save seeds for next year’s garden?  Join Colleen as she shares her knowledge about saving flower and vegetable seeds.  She will cover topics such as seed selection, harvesting, drying, and storing seeds.  Follow her tips and tricks to save money while growing a beautiful, productive garden next year! 

Sep. 21, 2024

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Gardening in a changing climate – what to do, and what to avoid. Speaker: Linda Chalker-Scott, Professor WSU.
Presentation: Climate change is here to stay – and with it our gardens experience increased summer temperatures and drought. Unfortunately, the internet is full of “cures” for drought and heat stress that can make the problem worse. This seminar will present science-based practical strategies to help plants and soils conserve water and create more resilient gardens and landscapes.

Sep. 28, 2024

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Choosing Conifers for Color
. Speaker: Ross Bayton, Director, Heronswood Garden.
Presentation: Conifers are mostly green, and we have so many species native in Washington that we’re known as the Evergreen State. But with careful selection, you can bring a variety of colors and subtle shades into your garden and, given that our climate is so amenable to conifer cultivation, these easy-to-grow and long-lived plants can form the backbone of your garden’s design. Join Heronswood Director Ross Bayton for a tour of the most colorful conifers in cultivation.

Oct. 5, 2024

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Shrubs that Grow Well in King County.
Speaker: Cleo Raulerson, Master Gardener.
Presentation: Shrubs are a key part of our gardens—there are many shrubs that can provide color and interest throughout the year with limited maintenance. This talk discusses evergreen and deciduous shrubs that grow well in our Western Washington gardens, grouped by genus.  Highlighted will be several specific varieties that showcase the breadth of a genus.  Some varieties are tried-and-true, others are more unusual.

Oct. 12, 2024

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Fall and Winter Wow for Container Gardens. Speaker: Sue Goetz, certified Horticulturist.
Presentation: There is no need to give up on colorful containers when summer annuals like petunias and marigolds have bit the dust. Plant a cool-weather container that will extend the season well into winter.  Tips and techniques to stylize and create creative planters using small evergreens, hardy perennials, and cool weather annuals.

Oct. 19, 2024

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Choosing the Right Plants. Speaker: Laura Matter, Program Director for Natural Yard Care, Tilth Alliance.
Presentation: When adding trees, shrubs, and other ornamentals to your garden, it’s important to use the “Right Plant-Right Place” decision making process.  This workshop will teach you how to get to know your site, create a garden plan, choose appropriate plants, and give them a good start with proper planting and mulching techniques. Includes a PowerPoint presentation plus free printed information for all attendees.  Suitable for any time of year, but especially for spring or fall.

Oct. 26, 2024

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Orchids for Fun. Speaker: Jim Olson, Master Gardener.
Presentation: Did you get an orchid as a gift, or buy one for its beauty? Thinking of buying one?  Go ahead, they’re easier to care for than you think. Learn the unique history and the unique plant tissue velamen that gives orchids their very nature. From this understanding, you’ll learn how this influences the basic practices, especially watering and potting media, that will keep your orchids thriving and blooming year after year.

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