Don’t Miss this Enchanting Evening

Don’t Miss this Enchanting Evening

John Curley keeps the auction lively at the 2009 BBGS 'Harvest Hoedown'

Register now for “Enchanted Garden,” the annual Bellevue Botanical Garden Society’s dinner and auction, to be held on Friday, September 24 at 5:30 pm. Popular auctioneer John Curley will be tempting you to raise your paddle again and again for the fabulous gardening art, accessories, plants and getaways. He’ll have his trusted sidekick, Evening Magazine’s Jim Dever, assisting him.

 This year the auction moves to the Harbor Club Bellevue, which offers an elegant, relaxing atmosphere. The dinner menu has been designed by famed chef David Thierry, and includes a sumptuous four-course harvest menu designed specifically with the garden-loving guests in mind. You will be greeted with a glass of champagne from Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, and during the meal, the wine pairings for each course have been chosen by Bareoot’s Zach Hilfman.

Last year the “Harvest Hoedown” theme encouraged guests to get into the spirit wearing their best country duds. This year’s “Enchanted Garden” theme will mean bringing out your flowery summer dresses, or maybe adding a few butterflies to a garden hat. 

Guests browse the cool plants and garden art and accessories at the 2009 'Harvest Hoedown'

This is a garden lover’s auction and you won’t find these events and experiences in any store. There will be one-of-a-kind garden sculptures; vacation stays in Orcas Island, Sun Valley, Maui; wine tastings; garden tours, theme gourmet dinners; many art pieces, birdhouses and planted containers, and, of course, a great selection of unusual plants donated from nurseries and specialty growers. Start planning your auction strategy in advance by checking out their catalog, which you can find online at after September 15.

The tickets are $110 per person and Patrons are $150 per person. Or organize a table with a group of friends and the evening is even more festive – a table for 8 is $880, a table for 10 is $1,100 and a Patron table for 8 is $1,200. (Contributions are tax deductible.) The event is usually a sellout, so don’t wait to buy your tickets.

The annual September fete is a fun way to support the Bellevue Botanical Garden, an important botanical collection that includes the Yao Japanese garden, a rhododendron glen, a rock garden, a waterwise garden, fuchsia and dahlia gardens and the NPA perennial border. It is the only fundraising event to support all the Society’s programs for the public, including the Mothers Day celebration, Music in the Garden, and the invaluable ‘Living Lab’ program for children.  

Kids get up close to study plants in the BBG's Living Lab program

Living Lab provides quality science and botany-related educational opportunities for youth.  It includes different modules for different elementary school age children that satisfy school district science requirements. The aim is to teach children about the environment, soils, and historical use of plants by Native Americans. Accredited teachers are hired and each year about 1000 eager children go through the program in spring and fall. These might be the future horticulturists and nursery owners of tomorrow so it’s vital to get them away from their electronic devices and expose them to plants and nature!

Budding horticulturists make discoveries in the Living Lab program

The money raised at the annual auction also goes to printed educational materials, purchasing plants, supporting garden renovations, the popular docent program and helping to fund Garden d’Lights, which is more fanciful every year and has become a must-see regional attraction for the holidays.

The Bellevue Botanical Garden has a lot in store in the coming future. They are raising funds for a new educational center, and are developing the new Ravine Garden, which will feature a 150-ft. suspension bridge and a Sun Terrace/Wetland Garden. Currently Jim Olson of Olson Kundig Architects is designing the structures and entry sequence, and the renowned Dan Hinkley is consulting on appropriate plants. The BBG hopes to break ground in early 2011 for this new feature. – Janet

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