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A Perennial Border Reborn

Articles: A Perennial Border Reborn

A generous and gentle gravel path in phase 1 of the NPA Border, with a bench for comfortable viewing. Photograph by Michele Cournoyer

In 1991, the Northwest Perennial Alliance (NPA) undertook a seemingly impossible project: design, plant, and maintain a 17,000- square-foot herbaceous perennial border, entirely with a cadre of dedicated volunteers, at a new public garden, the Bellevue Botanical Garden (BBG) in Bellevue, Washington. That they achieved this task with remarkable tenacity, sweat equity, and international renown is a testimony to the depths of passion that gardening can engender.

Fifteen years later, the needs of the entire botanical garden, its visitors, the City of Bellevue, and the NPA itself had evolved and changed. The Border had grown to 33,000 square feet with over 10,000 perennials and was in need of a major renovation to meet the long-range goals of the Bellevue Botanical Garden’s Master Plan, align with NPA’s available resources, and support the City of Bellevue’s Environmental Stewardship Initiative. In 2007, a partnership was formed that included representatives from the NPA, the Cit...

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