Campus Color Initiative

A hanging basket of flowers is suspended from a lamp post with the Capitol Building in the background.

Status: Seasonal planting and maintenance work underway

Throughout the spring and summer, DES crews will be busy improving the campus "curb appeal" as well as pollinator habitat with a mix of perennials, annuals and wildflowers that bring color to both East and West Campus and Parks.

Flower beds are annually updated with intricate flower designs – including layering different types of plants – and transplanting plants from the West to the East Campus and Parks. Transplanting keeps flowerbeds from becoming overgrown, and also allows DES to save plants in construction areas.

Latest updates

DES Buildings and Grounds is continuing to improve the Capitol Campus landscape. This year, DES has already added more than 31,000 varieties of flower bulbs into landscape beds around the entire West Campus.

Here are just a few of the projects you can expect to see this season:

  • Installing fresh plants, bulbs, and shrubs across the Capitol Campus
  • Replacement of year-round interest and color to the flag circle and Tivoli fountain flower beds
  • Installation of a new landscape bed and refreshing existing beds at the Insurance Building
  • Planting of approximately 17,000 annuals for this summer’s color designs in Campus annual beds and around memorials
  • Continued establishment of the new Sunken Garden design by installing more plants and bulbs
  • Continuing collaboration with the Dahlia Society in the Sunken Garden

Completed projects

  • Seasonal color plantings added to campus memorials – WWII, Vietnam, Korean, Medal of Honor, Winged Victory
  • Seasonal color plantings added to key public west campus areas - Sundial, South Legislative Building Portico, flag circle
  • Planting of new perennials as part of the renovation of the historic sunken garden
  • Planting of wildflowers on East Plaza over the 14th Avenue tunnel
  • 2021 renovation of the Sunken Garden - view photos here


While visiting the Capitol, check out the banners that reflect the diversity of eastern and western Washington on 20 light posts along the north and south diagonals on the Capitol Campus.

Buildings & Grounds staff proposed the addition of the colorful hanging banners as a way to infuse more color on the campus in a way that is more durable, in place year-round and that requires less daily maintenance. The designs for the banners were chosen to promote civic education and represent state symbols (flower, fish, fruit, tree, bird).

Select a banner to see a larger image.