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April EFlora header

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UW Botanic Gardens Newsletter
College of the Environment
School of Forest Resources

Table of Contents

Volunteers: Seattle Academy performs service project in Arboretum; participate in Earth Day work parties; improve UWBG image collection
Seattle Academy service project

Trees: ProHort Class "What's Killing my Tree?" & "Saving Trees" Urban Forest Symposium

Teachers: Garden Guides are ready to lead your field trip; take a Cool School Challenge workshop
Garden Guide training

Research: UWBG plants a Climate Change Garden
Soo-Hyung Kim & Allison McCarthy plant Climate Change Garden

Public Education: Environmental Writing (photo by Catherine Anstett)
Environmental Writing field session

Public Education: Practical & Creative Landscape Design with Kim Rooney
Kim Rooney

Plant Profile: Epimedium

Travel: Take the Chile Garden Tour with Reichard & Hinkley
Chile Garden Tour flyer

Union Bay Natural Area: Kiosk offers interpretive information
Interpretive kiosk

"Twigs": View art, take a walk,
buy a plant, hear a story
Botanical illustration


Chrysanthemum by




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Apr 18-24: Happy National Volunteer Week!
The Miller Library, Hyde Herbarium, Saplings and Seedlings programs, Arboretum tours, Rare Care field monitoring and seed collecting programs, work parties in the Arboretum, Union Bay Natural Area and Yesler Swamp - and much more - thrive because of the spectacular dedication and diverse talents of hundreds of volunteers. Thank you, UWBG volunteers! This may be National Volunteer Week, but we are grateful to you 365 days a year.

A recent project: Seattle Academy enhances native habitat
Trees grow old, lose limbs, become vulnerable. Instead of removing them, why not monitor them for safety and focus on their natural beauty? Students from the Seattle Academy recently worked in the Arboretum with Native Plant Propagation staff and volunteers to remove weeds, apply mulch and plant 225 sword ferns around a bigleaf maple that lost a large limb. The tree now stands as a habitat tree, and the limb remains on the ground where it fell. Hundreds of licorice fern have taken hold on this centerpiece. The horticulture crew has been creating habitat trees for the past several years. These trees invite flickers, hawks, owls and other wildlife to rest, nest or just hang out in the area. The crew intentionally left this tree in an open area surrounded by other large trees, creating a room within the Arboretum. Come wander through the Magnolia Collection, now in peak bloom, just east of Arboretum Drive East near the double parking lots [trail map]. Step into this new "special space," pause, and look for wildlife seated atop the habitat tree.

Apr 24: Get your hands into the earth on Earth Day
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, join the Student Conservation Association, UWBG and Seattle Parks and Recreation for a day of fun projects in the Arboretum from 9:00-3:00
PM. Get your hands dirty building trails, removing invasive plants and mulching. SCA’s high school members will lead the projects. Bring water bottle, sack lunch, snacks, travel mug for a hot drink, sunscreen, rain gear, long pants, layers of clothing and boots. Tools, gloves and project materials will be provided. Register online.

New volunteer opp: Love nature? Love photography?
The UW Botanic Gardens produces and contributes to many publications that require high-quality photographs. Your talents as a photographer or image collection organizer will improve outreach efforts online and in print by contributing to an expanded, well-organized digital image collection. Read more.

Hear trees' pleas & save trees, please!
Apr 19: What's Killing My Tree?
In a class designed for plant professionals (but open to all), Plant Pathologist Marianne Elliott shows you how to identify common woody plant diseases and recognize the difference between damage caused by disease and other factors such as insects, poor management practices or weather. Following an indoor lecture in Graham Visitors Center, the class moves outside to look at examples of diseases in the Arboretum, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM, $30, preregistration required: call Jean Robins at, 206-685-8033, email, or mail the registration form with payment. Learn more.

May 25: Saving Trees, an Urban Forest Symposium
This unique educational event is a must for landscape architects, designers, arborists, city planners, code enforcers, policy makers, builders and contractors and tree advocates. The Symposium is designed to impart critical tree and urban forestry information to a broad audience including non-arborists. Denis Hayes, national coordinator of the first Earth Day and one of Time Magazine's "100 Heroes of the Planet," delivers the keynote address. Download a flyer with the day's program and registration form, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM, $45.

Teachers will warm to these cool ideas
Students love field trips in the Arboretum
Spring field trip season has sprung in the Arboretum, along with a new kind of chatter – the kind that can only be produced by a busload of excited children pumped to trade in their indoor classrooms for an outdoor one. A recent 5-week training session for Garden Guides wrapped up with a fascinating wetland ecology tour led by MEH Graduate Jennifer Leach, and now the education team is chomping at the bit to share what they’ve learned with a younger generation of environmental stewards. The calendar is filling quickly, but there are still time slots available for last-minute field trips. So spread the word to teachers, PTA members and home-school parents, and have them call 206-543-8801.

Take the Cool School Challenge, learn about plants & climate
Want to engage your 3rd-12th grade students in one of the most timely topics of the century? Explore the connection between climate change and plants with UWBG educators at a free, all-day "Cool School Challenge" teacher workshop Saturday, May 1. Visit this site to download a flyer and RSVP.

UWBG plants a Climate Change Garden
UW Botanic Gardens is partnering with botanic gardens across the country in the installation of a network of Climate Change Gardens that will serve as a nationwide “ecological antenna” to monitor the effects of changing climate on plant growth and survival. Each Climate Change Garden features genetically identical plant species selected for biological responsiveness to temperature. Garden monitors will record climate data and a set of standard phenological events from first leaf to flower to fruit set. The data will be used to help predict impacts of climate change on plants. These Climate Change Gardens are part of a new education initiative called Floral Report Card, sponsored by Chicago Botanic Garden, targeting local elementary, middle and high schools.

Take a class: write, design, learn
May 9: Inspire, observe & inhabit in Environmental Writing
Join award-winning authors Lynda Mapes, Jack Nisbet, and Susan Zwinger in a workshop devoted to writing about the environment. Starting at the Burke Museum and ending at the Center for Urban Horticulture, this one-day program includes classroom and field-based sessions, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. Sign up soon as class space is limited, $100 (some discounts available). Learn all the details. To register, e-mail or call the Burke Museum at 206-543-5591.

May 25-June 17: Design a garden room
in Practical and Creative Landscape Design
Bring a home garden project to this fun, interactive, 8-session studio class for do-it-yourself gardeners. With award-winning landscape architect Kim Rooney's guidance and instruction, you'll design garden rooms that you can build and enjoy. Tuesday/Thursday May 25-June 17, 7:00-8:30 PM, $220. Read more. To preregister, call 206-685-8033, email or download a form.

Anticipate more exciting classes
Programs offered in June and July include Lichens, Mastering Your Digital Camera, Trees for the Small Garden and Propagating Ferns from Spores. Watch our website for details.

April plant profile: Epimedium
[by Riz Reyes, Soest Gardener] "Eppies," as I often call them amongst fellow plant geeks, have long been known as tried-and-true perennials for dry shade. They're typically planted under trees in a woodland setting, but we have a wide assortment of species and cultivars that thrive in various conditions just to demonstrate how adaptive they can be in many landscape settings in the Pacific Northwest. With many recent introductions from China finding their way into the market, many unusual forms and hybrids are beginning to turn up. Within the Soest Garden, we have about 10 different species and named cultivars on display... [Read the complete article. including vital stats and additional photos.]

Jan 15-30, 2011: Travel to Chile to explore gardens with with Reichard and Hinkley
Explore private estate gardens, botanical gardens, national parks and ornamental nurseries. Marvel at Torres del Paine's mountains, lakes and glaciers. Be charmed by Pacific coastal villages, beautiful hotels, and natural eco-lodges, savor delicious food and wine and enjoy a catamaran trip on Cruces River. Spend two days with Chile's leading landscape architect Juan Grimm as he guides you through some of his most impressive works at private estates and his own award-winning garden and home.

Your tour leaders - Dr. Sarah Reichard, head of conservation at UWBG, and Daniel J. Hinkley, plantsman, author, collector and lecturer - will show you plants that have captivated them for years, including winter's bark, Chilean fire tree and Chilean bellflower. Download a flyer with complete itinerary.

Kiosk features interpretive information
Thanks to funding from the Seattle Foundation, graphic design by the Portico Group and collaboration with the local birding community, Union Bay Natural Area now sports a new interpretive kiosk. The kiosk displays a large map of the natural area and interpretive information about who lives there and who is improving the habitat of who lives there! The kiosk also has a place for the birding community to update avian sightings and the UWBG to post timely notices. You'll see the kiosk as you head into the natural area from the Center for Urban Horticulture along Wahkiakum Lane.

TWIGS. . .
View art, take a walk, buy a plant, hear a story
Members from the Pacific Northwest chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artist exhibit botanical illustrations at the Miller Library through May 1 . . . Catch a free guided Arboretum walk the first or third Sunday of any month, starting at the Graham Visitors Center at 11:00 AM or 1:00 PM. The April 18 morning tour visits the Pacific Connections garden . . . Plant sale alert! Who can resist the Arboretum Foundation's FlorAbundance Spring Plant Sale April 24-25 in Magnuson Park? Can't make it? The Miller Library maintains a regional list of plant sales . . . Young Gardeners Story Time celebrates May Day with flower tales in the Miller Library 10:30-11:15 AM May 1, free.


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University of Washington Botanic Gardens' mission:
Sustaining managed to natural ecosystems and the human spirit
through plant research, display, and education.

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Phone 206.543.8616