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UW Botanic Gardens Newsletter, Vol 7 Issue 4, April 2012

Arboretum Foundation's FlorAbundance Spring Plant Sale

FlorAbundance logoThis magnificent sale, the largest in the Puget Sound region, features dozens of top specialty nurseries and vendors selling a wide selection of choice, locally-grown plants. You’ll find trees, shrubs, beautiful conifers, native plants, vegetable starts, species and hybrid rhododendrons, favorite and rare perennials, unusual annuals, glorious groundcovers, grasses, vines, and more.

Benefit from the advice of gardening experts, who’ll be roving through the vendor tables (in yellow aprons) to help with plant selections. And look for the colored surveyor flags, which will mark the favorite plants of Ciscoe Morris and Bob Lilly at the sale!

FlorAbundance 2This year’s sale will take place at the Graham Visitors Center in beautiful Washington Park Arboretum. The vendor stalls will be located in the Visitors Center parking lot. Parking for the public will be along the west side of Arboretum Drive. Traffic managers will direct traffic one way southbound on the drive; shuttle buses will be available to transport shoppers to and from the sale area.

Saturday, April 28, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, April 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Member Pre-Sale Party: Friday, April 27, 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Graham Visitors Center
Free parking and admission. The sale raises important funds for Washington Park Arboretum.

A Glimpse Into the Past
Pruning 1952

(A monthly column by Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus) The University of Washington Arboretum was the original facility in the Northwest where gardeners could learn about caring for woody plants.  In this photo from 1952, Al Howe, Arboretum Gardener, is explaining rose pruning to a (presumed) Arboretum Unit.  Director Brian O. Mulligan is supervising.  Note the “required” dress attire for attending class.  (Photo from UWBG Archives).

Be sure to view the full size image.

Fourth Annual Urban Forest Symposium 

urban forest symposium-cascadiaThe 2012 Urban Forest Symposium will address the concerns of municipalities, NGOs and educational groups whose work involves volunteer planting and care for the urban forest. Andy Lipkis, founder of the Tree People of Los Angeles,  will give the keynote address, tracing the history of the organization that planted one million trees for the 1984 Olympics and thrives today with over a thousand volunteers. Throughout the day representatives from a variety of non-profit organizations will share what has (and hasn’t) worked to motivate volunteers and secure funding. There will also be planting projects and the latest on the best practices for planting trees. The event is sponsored by UWBG, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, and the Northwest Horticultural Society.

Monday, May 14, 2012  --  9am - 4pm
Center for Urban Horticulture’s NHS Hall (3501 NE 41st St, in Seattle)
Cost is $45 per person with lunches available for $15.
Free lunch for the first 50 registrants, provided by Seattle Tree Preservation,
Trees for Life, and Davy Tree Expert Co.
For more information, call Jean Robins at 206-685-8033. Online Registration.

Spotlight on Grad Student Katie Murphy: Evaluation of Parking Strip Soil to Determine Appropriate Land Use

This month, we are spotlighting the work of Graduate student Katie Murphy. Have you ever wondered what is most appropriate to plant in your parking strip, that skinny area between the sidewalk and the street in front of most Seattle houses? Katie is investigating parking strip soil health to determine what land uses are the best for the arable roadside land. Some avid gardeners have grown sun-loving vegetables, others have created pollinator pathways and wildflower gardens to attract urban wildlife. Traditionalists choose to keep the parking strip planted with a narrow lawn that has been around for decades. By measuring and evaluating soil health indicators such as pH, bulk density, soil texture, available nutrients and heavy metals, Katie is determining what is most appropriate to grow in our parking strips based on the existing on-site soil. She is also comparing levels of heavy metals (lead, arsenic, and cadmium) across different traffic density categories. By sampling soil from quiet residential streets, neighborhood arterials, and busy thoroughfares Katie is determining if there is a pattern to deposition of automobile emissions that have ended up in the parking strip soil. This study is in the analysis stage with results delivered in a public defense this summer.

Upcoming classes and learning opportunities 

Botanical Drawing Series Seven-part course starts Wednesday, April 18 at the
Center for Urban Horticulture
Bryophyte Basics: An Introduction to the Mosses, Liverworts & Hornworts of the Pacific NW
Monday, Apr 23 at CUH
Designed to Eat: Combining Edibles with Ornamentals for the Table Saturday, April 28 at CUH
Plants for Hedges and Screens Tuesday, May 8 at CUH
Lichens in Our Midst Thursday, May 10, 246 Hitchcock, UW Main Campus

April 2012 Plant Profile: Ribes sanguineum

red-flowering currant(by Soest Gardener Riz Reyes) Spring is definitely in the air when the clouds of pink burst forth into bloom and our native red-flowering currants put on a show. Though most forms aren’t truly red, their flower power is outstanding. It is a native that seems to have adapted well to our harsh urban environment. There’s a lovely white form that’s also floating around at this time of year drawing Oohs and Aahs from those who encounter it. The flowers give a light pungent scent and hummingbirds go absolutely crazy for them.

Common Name:
Red-Flowering Currant
Location: CUH-Douglas Parking Lot
Origin: Western Coastal North America
Height and spread: 7-10ft high and wide.
Bloom Time: Early Spring


If you have some young 'uns with a literary and/or horticultural bent, join us in the Miller Library on April 28 for the Amazing Seeds Story Program. The featured books are How Groundhog's Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry, Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds On The Move by JoAnn Early Macken and Plant Secrets by Emily Goodman. Before the stories, join us in the program room to make a seed collage. The program runs from 10:30am-11:15am and is open to children ages 3 to 8 and their families--but all are welcome!

By the way, 996 people like UW Botanic Gardens on Facebook. So close to a thousand! Visit
UW Botanic Gardens on Facebook to keep up on the latest news and "like" us while you're there.

Here’s a good read from UW Today that features commentary from Soo-Hyung Kim, UW assistant professor of environmental and forest sciences.  According to the article, cherry trees in our nation's capital could bloom as much as four weeks earlier by 2080 due to global warming. The analysis relied on the UW's own cherry trees as one test of a computer model used in the project.

Check out this photo essay in the March issue of Columns. Art Wolfe, one of the world's premier nature photographers (and a UW alumni, class of '75) came to UBNA, the Arboretum and the main campus recently and took these breathtaking images.  

Early notice: there is going to be an Azalea Way History Tour on May 23. Join Professor emeritus John Wott, former Arboretum Director, and David Zuckerman, manager of UWBG horticulture and plant collections, on a walking tour of historic Azalea Way. Dr. Wott will discuss the history of this much-loved part of the Arboretum, overall design and its change over time, kinds of plants, and more.

The King County Master Gardener Foundation Plant Sale is also coming up. It will feature edibles & ornamentals, including thousands of tomato plants, veggie starts & herbs plus perennials, shrubs, trees & vines from Master Gardeners & local specialty growers. They will also provide Bring-a-Plant-Problem diagnosis (bring a fresh sample in a bag). It all happens Saturday, May 5 (8am-5pm) and Sunday, May 6 (10am-3pm) at the Center for Urban Horticulture.

Our neighbors at Laurelhurst shared this cool little tidbit on their blog. The Seattle Department of Transportation recently released a new web based tool for looking up what kinds of trees are planted on your street and who is responsible for maintaining them. SDOT started the tree inventory process in 1992. Out of approximately 130,000 trees in Seattle, the inventory currently stands at about 40,000 city maintained trees. Users can also submit current size information for an existing tree or submit information for an unlisted tree

Don't forget to celebrate Earth Day at the Arboretum on April 22nd from 10am-12pm! Washington Park Arboretum and Wilderness Awareness School have teamed up to offer a family-friendly Earth Day event. Bring your family, bring your friends and come celebrate the earth, play games, do a small service project and eat yummy earth snacks.

And stay tuned next month for a new column about UWBG Volunteers from Linda Haba, our volunteer Volunteer Coordinator!

E-Flora is a regular online newsletter of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens

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

3501 NE 41st Street, Box 354115, Seattle, WA 98195-4115
Phone: 206.543.8616

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