Email not displaying correctly or links gone haywire? Click here to view in your browser.
February 2010 E-Flora header

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

Table of Contents

Volunteer Opp: Arboretum guide training

Public education: Botanical illustration, a panel of forensic scientists, plant identification, the author of Bulb, alternatives to invasives and much more!
Forensic scientist

red-flowering currant

cover of Bulb by Anna Pavord

Award: Jessica Farmer receives Wott Fellowship
John Wott & Jessica Farmer

Story Time: Adventures with Wildlife
Chipmunk Song cover

Barn Owl cover

Volunteer Opp: Plant propagation

Art Exhibit: Katie Murphy's nature-inspired ceramics
Katie Murphy ceramics

Plant Profile: Garrya x issaquahensis 'Pat Ballard'
Pat Ballard Silk Tassel Tree

Book Sale: Donate books until
March 31

Fragrance Garden: Living up to its name
White forsythia

Miller Library Anniversary: What's your story?


Donate button

Find us on Facebook

Feb 18: A way to share outdoor discoveries

You love walking through the Arboretum and wish you could grab the nearest person and show them what you just discovered. Now you can! Guide adults or kids through the Arboretum’s amazing outdoor classroom. Sign up to be a volunteer guide by Wednesday, Feb. 17, and catch the all-day orientation and first training session, including an hour with Soest Gardener Riz Reyes, tours of the Hyde Herbarium, Miller Library, Graham Visitors Center and greenhouse, and a scavenger hunt! The fun starts 10:00 AM Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Center for Urban Horticulture, and wraps up around 5:00 PM at Washington Park Arboretum. To sign up or learn more, email or call 206-543-8801.

Grow it, draw it, ID it, or . . . solve a crime?
To pre-register for any of these programs,
call 206-685-8033 or download a form from our website.

Feb 16-Apr 13: Study with award-winning artist
In 9 Botanical Illustration lessons, you'll progress from accurate botanical drawing to watercolor wash, graded wash and dry brush technique under the guidance of award-winning botanical artist and instructor Louise Smith at the Center for Urban Horticulture, Tuesdays, Feb. 16–Apr. 13, 7:00-9:00 PM, $230.

Feb 21: Solving homicides & cold cases with“Botany, Bugs & the Art of Forensic Science”
No more wondering whether CSI is just TV glitz. Meet the real deal! A forensic botanist, entomologist and anthropologist from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and two universities present a fascinating look at the role of forensic science in criminal investigations and cold cases Sunday, Feb. 21, 7:00-8:30 PM, at the Center for Urban Horticulture, $10.

Mar 9-Apr 17: A rose by any other name might be a Rubus
Using plant materials, microscopes, keys in Hitchcock and Cronquist’s Flora of the Pacific Northwest and field trips, UW Herbarium Collections Manager David Giblin, Ph.D., will familiarize you with 25 of Washington’s common plant families over the course of 6 Tuesdays, Mar. 9-Apr. 13, 7:00-9:00 PM, on UW’s Main Campus, plus field trips on campus Mar. 27 and Apr. 3 and at Deception Pass State Park Apr. 17, $160.

Mar 23: Meet Anna Pavord, author of Bulb
From Acis to Zigadenus, Anna Pavord has written the A-Z of bulbs. In her visual presentation called “A Luxuriance of Bulbs,” Pavord will dazzle you with some of her favorites and show you how they may be used in your garden, Tuesday, Mar. 23, 7:00 PM at the Center for Urban Horticulture, $15.

Apr 7: "Plant This Instead!"
Many invasive plants that cause environmental problems start in our gardens. Learn from UW Conservation Biology Professor Sarah Reichard, Ph.D., about some of these problem plants, their impacts on plant and animal communities, and non-invasive alternatives for your garden Wednesday, Apr. 7, 6:30-8:00 PM at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Watch the web for price.

Apr 19: ProHort class discusses plant diseases
Watch the web for details about this class designed for plant professionals Monday, Apr. 19, 9:00-11:00 AM. Registration is open to everyone.

Coming soon
Additional programs include Lichens, Mastering Your Digital Camera and Propagating Ferns. Watch our website for details.

Jessica Farmer receives Wott Fellowship
UW graduate student Jessica Farmer received the Wott Fellowship for her Master of Science/Master of Public Administration research on models for fundraising partnerships in university-managed public gardens. John A. Wott, former director of the Washington Park Arboretum, established this endowment to support students who are doing research that will benefit the Washington Park Arboretum. Farmer is the first fellow chosen to receive this award.

Mar 6: Chipmunks & owls in the library!
Enjoy stories and poems about our feathered and furry neighbors Saturday, Mar. 6, 10:30-11:15 AM in the Miller Library. Young Gardeners Story Time is a free program for families with children ages 2-8. Drop in, sit back and enjoy Barn Owl by Sally Tagholm, Chipmunk Song by Joanne Ryder and The Great White Owl of Sissinghurst by Dawn Langley Simmons.

Volunteer opp makes good things grow
All kinds of good things will grow out of this volunteer opportunity when you participate in plant propagation, site preparation, planting of native plants and maintenance of established sites at Washington Park Arboretum. No experience needed. You’ll work in a group with UW Botanic Gardens staff, grad students and youths. Volunteers meet at the arboretum’s greenhouse every Thursday from 12:30-4:30 PM. Contact Barbara Selemon if you’re interested or have questions.

Nature inspires ceramic artist Katie Murphy
The Miller Library hosts its first ceramics exhibit, “The Nature of Clay,” Mar. 2-31. Meet the artist at a reception Friday, Mar. 12, 5:00-7:00 PM in the library. Katie Murphy captures the beauty of nature in her ceramic art. She infuses her ceramic artwork with botanical inspiration from the color, texture, beauty and form that surround her as the Hyde Herbarium Collections Manager and current graduate student at UW Botanic Gardens. Murphy blends classic pottery forms with whimsical carvings and decoration in bright and earthy colors. Passionate about both art and science, she strikes a careful balance between the two in her ceramic art and pottery.

February plant profile:
Garrya x issaquahensis
‘Pat Ballard’
[by Riz Reyes, Soest Gardener] Discovered in the garden of Pat Ballard in Issaquah as a cross between G. fremontii and the more common G. elliptica, this is one of the most spectacular broadleaf evergreen shrubs to have in the winter landscape. It is truly exquisite in January-February with its semi-glossy, medium green leaves adorned with elegant 12-inch “silk tassels.” It is a very tough shrub that is relatively pest and disease free, and it is remarkably drought tolerant once it is established. This selection is somewhat rare and not frequently propagated, but a more common selection called ‘James Roof’ is also an excellent variety.

Common Name: Pat Ballard Silk Tassel Tree
Location: Soest Garden – South Slope (against Isaacson Hall)
Family: Garryaceae
Origin: Garden Origin
Height: 8-10 feet
Spread: 6-8 feet
Bloom Time: Winter
Bloom Type/Color: Pendulous, pinkish gray with a hint of yellow colored catkins
Exposure: Part shade to full sun
Water/Soil: Well drained with moderate moisture

See Soest Gardener Notes for additional plant profiles.

Book sale's a-buzzing
Part of the fun of the Miller Library’s annual Garden Lover’s Book Sale is donating your own gently-used plant, garden, ecology and nature books and seeing what you find in return. Drop off your books at the library before Mar. 31, and plan to attend the preview party Friday, Apr. 2, 5:00-8:00 PM ($20, call 206-543-0415). The book sale continues Saturday, Apr. 3, 9:00 AM-3:00 PM.

Wake up, winter-weary noses!
The Seattle Garden Club’s Fragrance Garden at the Center for Urban Horticulture is definitely living up to its name! Stop by and breathe in the boxleaf azara, Azara microphylla, and white forsythia, Abeliophyllum distichum. And don’t miss the little close-to-the-earth jewels, such as creeping forget-me-not, Omphalodes verna. Listen to an audio introduction to the Fragrance Garden by clicking here and scrolling down to “Center for Urban Horticulture tour files.”

The Miller Library wants to hear your story
The library has long collected books. Now it’s collecting stories to commemorate its 25th anniversary celebration this year. Let others’ memories of their early visits to the Miller Library inspire your own account of what this community resource means to you. Read the accounts, and add your own.


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

To subscribe/unsubscribe, please email Leave the subject line blank, and write only "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" in the body of your email.

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