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January 2010 E-Flora header

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

Table of Contents

Public Program: Forensics!

Garden Show: Attend a preview
gala & visit our booth
Northwest Flower & Garden Show

Volunteer Opp: Monitor rare plant populations
Anemone patens var multifida, photo by Richard Ramsden

Story Time: Growing Kindness
Frog Girl cover

Watercolor Exhibit: Bill Talley's
garden flower watercolors
Rose, watercolor by Bill Talley

Public Classes: Botanical Illustration & Plant ID
Plant ID field trip at Deception Pass

Winter Garden: Seasonal
interest in the Arboretum
witch hazel closeup

New Education Coordinator: Welcome, Patrick Mulligan
Patrick Mulligan in a tree

Plant Profile: Helleborus niger
'Josef Lemper'
Helleborus 'Josef Lemper'

Annual Book Sale: Donate gently-used gardening books

Miller Library Anniversary:
We're collecting memories
Betty Miller at front desk



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Feb 21: Do they really solve crimes using bugs and botany?

One night only! Botany, Bugs and the Art of Forensic Science, Sunday Feb 21, 7:00-8:30 PM, NHS Hall, Center for Urban Horticulture, $10. Have you ever wondered how authentic CSI: Miami and CSI: New York are? A panel of forensic scientists in the fields of botany, entomology and anthropology will give you the real story behind looking at bugs and pollen to investigate homicides and cold cases. Pre-register to assure your space by downloading a form from our website or calling 206-685-8033.

Feb 2-7: Arbor Eden preview gala kicks off Northwest Flower & Garden Show
Are you ready to contemplate a few acres of flowers and gardens, with a seminar or two thrown in? Be sure to stop by the UW Botanic Gardens' table (Booth #2824) at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show Wednesday to Sunday, Feb 3-7, at the Washington State Convention Center.

But first . . . View the display gardens before they open to the public, and enjoy delicious food, wines, live music and silent auctions at the Arboretum Foundation's Arbor Eden Preview Gala Tuesday evening, Feb 2, 4:30-9:30 PM.

Search for native rare plant populations
Washington Rare Plant Care & Conservation trains volunteers to monitor rare plant populations across the state in order to assess growth trends and determine population threats. Do you know how to key plants? Want to spend time in the field? Volunteers select a species and location and work independently (requiring your own transportation). Apply by Feb 5 for the annual all-day training Feb 27 at the Center for Urban Horticulture.

Feb 6: Cozy up to three good books
Enjoy three stories about the surprising strength of gentleness: Be Nice to Spiders by Margaret Bloy Graham, Pearl Moscowitz's Last Stand by Arthur Levine, and Frog Girl by Paul Owen Lewis. Young Gardeners' Story Time is free and appeals to families with children ages 2-8. Join us in the Miller Library from 10:30-11:15 AM. After the stories, make a card or bookmark for a friend or family member.

Now through Feb 25: Bill Talley exhibits his vibrant garden flower watercolors
Formerly the UW's campus landscape architect, Bill Talley now expresses his intimate knowledge of garden flowers through vibrant watercolors. You might just think you're strolling down garden paths as you wander the Miller Library's aisles admiring his nasturtiums and zinnias. View his exhibit during regular Miller Library hours.

Exercise keen observation skills in Botanical Illustration & Plant Identification
Botanical Illustration. Progress from lessons in accurate botanical drawing to exercises in watercolor wash, graded wash and dry brush technique under the direction of Botanical Artist and Illustrator Louise Smith Tuesdays Feb 16-Apr 13, 7:00-9:00 PM, at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Visit our website to read more and learn how to register ($230), or call us at 206-685-8033.

Plant Identification. With the aid of slides, plant materials and microscopes, you'll learn characteristics of 25 common Washington plant families under the guidance of UW Herbarium Collections Manager David Giblin, PhD, Tuesdays Mar 9-Apr 13, 7:00-9:00 PM in Hitchcock Hall on the UW Seattle Campus, plus a Saturday field trip to Deception Pass Apr 17. Visit our website to read more and learn how to register ($160), or call us at 206-685-8033.

It's a great time to visit the Winter Garden
Winter honeysuckle, witch hazel, Sarcococca and Daphne bholua are filling the air with fragrance in the Witt Winter Garden right now! If you haven't visited in awhile, you'll notice some changes. Removal of an elm that was negatively impacting all of the plantings beneath and around it has reclaimed more than 5,000 square feet of bed space. This project aims to renew UW Landscape Architecture professor Iain Robertson's original 1987 design intent for the Winter Garden. In fact, Robertson is currently preparing a redesign incorporating Acer tegmentosum 'Joe Witt' (Manchurian snakebark maple), winter-flowering rhododendrons and other winter-interest shrubs and plants.

Welcome, Patrick Mulligan!
The new year brings to Washington Park Arboretum a new Education Coordinator. Patrick Mulligan received his Master of Education degree from the UW. He served as the Children's Garden Program Manager at Norfolk Botanical Garden, and he's eager to continue growing the Arboretum's public tours (1st and 3rd Sundays each month at 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM) and school programs. In fact, Patrick already developed public kayak tours here and a "Race Around the Rim" class in the Pacific Connections Garden before accepting this position. Welcome, Patrick!

January plant profile:
Helleborus niger
'Josef Lemper'
[by Riz Reyes, Soest Gardener] Probably one of the most popular plants to grace displays at every retail nursery at this time of year is Helleborus niger ‘Josef Lemper.’ The Soest Garden's plant was a donation from Skagit Gardens and T & L Nusery. Both highly recommended it last season, hence the double donation, and now here it is at its peak. The first blossoms opened well before Christmas, and now in January it continues to form buds and show off its pristine, pure white flowers and bright yellow stamens. To set them off, the evergreen foliage is highly attractive on this hardy and vigorous plant. When it’s not putting on this tremendous winter show, it simply hangs out among other perennials that grow over it throughout the spring and summer. But as companions lose their tops over the winter, “Josef” perks up right on cue! A definite “must have” for the winter garden or container.

Common Name: Christmas Rose
Location: Soest Garden Bed 2
Family: Ranunculaceae
Origin: Garden Origin
Height: 8-11”
Spread: 12-15”
Bloom Time: Winter
Bloom Type/Color: Pure white with bright yellow stamens, fades to pink/green
Exposure: Part Shade
Water/Soil: Well drained with moderate moisture

See Soest Gardener Notes for additional plant profiles.

Weeding your book collection?
The Miller Library is accepting donations of gently-used plant, garden, ecology and nature books now through March 31 for its highly-anticipated 5th Annual Garden Lovers' Book Sale April 2-3!

Miller Library memories? Add your voice
Do you remember your first visit to the Elisabeth C. Miller Library? Did you know Betty Miller? In preparation for the Library's 25th Anniversary celebration this summer, we're collecting stories and vignettes about the library and those who use it. What discoveries have you made among these shelves, or within the pages you find there? Share a memory or two, won't you?


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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