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UW Botanic Gardens Newsletter, Vol 8 Issue5, May 2013

2013 student poster exhibitCome See the UWBG Student Poster Exhibit

This year's UWBG Student Poster Exhibit will be showing at the Miller Library starting on Friday, May 17. Poster subjects include environmental horticulture, conservation biology, restoration ecology and much more. There will also be a public opening night reception on the 17th from 5pm to 7pm.

UWBG Bioblitz 2013 features guest lecturer Paul Bannick

A bioblitz is a biological inventory that takes place over a short period of time (usually 24 hours) in a specified area (in this case the Washington Park Arboretum). The purpose of a bioblitz is to take a snap shot of biodiversity, which is a way to measure the health of an ecosystem. There will be 2.5 hour shifts during which small groups of citizen scientists & UW students will go out with one of our field scientists in search of various taxa (birds, bats, bugs, fungi, plants, mammals, etc.). Space is limited, so sign up for a shift today!

paul bannick.jpgThis year's guest speaker is international award winning photographer Paul Bannick. He will take you on a visual and auditory exploration of the life of North American Owls. Together, we will look at four seasons and all 19 species of owls and their interdependence with other plants, landscape features and other animals. Paul's lecture is on May 10 from 7pm to 8pm. The lecture is free for Bioblitz 2013 volunteers and $8 per person for non-volunteers.

When: Friday, May 10th & Saturday May 11th
Where: UWBG’s Washington Park Arboretum, in the Graham Visitors Center

A Glimpse Into the Past

pablo resized

(A monthly column by Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus) The WPA-constructed building which houses the current Grounds Crew has a small apartment in the southern lower front. It was constructed for a person to serve as after-hours security and perform some janitorial duties. For many years, it was occupied by Pablo Abellera, and many of us oldsters remember the myriads of dahlias which filled the small front “yard” of the apartment during his tenure. The Winter 1972 issue of the Arboretum Foundation Bulletin contains an article which shows Pablo receiving a commemorative plaque from the American Dahlia Association for his “loyal and dedicated service”. It also states that Pablo’s “stand” was the most popular at plant sales, overflowing with bright colors. This small, quiet man hybridized hundreds of new introductions and delighted in sharing them. He also had a small plot adjacent to the UW hospital where he daily delivered hundreds of bright blooms for hospital patients and staff.

In 1982, Joe Witt and crew hauled truck loads of junk from a small storage room located on the west side of the building, so that we could have a classroom in the Arboretum. The electrical box for the entire building was located in Pablo’s apartment. A problem regularly occurred on cold Saturday mornings when we plugged in a coffee pot for warmth, along with a slide projector. Immediately, we would blow out the fuse, making it necessary wake up Pablo next door to re-set the fuse.

After Pablo left, Dean Powell (grounds crew) and his family lived in the space, followed by Clement Hamilton (then a new professor). It later became the home of the Curatorial Office where Brian Mulligan finished his volunteer days. Now it is the office of the Arboretum Education Office. Such a small space, but such a large history!!   Photograph: Arboretum Foundation Bulletin 35:4, 1972.  

May 2013 Plant Profile: Pacific Coast Irises 

(by Soest Gardener Riz Reyes) The Pacific Northwest is home to a remarkable assortment of plants that are the envy of other gardeners across the country. The Pacific Coast Iris hybrids are among them. With a wide variation in colors, evergreen foliage and tolerance of drought and some shade, this type of iris has become quite the workhorse in the spring garden come late April and into May. Over the past few years, more and more Northwest gardeners are beginning to discover Pacific Coast irises and, in some cases, even collect the handful of named selections that exist.

pacific coast irisPacific Coast Iris hybrids are comprised of several species that exist throughout Washington, Oregon and California. While native species such as I. douglasii and I. tenax are readily available and are fine garden plants, it’s these remarkable hybrids that gardeners crave. With grassy foliage and profuse flowers, they rarely get over 12 inches tall and are wonderful planted in perennial beds and the ever-so-difficult spot of planting beneath a tree! Given time to establish, they are remarkably drought-tolerant and easy to care for.

In the Soest Garden, we’ve introduced a plant that’s been passed around for many years, yet it hasn’t been properly registered as a named cultivar. This is a selection named ‘Ami Royale’. It is actually a division from a clump that’s growing at the Washington Park Arboretum where not as many people get to see and enjoy it.

Common Name: Pacific Coast Iris
Location: Soest Garden – Bed 7
Origin: Garden Origin
Height and Spread: 8-12 inches high x 1.5 feet wide
Bloom Time:  Mid-Spring

Take a Class This Spring

Urban Plant Protection  Wednesday, May 15, 9am – 4pm (CUH)
Perennial Companions Wednesday, May 15, 7 – 8:30pm (CUH, Douglas Classroom)
Controlling Apple Maggots Wednesday, May 22, 7 – 8pm (CUH, Douglas Classroom)
Sharing Nature with Your Children Saturday, June 8, 9 – 11am (Graham Visitors Center, WPA)
Grow Your Own Organic Food Saturday, June 8, 1 – 3pm (CUH, Douglas Classroom)
Landscaping with Pacific NW Natives Tuesday, June 11, 1 – 3pm (CUH, Douglas Classroom)

twigs 

Professor Sarah Reichard recently contributed a chapter to the book Invasive Plant Ecology, set to come out this year “Economic Analysis of the Invasive Plant Problem Associated with the Horticulture Industry in North America”. With Professor Kern Ewing, she also co-authored an article, “The University of Washington Botanic Gardens and Restoration Ecology,” in the January 2013 issue of BG Journal, the journal of Botanic Gardens Conservation International.

mountaintreeHead to the Miller Library on Saturday, May 18 for the Feathered Friends Story Program. Fly away with us as we join a little green hummingbird, a robin and a young John James Audubon up in the trees. After the stories, make a bird collage in the program room. Stories start at 10:30am and the program is free to the public.

The Burke Museum Herbarium has launched a fun new wildflower app. It includes an identification key and information for more than 870 common wildflowers, shrubs and vines in Washington and adjacent areas of British Columbia, Idaho and Oregon.


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
Email: uwbg@u.washington.edu
Web: www.uwbotanicgardens.org
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