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UW Botanic Gardens Newsletter, Vol 7 Issue 11, November 2012
Book Now For the UWBG Trip to Ecuador and Galapagos Islands
Ecuador is home to a wide variety of ecosystems, indigenous peoples and the Galapagos Islands. Join UWBG Director Sarah Reichard on a tour of Ecuador and the Islands. The trip will include a visit to Quito Botanical Garden, hiking along the Amazon River, observing the rainforest while on silent canoe rides and journeying through the Galapagos aboard a first class vessel. You’ll get a chance to swim in Lake Pilchicocha, learn about volcanic formation and interact with giant tortoises and friendly sea lions.
A Glimpse Into the Past
(A monthly column by Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus) This is a view from the Lookout, looking northward over the large pond on the south end of Azalea Way. It was taken on March 11, 1958, 54 years ago. Notice the irregular shape of the pond due to the sediment coming down the small stream. The pond’s “march” into Azalea Way needed to be stabilized by concrete abutments in the early 1990s. The large “volunteer” oak tree, now on the northern bank, was non-existent. This indicates how fast a tree can grow in an ideal site. Note the bareness of the lower “swampy” area to the left and small trees along Azalea Way. The buildings and stadium of the University of Washington and houses of Wallingford are in the distance. (Photo from UWBG Photo Archives.)
Personal Library Donated
On Saturday, October 13th, Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus, and UWBG Gardener Preston Pew motored to the home of George and Susi Steiff Pinyuh in rural Kent. George is a retired WSU Extension Horticultural Specialist who worked in Pierce and King Counties, and was one of the founders of the international Master Gardener Program. George was also instrumental in helping to establish close ties between CUH and WSU and helped in setting up the UWBG Master Gardener offices and clinics as well as the professional ProHort programs. George is donating his personal library to the Miller Library. The books are in pristine condition and many will become permanent additions to the Library collections, some replacing books damaged in the fire. The remainder will be sold at the next Library Book Sale. Thanks so much to the Pinyuhs for their gift.
November 2012 Plant Profile: Miscanthus sinensis 'Little Kitten'
Ornamental grasses begin to put on a show in autumn. Striking blades of silvery light greens transition to deep yellows and light tans, adding structure and texture during a time of year when perennial beds are often cut back and put to rest. The genus Miscanthus has always been a staple in terms of ornamental grasses. Native to Japan and China, they are hardy and easy to care for.
Once established, they are drought tolerant, easily maintained, and are capable of possessing year-round interest. Some selections of ornamental grass, however, have a reputation for being too large for the small urban garden. They can be overly vigorous, and in some instances, relentlessly self-seeding. There is a remarkable array of these grasses to choose from, but this one caught my eye two years ago and has continually impressed me since.
‘Little Kitten’ has been a pleasant and manageable ornamental grass. It stays tidy and has a soft, demure elegance to it when used singly as a specimen. It adds a wonderful foil to bold foliage late in the season when massed as a small group in containers.
Construction is finally ready to begin on the Yesler Swamp Trail. This was made possible by a $64,000 award from the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund. The design team at SBA Landscape Architects has completed a plan and all the environmental permits are ready to go. The design shows an all-weather wheelchair accessible trail through the Swamp. The first phase will be a boardwalk built over the lagoon for viewing wildlife. You can see the plans, permits and other details at the Yesler Swamp Trail website.
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