Biodiversity Conference Registration Open

January 26th, 2012 by UWBG Communication Staff

Barrett's beardtongue closeup, photo by Betty SwiftThere’s still time to register for the upcoming conference Conserving Plant Biodiversity in a Changing World: A View from NW North America to be held at UW Botanic Gardens, March 13-14. Act now so you don’t miss the chance to raise questions and find solutions to protect endangered plant communites. Program sessions include Climate Change: Observed Effects on Plants and Plant Communities and Recovery of rare species and the restoration of their habitat. Mingle with experts from around the Northwest and hear keynote speakers Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden and Dr. Joshua Lawler, Associate Professor of the University of Washington.

Flower Show Preview Party Tickets Now On Sale

January 26th, 2012 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

preview party ticket Tickets to the annual Opening Night Party at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show (February 7) are now on sale! You can purchase tickets online, by phone at 206-325-4510, or over the counter at the Arboretum Shop. Prices start at $65 for Foundation members, as well as for members of the Seattle Audubon Society, our partners at this year’s show. Enjoy wine, food, live entertainment, silent auctions, and a first look at the fabulous displays in the Flower Show. Our 2012 preview party and display garden have an avian theme. Opening Night is presented by the Arboretum Foundation as a benefit for Washington Park Arboretum.

January Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum (Part II)

January 23rd, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum for the 2nd half of January 2012
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (January 17 – 31, 2012)

1)  Camellia sasanqua    ’Shichi Fukujin’

  • An upright to spreading shrub or small tree with elliptical, dark green leaves and bearing single cup-shaped flowers, C. sasanqua is one of many camellia species native to Japan.
  • Known to flower early in the season when colors are greatly appreciated, it is considered a less spectacular shrub than the spring-flowering C. japonica.
  • Located in the Witt Winter Garden.

2)  Daphniphyllum macropodum

  • The large evergreen leaves of D. macropodum are similar to those of many rhododendrons throughout our region, but it is the red petioles and the bluish-black fruit which give this plant its distinguishing appearance.
  • Native to China, Korea, and Japan.
  • Located west of the Upper Trail, just south of the Lookout Gazebo.

3)  Hamamelis x intermedia    ’Winter Beauty’

  • The crimped petals or “ribbons” on the bare branches of the Chinese Witch-hazel are always a welcome sight during the winter season.  The orange spider-shaped flowers displayed here are no exception.
  • One’s sense of smell is also rewarded by the cold-resistant, fragrant flowers.
  • Located in the Witt Winter Garden.

4)  Berberis    ’Arthur Menzies’

  • An erect shrub with pinnate leaves and sharply-toothed dark green leaflets.  Yellow flowers occur in 5-to-10 inch long inflorescences in December-January.
  • Located near Arboretum Drive in the Rhododendron Glen.

5)  Quercus suber   (Cork oak)

  • Native to the western Mediterranean and North Africa, Q. suber is a rounded evergreen tree with thick, corky bark.
  • Located along Arboretum Drive near the rock roses.

January 2012 Plant Profile: Salix lasiandra

January 13th, 2012 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s been a very mild winter season so far and and we’ve been blessed with several cool and clear days that bring out the best in the winter landscape. Working out in the Union Bay Natural Area, I was drawn by the picturesque views of the bay and looking out into the restoration sites, I also couldn’t help but notice the glowing stems of vibrant willows. Naturally occurring in consistently wet areas, UBNA just seems to glow and you can’t help but stop and admire them especially on a sunny day. UBNA is home to several species of willow, but the Pacific Willow stands out the most.

In the managed landscape, there are several species and cultivated varieties of Salix that are highly attractive. Salix alba, a European species, comes to mind along with the cultivars ‘Golden Curls’ and ‘Scarlet Curls’ derived as hybrids from S. matsudama ‘Tortuosa’, the famous “corkscrew willow”. These plants are fast growing and are often best coppiced in the winter or late springtime to get the slimmest stems with the most intense color the following year. This is achieved by taking down the shrub to about 6-10 inches tall and allowing new growth to develop from the base.

Common Name: Pacific Willow
Family: Salicaceae
Location: Union Bay Natural Area
Origin: Pacific Northwest Native
Height and spread: 20-30ft. high and 10-15ft. wide.
Bloom Time: Late winter

Are Weddings Allowed at the UW Botanic Gardens?

January 10th, 2012 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

Answer:  Yes!  Weddings and all social events are a natural fit at the beautiful Center for Urban Horticulture (CUH) and Washington Park Arboretum (WPA).   Weddings and many other social events are booked months, even a year, in advance at both of these sites.

NHS Hall photo

Imagine your wedding reception at the beautiful and affordable UW Botanic Gardens

Our wedding packages include tables, chairs, catering kitchen, parking and staffing.  The surrounding gardens and patios further enhance your event and are included in the package.  Other social event rental packages such as memorial services, auctions and parties are available – ask our reservationists for pricing tailored to your event.

Where would a wedding or other event take place?

Answer:  We have two sites to choose from.  The CUH is a distinctive Northwest event destination with a hall, classrooms and outdoor spaces that can be configured for conferences, weddings, meetings, exhibits, auctions and more conveniently located just blocks from the University of Washington (UW) main campus and the University Village shopping center.  The Graham Visitor Center is a unique urban woodland destination with a hall, classroom, conference room and outdoor patio for weddings, meetings, parties and more located in the 230-acre WPA amongst the UW’s collection of plans from around the world.

Arboretum wedding photo

Perfect for an intimate party

To book your wedding or other social event for 2012 or beyond, please contact the Rental Team to discuss your plans, available dates and personal site visit.  Please phone 206-221-2500 or 616-3994.  We look forward to working with you to plan a truly memorable event!

Book Your Events Now for 2012 at UW Botanic Gardens!

January Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

January 9th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected Cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum for the month of January 2012

1)  Hamamalis mollis    (Chinese Witch-hazel)

  • Hamamelis mollis is a species of witch-hazel native to central and eastern China.
  • It is the most fragrant of all witch-hazels and worth growing for that characteristic alone. It is disease resistant and easy to grow.
  • Located in the Witt Winter Garden.

2)  Hamamalis x intermedia ‘Hiltingbury’

  • Hamamelis x intermedia hybrids are crosses between Japanese witch hazel (H. japonica) and
    Chinese witch-hazel (H. mollis).
  • The brilliant orange, coppery, scarlet and red fall colors of this large spreading shrub are
    striking; its early spring flowers are pale copper, suffused with red.
  • Located in the Witt Winter Garden.

3)  Rhododendron bureavii

  • R. bureavii occurs in the wild in two fairly limited areas in northern Yunnan,
    China, in open pine forest and rhododendron thickets. Discovered by Père Delavay in
  • Its handsome glossy dark green leaves are thickly felted with rusty-brown, very noticeable
    on the young growth.
  • Located at the top of Rhododendron Glen, near the hydrangeas.

4)  Rhododendron degronianum

  • Growth habit is very tight and compact with deep glossy green leaves that are covered on the
    undersides with soft, fawn-colored indumentum.
  • Located by the upper pond in the Rhododendron Glen.

5) Rhododendron galactinum

  • Native to Sichuan, China; discovered and introduced by E.H. Wilson in 1908.
  • Has large leathery leaves, up to 20 cm. long, with a buff-gray or cinnamon-brown indumentum
  • Located on the upper trail near the top of Loderi Valley.

Resolve to Learn Gardening Skills in 2012

January 4th, 2012 by UWBG Communication Staff

photo by S. Jeter
Landscape design, tree identification, pruning and creating mosiac stepping stones are just a few of the many continuing education classes offered this winter and spring at the UW Botanic Gardens.

Take a look at the complete list of classes for home gardeners and professionals and register online.

Willing to trade your time and sweat for plant care knowledge? Work side-by-side with skilled UWBG gardeners at one of the many volunteer drop-in work parties.

volunteer photo