Get Outside this Year!

May 30th, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Looking to spend more time outside, but don’t know exactly what to do?

Come and learn at our upcoming classes, “Sharing Nature with Your Children”, and “Grow Your Own Organic Food”.

  Sharing Nature with Your Children

 

 

Kids enjoying a day at Mt. Rainier! Photo Credit Julie Luthy

Kids enjoying a day at Mt. Rainier! Photo Credit Julie Luthy

Do your kids complain about being bored all summer? Do they sit in front of the TV and watch shows and play video games all day? Do you wish that they would get out and explore the world, like you did as a kid?

Join naturalist Julie Luthy for a morning filled with fun activities and nature tidbits that will amaze you and your children.  A classroom introduction will be followed by a session of putting the ideas into action outside in the Arboretum, so dress for the weather and get ready for some innovative outdoor exploration.

If you’ve ever had difficulty getting your kids to hike, play or explore outside; don’t miss this!

Time: Saturday, June 8, from 9-11am
Graham Visitors Center at the Washington Park Arboretum
2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle, 98112

Cost: $35; $40 after June 2

Register Online
Or call (206)685-8033 to register over the phone!

 

 

 Grow Your Own Organic Food

Peas ready to go up the trellis.

Peas ready to go up the trellis.

 There is nothing better than a homegrown tomato, ripe, red and warm from the sun, sliced with some olive oil and salt on a bed of your own lettuce, in colors that you would never find at the grocery store! Does this sound delicious to you? You can make it all happen with the right knowledge.

Not only is homegrown food fresher, but you know exactly where it came from, and how it was grown. It’s cheaper than buying produce at the market too!

Take this class to learn the tricks of the trade, including using recycled materials, container and limited space gardening techniques, and urban pest control. You’ll be enjoying your harvest in no time!

Time: Saturday, June 8, from 1-3pm
Douglas Classroom at the Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, 98195

Cost: $25; $30 after June 2

Register Online
Or call (206)685-8033 to register over the phone!

Can't get much fresher than this!

Can’t get much fresher than this!


Share

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

May 23rd, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (May 13 - 26, 2013)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (May 13 – 26, 2013)


 
 
 
1)   Aesculus x carnea    ‘Fort McNair’

  • A hybrid between A. pavia and A. hippocastanum, it probably originated as a chance hybrid made by insects in 19th-century Germany.
  • Selected at the fort of the same name in Washington, D.C., flowers are pink with a yellow throat.
  • It can be found on Azalea Way, across from the Woodland Garden.

 
 

Close-up view of the unusual orange flowers of the Buddleja globosa

Close-up view of the unusual orange flowers of the Buddleja globosa

2)   Buddleja globosa

  • A species of flowering plant endemic to Chile and Argentina, where it grows in dry and moist forest.
  • It can be found at both ends of the Arboretum at the Holmdahl Rockery and in the Graham Visitor Center parking lot.

 

3)   Embothrium coccineum   (Chilean Fire tree)

  • A small evergreen tree from the temperate forests of Chile and Argentina.
  • The plant was introduced to Europe by William Lobb during his plant collecting expedition to the Valdivian temperate rain forests in 1845–1848. It was described by Kew Gardens thusly: “Perhaps no tree cultivated in the open air in the British Isles gives so striking and brilliant a display as this does.”
  • There are several small specimens in the Chilean Gateway, and one large one just north of the bus turnaround on Arboretum Drive.

4)  Rhododendron x  ‘Favor Major’

  • Hybridized by L. De Rothschild, the founder of Exbury Gardens in the United Kingdom.
  • A beautiful orange Azalea, located on Arboretum Drive at the Rhododendron Glen parking lots.

5)  Syringa josikaea   (Hungarian Lilac)

  • A species of lilac native to central and eastern Europe, in the Carpathian Mountains in Hungary, Romania, and western Ukraine.
  • Located in the Syringa Collection on Azalea Way, just south of the Woodland Garden.
Share

Another Beautiful Flower

May 19th, 2013 by Catherine Nelson, Adult Tours Program Assistant
Calycanthus x raulstonii 'Hartlage Wine'

X Sinocalycalycanthus raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’

With the majority of our Rhododendron collection blooming right now, many other blossoming plants can be overshadowed – like this small shrub, the X Sinocalycalycanthus raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’ which sits outside the Graham Visitors Center.

These gorgeous dark maroon flowers caught my eye the other day. The Sinocalycalycanthus is a deciduous shrub that likes sun/part shade, can be a vigorous grower (though not taller than 8′), and bears long lasting flowers in the spring. The cultivar ‘Hartlage Wine’ is fairly new to gardens, it is a cross between a SE US species and a Chinese species. Although the 3″-4″ flowers last a long time, they do not bear the scent of their parent plants. The common name for these plants is Allspice, although they are not related to the pepper bearing Allspice which is the genus Pimenta. Free weekend walks for the month of May will feature many special flowers in our collection.

Share

Bioblitz 2013 – What’s hatching in the Arboretum?

May 15th, 2013 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan
Northwestern Salamander eggs discovered by our guest herpetologists from the PNW Herpetological Society.

Northwestern Salamander eggs discovered by our guest herpetologists from the PNW Herpetological Society.

May is a vibrant month at the UWBG’s Washington Park Arboretum.  The show that the Olmstead Bros. firm had in mind when they designed Azalea Way back in the 1920’s reaches maximum glory as fading cherry blossoms hand over the reins to innumerable phonograph-shaped blooms that wall the 1/2 mile promenade.  It’s easy to be swept up in the colors and scents of spring, so gaudy and distracting, but there is vibrancy beyond the blooms as well.  The soil has reached a consistent warmth, the night time air has lost its bite and everywhere is teaming with insects.  They’ve timed their reappearance perfectly with the lime-green growth in the park, as have the bats, birds and frogs to eat them.  What better time to hold a bioblitz.

 May 10th/11th marked our third full-on blitz, and our second spring-time one.  (We’re on an 18-month spring/fall cycle).  The inaugural UWBG Bioblitz took place around this same time of year in 2010 and focused on the north end, Foster Island.  Our focus this time was on the middle third of our 230 acres – the heart of our “native matrix”.

The "green zone".

The “green zone”.

Jenni Cena & Liam Stacey, guest entomologists, examine a catch

Jenni Cena & Liam Stacey, guest entomologists, examine a catch

Declaring a focal area is pretty arbitrary speaking to birders and mammal trackers – they cover as much territory as their quarry.  For the entomologists I tagged along with during the first taxa team shift on Friday afternoon, however, we’d hardly left the greenhouse before the Siren’s song crashed us on a grove of cedars to pick and dig and shake and catch.  They indulged and in the process trained their few citizen-scientist tagalongs, and then I pried them away to plunk them in the “green zone”, a 200,000 sq. ft. square in the middle third.  We made it through about 1.5 of the 100′ x 100′ grid squares on our map.

 

Greg Vargas and other UW students use clinometers to approximate the height of a large redcedar in our "Native Matrix"

Greg Vargas and other UW students use clinometers to approximate the height of a large redcedar in our “Native Matrix”

The plant team was moving at a similar pace because this year we decided to do something a little different.  The WPA has within it’s collection around 10,400 specimens.  We have information on all of them, information like where they came from, when they were planted, by whom, etc.  Also within the WPA, however, are acres of more or less natural areas, our “native matrix” comprised of big old native trees that regrew from seed after the site was last harvested in 1896.  About these trees, we have very little information.

So for bioblitz, we teamed up with Lisa Ceicko from Forterra to begin an inventory of our native trees using i-Tree protocols.  I-Tree is a program that when you enter in some basic data like tree type, diameter, height, etc., it spits out numbers representing various ecosystem services that a given tree is providing.  King County (also with Lisa’s help) is in the midst of completing their Integrated Urban Forest Assessment aimed to determine how much carbon is being sequestered, air/water  being purified, habitat provided, etc. by Seattle’s trees using the same program.  We aim to do the same with our big old natives.  During Bioblitz, we made it through almost three grid squares…only 592 more to go.

After that first shift it was time for dinner and a lecture with this year’s guest speaker, Paul Bannick.  If you haven’t seen Paul speak, you should, but regardless, you’ve ever opened up a bird book, you’ve probably seen his photographs as his work is featured in all the good ones.  His book, The Owl & the Woodpecker, inspired a traveling exhibit created by the Burke Museum and he’s won a couple really big awards over the past few years, one from Audubon Magazine the other from Canon.  His talk and slideshow focused on owls, and gave those in attendance a glimpse into his next book.  It was both fascinating and beautiful.

Paul Bannick's talk was filled with extraordinary shots like this one.

Michelle Noe of Bats Northwest, shares her passion for these misunderstood creatures of the night

Michelle Noe of Bats Northwest, shares her passion for these misunderstood creatures of the night

After the talk, half of the next taxa team shift focused on owls as well, the other half, bats.  There lives within the WPA a pair of resident Barred Owls.  They’ve been seen here consistently for the past several years and they’ve reared several successful broods.  It’s nesting season right now, and we know where they’re nesting.  Despite all this, however, the owl team got skunked.  Not even a “who cooks for you”.  The bat team, on the other hand, led by members from Bats Northwest, fared much better.  With their sonar equipment, they recorded hundreds if not thousands of these misunderstood echo-locators, mostly Silver-haired Bats.  I learned that there are 15 bat species in Washington State, 13 of whom live west of the Cascades.  We fear bats for their blood-sucking reputation, yet only 3 species worldwide actually suck blood, and two of those target birds.  Ironically, without bats, we’d lose countless more blood to mosquitoes.  Bats eat 40% of their body weight in insects per night, and as an added bonus they help pollinate night blooming flowers (such as agave for making tequila).

Saturday started with some early morning bird teams (one by land and one by kayaks provided by Agua Verde Paddle Club), a plant team and a mammal tracking team.  The kayakers were happy to see a Spotted Sandpiper as well as a Pied Billed Grebe nest floating on some lily pads.  The land-lubbers were happy to see the owls.  The tracker, Linda Bittle from the Wilderness Awareness School, was just happy to be out of the office.  The day continued with more of the same plus a couple spider team outings with Rod Crawford and one lonely mushroom team.  Sunny springs can be tough on mushrooms and there were several great events competing for mushroom folk attention – a lecture from local legend Paul Stamets Friday night, and Mushroom Mania at the Burke.  We look forward to another fungus-blitz this fall to give this taxa its deserved attention.  And we look forward to continuing our bioblitz tradition for many years to come.  We hope to see you at the next one, and in the meantime, we’ll be doing what we can from a management perspective to sustain and increase the biodiversity in this gem of the Emerald City.

A stinkhorn fungus discovered by our mushroom taxa team Saturday afternoon.

A stinkhorn fungus discovered by our mushroom taxa team Saturday afternoon.

Jonathan Goff and Mallory Clarke from the Cascade Mammal Trackers examine tracks in a tunnel under the Broadmore fence.

Jonathan Goff and Mallory Clarke from the Cascade Mammal Trackers examine tracks in a tunnel under the Broadmore fence.


Share

“The Life of Owls” with Paul Bannick

May 6th, 2013 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

Join internationally acclaimed photographer, Paul Bannick, at the Washington Park Arboretum May 10, Friday evening from 7pm-8pm for a visual and auditory exploration of the life of North American Owls. With his stunning photographs, Paul will walk us through all four seasons and all 19 species of owls while touching on their interdependence with other plants and animals.

Paul is this year’s guest speaker at Bioblitz 2013. The fee to attend is $8 per person.

Online registration is now closed. You may pay at the door with cash (exact change), check, or Visa/MaterCard.

When: May 10th 2013, 7pm – 8pm

Where: UWBG’s Washington Park Arboretum, in the Graham Visitors Center
Cost: $8 per person

Snowy__Owl_Bannick

 

Share

May Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

May 5th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (April 29, 2013 - May 12, 2013)

1)   Acer circinatum (Vine maple)

  • Taken for granted around here, this time of year our vine maple is most eye-catching in flower.
  • Located throughout our native matrix as a deciduous forest understory tree.
  • Vine maple is native to the North American west coast from British Columbia to California.

2)   Acer cissifolium   (Vine-leaf maple)

  • Despite their similar common names, vine maple and vine-leaf maple could hardly be more different. The Acer cissifolium leaf is compound, composed of three leaflets; Acer circinatum has almost round leaves. The flowers of Acer cissifolium have four petals (unusual for a maple) and are arranged in racemes while those of Acer circinatum are five-petaled and in panicles.
  • Acer cissifolium is native to Japan. In the Arboretum, it is located in Rhododendron Glen (12-3E) and in the Asiatic Maples (27-B).

3)   Broussonetia kazinoki

  • The inner bark is prized in Japan for making high-quality paper.
  • A related species Broussonetia paperifera (paper mulberry) is used for paper from Myanmar to Japan and in Polynesia for the paper-like “tapa cloth”.
  • The fruit begin to develop before the flowers produce pollen.
  • Our Broussonetia is north of the Winter Garden in 35-3E and 36-2E.

4)   Rhododendron augustinii

  • Provides the mauve backdrop for the beds along Azalea Way and in Rhododendron Glen.
  • One of many plants discovered by and named for Augustine Henry in western China.

5)   Viburnum macrocephalum

  • A China native introduced by Robert Fortune in 1844.
  • Located in the Pacific Connections China Entry Garden.
Share

May 2013 Plant Profile: Pacific Coast Irises

May 3rd, 2013 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

Iris 'Ami Royale'The Pacific Northwest is home to a remarkable assortment of plants that are the envy of other gardeners across the country and the Pacific Coast Iris hybrids are among them.

With their remarkable 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 Iris hybrids are comprised of several species that exist throughout the west coast of Washington, Oregon and California. While straight 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″ tall and are wonderful planted in perennial beds and the ever-so-difficult spot of planting underneath a tree! Given time to establish, they are remarkably drought-tolerant and easy to care for.

photo 2(1)

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. It’s actually a division from a clump that’s growing at the Washington Park Arboretum where not many people get to see and enjoy it. This is a selection named ‘Ami Royale’.

 

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

Share

Urban Forest Symposium Line-up

May 2nd, 2013 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor

The 5th Annual Urban Forest Symposium is just eleven days away. Take a look at the final schedule below. Please note the new end time of 4:30pm.

A limited number of seats are still available. Lunch ordering will be available until Wednesday, May 8.

Register Here

Visit http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/news/urban-forest/ for the latest news!

2013 Urban Forest Symposium: Trees and Views
Monday, May 13, 2013

AGENDA

8:15 – 9:00   Check-in

9:00 – 9:15   Welcome and introductions
Cass Turnbull, founder of PlantAmnesty

9:15 – 10:00 The Aesthetics of Views
Kathleen Day, landscape consultant, ASLA, LEED AP BD+C, ISA Certified Arborist
Kathleen Day has more than twenty years of experience combining the art and science of landscape architecture, arboriculture and horticulture.

10:00–10:30 Break – Merrill Commons

10:30–11:15 Trees, Views, and Slope Stability
Elliott Menashe, Owner of Greenbelt Consulting
Elliott Menashe has published the standard for shore management guidance and is the originator of the “Biostructural Engineering” approach to slope stabilization, which combines structural, bio-technical and vegetative elements to restore slopes and reduce erosion.

11:15–12:00 Valuing Trees and Views
Kathleen Day, landscape consultant, ASLA, LEED AP BD+C, ISA
Lisa Ciecko, Green Cities Project Manager, Forterra
Phillip Sit, King County Department of Assessments
Bob Melvey, Assistant Manager, Windermere Real Estate NW / Inc.

12:00–12:45 Lunch – Merrill Commons.
Thank you to our lunch sponsors:  The Davey Tree Expert Company, Seattle Tree Preservation, Inc., Thundering Oak Enterprises, and Trees for Life

12:45–1:30   Views and Laws: Covenants, Ordinances and Trespass to Trees, Part I
Randall S. Stamen, Attorney
Randall S. Stamen is an attorney and an ISA Certified Arborist. He practices law throughout California and provides green industry legal services, including: the development of litigation prevention measures; the drafting of contracts; litigation representation; consulting; and, acting as a mediator and negotiator.

1:30 – 2:00   Policies and Views
Craig Salzman, Code Enforcement Officer, City of Kirkland
Dan DeWald, Natural Resource Manager for Bellevue Parks & Community Services

Mark Mead, Senior Urban Forester for Seattle Parks and Recreation

2:00 – 2:20   Break – Merrill Commons

2:20 – 3:30   Views and Laws: Covenants, Ordinances and Trespass to Trees, Part II
David Brenner, Attorney
Baker v. Olerud tree/view case in Clyde Hill. Case study and implications for the future.

Barri Kaplan Bonapart, founder of Bonapart & Associates and Bonapart Resolution, Sausalito, CA
Barri Bonapart is a nationally recognized attorney, mediator, and arbitrator with nearly three decades of experience helping people resolve tree and neighbor disputes (see www.treelaw.com and www.got-peace.com for more information).  She will explain the laws governing trespass and wrongful cutting of trees and will also discuss the use of mediation in resolving tree issues in general and view disputes in particular.

Matthew York, Assistant City Attorney, East Precinct Liaison, City of Seattle

Shawn Crowley, Law Office of Shawn Crowley LLC
Previous Staff Attorney with The Defender Association

3:30 – 4:25   Speakers Panel
Randall S. Stamen, Attorney
Barri Kaplan Bonapart, Attorney
Elliot Menashe, Owner of Greenbelt Consulting
Dan DeWald, Natural Resource Manager for Bellevue Parks & Community Services
* Other speakers will be seated in the front row and available to comment as needed.

4:25 – 4:30   Wrap-up
Cass Turnbull, founder of PlantAmnesty

 

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS:

City of Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment
West Seattle Garden Tour

and Our Supporters:

The Davey Tree Expert Co.
Thundering Oak Enterprises
Seattle Tree Preservation, Inc.
Windermere Ballard
SvR Design Company
Trees for Life

 

Share