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

June 21st, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (June 17 - 30, 2013)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum  (June 17 – 30, 2013)

1)  Callistemon sieberi            (Alpine Bottlebrush)

  • This small, spreading shrub is currently showing off its creamy-yellow flowers in bottlebrush-like spikes.
  • Native to Australia, C. sieberi can be found along the footpath of the Australian Entry Garden within the Pacific Connections Garden.

2)  Cytisus battandieri            (Pineapple Broom)

  • Sometimes referred to as Argyrocytisus, this genus of Brooms fall within the family, Fabaceae.
  • Native to Morocco, C. battandieri is an upright tree-like shrub with pineapple-scented flowers.
  • Located on the east side of Arboretum Drive in the Legumes.

3)  Liriodendron tulipfera         (Tulip Tree)

  • A member of the family Magnoliaceae, Liriodendron is a genus of two deciduous trees, L. chinense and L. tulipfera.
  • The solitary, cup-shaped flowers, inconspicuous from a distance, add interest in summer, but are not produced on young plants.
  • Located in the Magnolias, these cuttings came from a tree over 100 feet tall.

4)  Staphylea pinnata             (European Bladdernut)

  • The flowers of this upright shrub have come and gone, but it is the curious bladder-like fruit now on display.
  • Located near Azalea Way amongst the True Ashes.

5)  Tsuga sieboldii                (South Japan Hemlock)

  • Glossy, dark green foliage and smooth, dark gray bark give this tree some distinction within its genus.
  • This Tsuga can be found between the Woodland Garden and the top of Loderi Valley.

Summer Hours at the Miller Library

June 12th, 2013 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer

summersunSummer is just around the corner, and with it comes summer hours at the Miller Library. The library will be opening at noon on Mondays (instead of 9am) starting June 17. Monday morning hours resume on September 23. We will be closed Saturdays, starting July 6. Saturday hours will resume September 7. We will also be closed July 4th and 5th for Independence Day.

June Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

June 10th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (June 3 - 16, 2013)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum  (June 3 – 16, 2013)

1)  Illicium henryi     (Henry’s Star Anise)

  • This Chinese Illicium is a standout of the genus, as most anise have white or cream-colored flowers.
  • I. henryi can be found along the foot path of the Sino-Himalayan Hillside as well as along the Ridgetop Trail, just west of the Magnolia Collection.

2)  Kalmia latifolia     (Mountain Laurel)

  • This under-used Rhododendron relative is native to the eastern United States.
  • The color of the closed flower buds is often completely different from the open flower color, which ranges from white to deep red, often with a distinctive band inside.
  • There are several cultivars of K. latifolia in the Woodland Garden.

3)  Leptospermum scoparium     (Manuka, New Zealand Tea Tree)

  • The bloom of manuka is profuse and long lasting.
  • Captain Cook supposedly brewed tea for his crew using manuka, which is rich in vitamin C.
  • Specimens can be found in the Australian portion of the Pacific Connections Garden.

4)  Quercus robur  ‘Concordia’     (Golden English Oak)

  • The golden color of the young growth fades to green as the leaf ages.
  • Our specimen can be seen on Azalea Way just south of the Graham Visitors Center.

5)  Rhododendron  ‘Teddy Bear’

  • This cultivar of Rhododendron is a cross between R. bureavii and R. degronianum ssp. yakushimanum.
  • The thin white indumentum on the upper side of the leaf goes away in time, while the thick indumentum of the underside remains and turns brown.
  • This Rhododendron can be found in the Puget Sound Rhododendron Hybridizers Garden along Azalea Way.

A Walk in the Park

June 10th, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Come with us for a walk in the park…conscientious gardener

Join Dr. Sarah Reichard, UW Botanic Gardens Director, and author of The Conscientious Gardener, for a discussion of her book and a walk through Washington Park Arboretum.

Discover how routine gardening practices can harm both local and distant ecosystems and how you can manage your own garden to minimize detrimental effects on the environment. Learn how to sustainably and responsibly control pests, conserve water, and improve your soil.

Dr. Reichard has practical tips that will help you become a Conscientious Gardener!

Saturday, June 29, 9-11am

Cost: $15; $20 after June 22nd

UW Botanic Gardens
Washington Park Arboretum
Graham Visitors Center
2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle, 98112

Other upcoming classes:

Can you grow interesting plants in the shade?
Is there such a thing as too many plants?
What does a lavender farm look (and smell!) like?
What can you do to help your poor overgrown yard recover from an invasive takeover?
We can help!  We have the answers to all these questions and more. Stop in for one of our fascinating plant classes.

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


Perennials: After the Shade

Carrie Becker showing off a private garden.

Carrie Becker showing off a private garden.

2-part class: Wednesday, June 19th, 7:00 – 8:30pm, and Saturday, June 22nd, 1:00 – 3:30pm
Cost: $50; $60 after June 16

Is your formerly sunny garden becoming shady with maturing trees and shrubs? Or do you have areas of existing shade? This class will teach you how to plant for shade and still have beautiful enduring plants from early spring through fall. Learn to love the shade!
Saturday’s class will be a field trip to a Northwest Seattle private (shady!)  garden.

UW Botanic Gardens
Center for Urban Horticulture
Douglas Classroom
3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, WA 98105


Summer Propagation

Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 7 – 8pm
Cost: Free!
( Pre-registration required.) Suggested donation ~$5 at the door.

There are a lot of good reasons to make more plants of the ones you already grow and love:  fill empty spots in your own garden, gift to friends, contribute to plant sales, maybe even just have cheap fun in your garden.  Whatever your reasons, this program will demonstrate a variety of techniques that can be used in early summer including division and cuttings as well as discuss materials and resources that will contribute to your success.  Join Master Gardener Kay Gordon as she shares experiences from her own garden.

UW Botanic Gardens
Center for Urban Horticulture
Douglas Classroom
3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, WA 98105

Lavender Farm Tour

Wednesday, July 17th from 1-2:30

Lavender in full bloom at the Woodinville Lavender farm.

Lavender in full bloom at the Woodinville Lavender farm.

Cost: $20; $25 after July 10

Master Gardener Tom Frei has been working with his wife and children to develop Woodinville Lavender since 2008. They are currently growing over 3000 plants and 25 varieties at a farm overlooking the Sammamish Valley.

Tom will discuss the history, botany, selection, care, and uses of lavender and lead us on a tour of the sustainable and organic gardens. Lavender refreshments will be provided. The 3rd week of July is the peak time for lavender blooms so don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity!

Woodinville Lavender Farm
14223 Woodinville Redmond Rd NE
Redmond WA 98052


Backyard Restoration

Let's get rid of the ivy!

Let’s get rid of the ivy!

Saturday, July 27, 2013, 9:30am – 2pm
Cost: $50; $60 after July 20

Want to stop your yard from being swallowed up by unsightly ivy? Tired of being scratched by thorny blackberries? Join this workshop to jump start your backyard restoration efforts. Learn the common invasive species in Seattle, how to remove and dispose of them, and how to keep them from coming back. We will also touch on good plants to replace invasive species and how to work safely on steep slopes.

UW Botanic Gardens
Center for Urban Horticulture
Douglas Classroom
3501 NE 41st, Seattle, WA 98195

Burnscapes – Paintings by Suze Woolf on Exhibit

June 6th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

photoArtist Suze Woolf meditates on climate change and forest fires with her series of paintings known as Burnscapes. Recent work from this series will be on exhibit in the Miller Library June 6 through August 30th.

Learn by Doing: Volunteer at the Botanic Gardens

June 6th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff
camp photo

Junior Summer Camp Guides at the Arboretum learn leadership skills and environmental knowledge.

We need your help! We depend on volunteers to keep our gardens looking beautiful, our plant records up to date and the kids programs running smoothly.

Want to get involved, get some work experience, meet new people, have fun? Apply online today!

  • WPA Junior Summer Camp Guides are  high school or college students who teach the little kids about the environment and help keep summer camp running smoothly. Junior Garden Guide Job Description (doc).
  • Plant Records Assistant help with documenting and mapping our living plant collections at the Washington Park Arboretum.
  • Arboretum Visitor Center Front Desk Assistant greets visitors and answers questions. Share your passion about the Arboretum in this position.

These positions and many more are listed on the UWBG Volunteer page.

June 2013 Plant Profile: Lilium ‘Tiger Babies’

June 6th, 2013 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

Tiger Babies

Striking elegance with remarkable hardiness and vigor, this lily has withstood the test of time and is considered a classic amongst lily growers worldwide. ‘Tiger Babies’ is a complex hybrid that was bred from the often virus-infected “tiger lily” (Lilium lacifolium). Breeding has made it virus free and a welcomed summer-flowering bulb each year.

Soft shades of cantaloupe orange blushed with pink as they open with heavy brown spots color the pendant, nodding flowers that have a very slight scent to them.  They have strong stems and do not require staking and they are quick to multiply compared to many other lily Asiatic lilies.

Common Name: Tiger Babies Asiatic Lily
Location: Soest Garden – Bed 6
Origin: Garden Origin
Height and Spread: 3-4′  high x 1ft. wide
Bloom Time:  June