Art Exhibit: Handmade tiles from Artisan Tile NW group

July 31st, 2013 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

An artisan tile is like a colorful hybrid of sculpture and painting. The Artisan Tile NW group will have handmade tiles on exhibit in the Elisabeth C. Miller Library from September 4 to October 28th 2013. There will be a free public reception on Friday, Sep. 13th from 5 to 7pm. All the tiles will be for sale with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Library.

A sample of tile styles that will be on exhibit Sep. 4 – Oct. 28, 2013 in the Miller Library.

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Salal, a summer beauty

July 31st, 2013 by Catherine Nelson, Adult Tours Program Assistant
Gaultheria shallon

Gaultheria shallon

In the midst of our dry NW summer, while many plants look worse for wear, our native evergreen Salal shrubs, Gaultheria shallon, are shiny and healthy. Salal flowers in the spring with pinkish-white bell-shaped flowers in groups of 5-15 on racemes; very similar to the Pieris japonica flower. Both plants are in the Ericacea family. The Salal shrub can grown to 16′ tall and forms a dense mass that creates habitat and food for local birds and animals. It is a coniferous forest understory plant that is widespread in lower, coastal elevations.
Salal is used world-wide in floral arrangements for its long lasting fresh evergreen foliage and is harvested locally in a multimillion dollar industry. However, the harvesting of the foliage in the wild is protected by the US Forest Service by issuance of permits – this is to save our native plant from over harvesting and ensure its continuance in the wild.
The name Salal is derived from the Chinook language. The small sweet blue colored berries, which are ripe right now, were harvested and eaten by the local Salish peoples; consumed as a fresh fruit in summer, used to sweeten fish roes and soups, and mixed with fish oil and dried in cakes for winter consumption (an early version of fruit leather).
Salal is one of the NW native plants that will be featured in August’s Free Weekend Walks at the Washington Park Arboretum.

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Art in the Garden

July 29th, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Maybe you don’t have the greenest thumb. Your tomatoes refuse to ripen and your roses won’t bloom. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the botanical world. You might have to go about it a little differently! Try out one of our upcoming Garden Craft series or learn how to capture the plant world in pencil or silks.

Interested? Call 206.685.8033 with questions or register online!

Garden Craft: Potato Printmaking

potato print
Saturday, September 7, 10am – 12pm
Early-bird discount $25; $30 after September 14

If glass isn’t your thing, try Potato Printmaking! Use potatoes (or yams, or sweet potatoes!) to create sophisticated and elegant prints for paper and cloth. Print on plain wrapping paper for a unique gift or bring a plain tablecloth to embellish. The possibilities are endless! At the very least, you will take home your own custom printed tea towel.

Botanical Drawing

Catherine Hovanic
7-part course
: Tuesdays, 7-9:30pm, starting October 1 and ending November 12
Early Bird Discount $230; $260 after September 24.

If you are looking for something a little more technical, sign up for our Botanical Drawing series of classes. With nothing but a pencil, learn to create beautiful, detailed and accurate botanical drawings. Beginners are welcome; many start with sketch an egg or a pepper, before moving onto more complicated subjects such as artichokes and coleus leaves.

 

Botanical Silks

Vorobik scarf
Saturday, November 2, 9am – 5pm
Early-bird discount $150; $175 after November 16

And finally, if you are looking for gifts for the hard to buy people in your life, why not give hand -dyed and painted silk scarves? Join local artist Linda Ann Vorobik for a day-long workshop on fabric. Learn how to make beautiful botanical designs on silk, while making your own small silk to take home.

 

Garden Craft: Hanging Glass

glass art5
Unfortunately, this class scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2013, 9 – 11am, has been cancelled due to low registration. We plan to hold the class again in December. Please check back for scheduling updates.

Learn the basics of creating reclaimed glass art. Using nothing but glass and wire (and the occasional bead!), you can create whimsical outdoor ornaments or sun catchers that will impress your family, friends and neighbors. Class participants will be able to design and create their own small piece, while learning how to do it at home.

 

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SPRAY NOTIFICATION: Garden Loosestrife, Initial Treatments July 26 through August 9

July 26th, 2013 by UWBG Horticulturist

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UW Botanic Gardens has commenced its 5th and final year of the 5yr Dept. of Ecology, Garden Loostrife eradication project.

Our contractor, NW Aquatic Eco-Systems, has scheduled initial  spray applications to commence on July 26 and continue through first week of August.  There will be a final follow-up application in September.

Postings of project and current spray schedules include:

  • Waterfront Activity Center
  • UBNA kiosk
  • Slough bridge sign in E5 parking lot
  • Yesler Swamp Kiosk
  • UBNA loop trail, east-end
  • All Arboretum boat landings
  • Arboretum Waterfront Trail Entrances (Foster Island and old MOHAI )
  • D.O.T. park-n-ride lot off of 520 Lake WA Blvd exit ramp

Lysimachia vulgaris, Garden Loosestrife, a non-native wetland species is invasive in this area. State listed as a class B noxious weed, it requires control by the land manager UW Botanic Gardens as mandated by King County Noxious Weed Control Board.

Treatment includes:

  •  Approximately 5 miles of shoreline property bordering Union Bay including Foster and Marsh Islands in the Washington Park Arboretum
  • An initial and follow up spray application to occur between July 15 and October 1
  •  Both shoreline and land side application of the herbicide Habitat (imazapyr), a selective broadleaf herbicide.
    •  Non toxic to fish and their food web.
    •  No significant risk to birds or mammals

For more information about this project, please call 206-897-1642 or 206-543-8800.

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

July 18th, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (July 15 - 31, 2013)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum   (July 15-31, 2013)

“Quirky Oaks”

1)   Quercus x bushii ‘Seattle Trident’
(Seattle Trident Hybrid Red Oak)

  • Cultivar of a Black Oak and Blackjack Oak hybrid.
  • Developed in Sir Hillier Gardens and Arboretum in England from scion wood collected at Washington Park Arboretum.
  • Located in the Oak Collection, northwest of Azalea Way service road intersection.

2)   Quercus dentata     (Daimyo Oak)

  • Asian native (China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia)
  • Develops an unusually large leaf; occasionally used as a vegetable in native range.
  • Located in the Oak Collection on hillside near Foster Island Road.

3)   Quercus macrocarpa       (Bur Oak)

  • Native to Eastern and Midwestern U.S.
  • Develops a distinct broad canopy as tree matures.
  • Located in the Oak Collection along ridge west of Azalea Way.

4)   Quercus muhlenbergii      (Chinquapin Oak)

  • Broad, native range spanning from New England to northeast Mexico.
  • Large, slow growing tree with chestnut-like foliage.
  • Located in the Oak Collection along ridge west of Azalea Way, north of the Bur Oak.

5)   Quercus pontica      (Armenian Oak)

  • Native to the Caucasus Mountain region of Eastern Europe.
  • Shrubby oak: leaves on new wood remain evergreen, yet older wood becomes deciduous.
  • Located in the Oak Collection near entrance to the Graham Visitor’s Center.
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Take Back Your Backyard!

July 18th, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant
Removing Ivy on a Steep Slope

Removing Ivy on a Steep Slope

Overgrown yard got you down?

Does the dog keep getting lost in the ivy?

Are you tired of not being able to see to the end of the yard?

Learn how to take control of your unruly backyard in this Saturday class. Instructor Rodney Pond will introduce you to the invasive species commonly found in Seattle yards, and show you how to get rid of them (permanently!). In addition, you will learn about what plants will be safe to add to your backyard to return it to the oasis of peace and relaxation it once was.

Are you intimidated by the idea of working on your unruly ravine? This class will also teach home and property owners how to safely remove plants from and work on steep slopes.

Join us for Backyard Restoration!
Saturday, July 27 from 9:30am-2pm
UW Botanic Gardens, Center for Urban Horticulture, Douglas Classroom
3501 NE 41st, Seattle, WA 98195

Cost: $50; $60 after July 20th
Register Online or Call us at (206) 685-8033

 

 

Get crafty with our upcoming Garden Craft Series!

Garden Craft: Hanging Glassglass art1
Saturday, August 24, 9-11am
Cost $55; $60 after August 17

Learn how to create reclaimed glass works of art in this introductory class. Use stained glass and wire to create whimsical pieces for any garden or window and take with you not only your creation, but the knowledge of how to do it at home.

 

 

potato printGarden Craft: Potato Printmaking
Saturday, September 7, 10am-12pm
Cost: $25; $30 after August 31

Think printing with potatoes is just for kids?  Well, kids do enjoy it, but now adults can too! Learn how to print on cloth or paper with any type of potato. Cheap and elegant gifts are at your fingertips! This is an introductory class; all levels and ages are welcome.

 

 

 

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Planting Party in the New Zealand Garden

July 16th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

Placing plantsPacific Connections Garden Stewards made history on June 20th when they planted the New Zealand High Country plants into the new Bollard Garden in the new  forest. They planted several species well over 20 years old. These include Nothofagus solanderi, Griselinia littoralis, Phyllocladus alpinus, Phormium colensoi, and Dodonaea viscosa. In addition to the Bollard Garden (aka The New Zealand High Country Display), the garden will include the Hebe Meadow, the Griselinia Bush, the Mountain Tussock, Snow Tussock, the Silver Beech Forest, the Phormium Fen and the Mountain Beech Zone. It’s looking like the New Zealand Garden is on track to open by September 15, 2013. Here are some pictures that Pacific Connections Steward Rhonda Bush took during the planting project.

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Along Azalea Way with Dennie Fee

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Neil Bonham moving Phormium

 

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July 2013 Plant Profile: Single & Dark-leaf Dahlias

July 12th, 2013 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes
Dahlia 'Bashful'

Dahlia ‘Bashful’

Not many garden plants can challenge the constant bloom and remarkable display dahlias put on in a summer garden. Their extravagant blooms come in a wide selection of different shapes, forms and seemingly endless colors. With thousands of varieties to choose from, I’ve tried to seek out types that are often hard to find and are a little more unusual.
Dark-leafed dahlias are all the rage in Europe, but a limited number are available to avid gardeners and collectors so I wanted to make sure that they were represented in our regularly irrigated sandy clay loam Bed 8 in full hot sun.

Dahlia 'Moonfire'

Dahlia ‘Moonfire’

Dahlias flowers have a tendency to dominate a planting scheme, especially large dinner-plate types that tend to look gaudy and out of scale and the stems always require support. I’ve also sought out varieties that have single flowers and have a more open growth habit so they compliment other plants in a flower bed.

Planted in the spring, dahlias are typically grown from tuberous roots or rooted cuttings. They grow quickly with heat and regular applications of an organic fertilizer. They begin blooming this month and can continue on until frost if one keeps the spent flowers off. Tubers can be left in the ground over winter if you have them growing in soil that drains well and then provide a good thick mulch in the fall. To be on the safe side, tubers may be carefully lifted after frost has zapped the plant and stored in a box with soil  left intact.  Keep them in a cool unheated garage until spring.

Dahlia 'Bishop of York'

Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’

Common Name: Dahlia cultivars
Location: Soest Garden – Bed 8
Origin: Garden Origin
Height and Spread: 2-6′  high x 2ft. wide
Bloom Time:  July-first frost

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A Glimpse Into the Past: Invitations for the CUH Opening

July 11th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

by Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus

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The invitation sent in 1984 to the opening celebration for the Center for Urban Horticulture.

The opening of the Center for Urban Horticulture was an event that captured international attention. The words on the official opening invitation stated,

This is the first department of its kind in the country. Pioneering research on plants used in cities benefits urban landscapes everywhere. The department’s teaching and public service programs are valuable resources for the Northwest. The Center’s fifty-two acre campus is being built entirely by private donations.

Shown in the photograph are several parts of the official invitation for its formal opening on September 27, 1984. Note that it was hand-written by Mrs. Pendleton (Elisabeth Carey) Miller, who was the prime organizer of the event. Also noteworthy are the guests who were listed on the invitation. They are Governor John Spellman, renowned plantsman Peter Coats, UW President William Gerberding, Provost George Beckman, Retired UW President Charles Odegaard; Director Harold Tukey; and Noted Arboretum Director Richard Howard. This was one of the first grand parties which Betty Miller and her friends held as the new Center for Urban Horticulture developed.

The Miller Library is one of the finest in the USA, and at one time the public outreach program (on all sites) had the second largest number of public contacts in the UW system (besides UW football). It continues to employ exceptional faculty and staff. It also continues to produce graduate students of the highest caliber and alumni are now listed in the “Who’s Who of Horticulture”. Over the years, CUH and the Washington Park Arboretum have become recognized throughout the horticultural world, and the system was copied across the USA as well as internationally. After 30-plus years, it still proudly carries on its mission.

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It’s the People, People: UWBG Heads to Cuba AGAIN!

July 9th, 2013 by Sarah Reichard

The first time I heard about the plan to issue “People to People” licenses to travel legally to Cuba and have significant interactions with Cuban people, I knew it was something I wanted to do. My memories of hearing about Cuba go back to some of my earliest years.  I applied to the U.S. Department of Treasury that first year, was awarded a license, and off flew our intrepid group in 2012.  We met amazing people and had adventures both in Havana and in the nearby countryside and beyond.

KORIMACAO-musicians

Talented young students in the KORIMACOA Project entertain us near The Bay of Pigs

 

During the second year our trip was organized under the auspices of another licensed non-profit called the Fund for Reconciliation and Development. This trip also visited many of the same sites, but we were much more successful at bird-watching on this trip and it was a revelation to me.  Our skilled guides helped us to see more amazing, endemic, birds than I could have ever imagined.

Farm - Miquel with tumeric

Miquel Salcines explains about some of the products made at the organic farm near Havana

After I returned from this trip, I thought I would not return for at least a few years. Two years in a row was fun, but there are so many other great places to visit. But – the people I met in Cuba stayed strong in my mind. There was our first guide, Frank, whose mother got him through the starvation of The Special Period by getting him to focus on playing the piano. Our second guide, Yuli, talked frankly about being a young woman growing up after the Revolution. We watched her transform from a city girl who thought nature was icky, to an avid binocular-grasping birder calling out bird names in one afternoon. On both trips, my counterpart at the National Botanical Garden, Dr. Angela Leiva Sanchez, talked with the same passion about “her” Garden as I talk about “mine.” Miquel Salcines and Norma Romero shared with us their stories about how Cuba was forced during The Special Period to embrace the principles of organic gardening, and how their innovative Alamar Organoponic Garden has provided food and so much more to the cooperative.  On this last trip, we met with Dr. Carlos Alzugaray, a former Cuban diplomat, for a very frank discussion about Cuban-American relations. We saw very talented young people perform at both the Opera de la Calle and the KORIMACAO Project. And the person who returns to my mind most often is a young botanist, Alejandro González Álvarez, at the National Institute for Research on Tropical Agriculture, who was filled with enthusiasm about plants and about the future. He would dearly love to be able to attend botanical conferences and workshops outside of Cuba. I have been unable to make this happen, but I do intend to keep trying.

I left Cuba this year, fully intending to not return for a few years, if at all. But people continued to ask me about whether I was going in 2014 and after a while, I realized that I was not ready to part from these people. One thing that really surprised me was that even though American visitors  to Cuba have greatly increased the last two years, all of these people, and those who stopped us on the streets of Havana, were so excited to meet us and share with us. I was stunned to find that in 2013, the people we had met with in 2012 – even just once – remembered me and were happy to see me return with more people. Our first guide, Frank, recognized me in a restaurant and warmly greeted me. Alejandro wanted to show me things that had changed since my first visit, with great pride.

So… UWBG is going to Cuba in 2014! Come with me and make memories of your own! Enjoy the stories, the plants, gardens, agriculture, birds, and so much more.  But it really is the people that will stay with you, people. Don’t miss this opportunity to share with them on our People-to-People trip. I plan to lead a trip to New Zealand in 2015 and because it would be at about the same time, I really won’t be going back for a while after this.

Soroa-Albertobirdcall

Our nature guide in Soroa, Alberto, tries to lure birds by making very realistic calls, while our guide Frank (in red) and members of our tour watch

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