The Hidden Side of Plants

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

Want to delve a little deeper into the plant world? This series of classes will take you below the surface, looking at small, overlooked or under-appreciated plants. I guarantee that taking one of these classes will open your eyes, and you will notice a whole new world every time you step out in your backyard or walk in the park!

Register online or call 206-685-8033

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A small sample to show the diversity of seeds.

As a former seed technician, I can’t tell you how cool seeds are. The wild and whimsical forms, the variation, and the functionality inherent in a seed are always fascinating to me, not to mention the straight up beauty. Seeds can range from the dust-like seeds of orchids, to the largest seed in the world, the coco-de-mer ( a 40 pound whopper!) Learn a little about seeds in our upcoming class, Spectacular Seeds!

What: Spectacular Seeds!
When: Sunday, October 6th, from 1-3pm
Where: Washington Park Arboretum
Cost: $30

wild salad

Does this salad taste as good as it looks?

If seeds aren’t your thing, maybe food is! Did you know that some of the weeds you pull from your lawn and garden are edible and taste pretty darn good? Kill two birds in one stone: weed your garden, and prepare a salad for dinner. Harvest the untapped potential in your yard!

What: Urban Foraging: Weeds and Wild Foods
When: Saturday, October 5th, from 1-3pm
Where: Washington Park Arboretum
Cost: $35

 

 

lichen

What is this lichen trying to tell us about air pollution?

 

And don’t overlook the lowly lichen! And although they are not technically a plant, (lichens are a symbiotic growth of a fungus and an algae) these little guys are everywhere once you start looking for them. They can tell you valuable information about the climate and air quality, and add visual interest to your trees and rocks!

What: Cemetery Lichens
When: Saturday, October 26th, from 10am-12pm
Where: Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 700 W Raye St, Seattle, WA 98119
Cost: $25

Register online or call 206-685-8033

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Rain Garden Gala Oct. 22 and Workshop Oct. 23-24

September 26th, 2013 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor

 

Rain Garden Gala Flyer

Please join us for the launch of our new rain garden handbook!

Catch up with the latest in rain garden science and techniques with the region’s leading researchers!

  • Find out what’s new in thie edition of the handbook from lead author & expert, Curtis Hinman
  • Have your questions answered by a panel of rain garden experts, owners, & builders!
  • Enjoy complimentary Salmon Safe wine & beer along with locally sourced appetizersPlease join us for the launch of our new rain garden handbook!

Please RSVP to Kelly: KS@stewardshippartners.org

For more information, go to www.12000raingardens.org or contact Aaron Clark: ac@stewardshippartenrs.org, 206.292.9875

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Then, join us on October 23-24 for a Rain Garden Training for Professionals!

For full details and to register, visit: http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/education/stormwater.shtml

Rain Garden Training for Professionals

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September Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

September 23rd, 2013 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Keystone Species of New Zealand

Keystone species of New Zealand (September 9 - 22, 2013)

               Keystone Species of New Zealand                     (September 9 – 22, 2013)

1)   Nothofagus menziesii   (Silver Beech, Tāwhai)

  • Natural range: endemic to New Zealand.  Found throughout South Island.
  • Trunk is silvery-gray and has horizontal lines (lenticels).
  • Dark-green, oval leaves are glossy and have toothed edges.
  • Largest specimen was transplanted in Autumn 2012 with help from a very large crane.

2)   Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortioides (Mountain Beech, Tawhairauriki)

  • Deep green, oval leaves have a pointed tip and rolled edges.
  • Grows in lowland mountain regions to about 65 feet.  At high altitudes, it forms a “goblin forest” where the trees are no more than 6 feet tall.
  • Two large specimens transplanted with crane in Autumn 2012.

3)   Griselinia littoralis   (New Zealand Broadleaf, Kapuka)

  • Found throughout most of New Zealand from sea level to 3000 feet.
  • Deep green, oval leaves are thick and very shiny, and this fast-growing plant is often used for hedging and shelter planting.
  • Species name ‘littoralis’ means “growing by the sea”, indicating tolerance of salt spray.

4)   Chionochloa rigida   (Narrow-leaved Snow Tussock), C. rubra  (Red Tussock)

  • Genus of Chionochloa, comprises of about 20 species – all but one are native to New Zealand.
  • Despite its name, C. rigida has a flowing habit reaching 3 feet with flowering stems reaching 5 feet.  Leaves dry out giving the plant an overall golden color.
  • C. rubra has reddish colorings with fine weeping leaves reaching 3 to 4 feet and flowering stems that rise just above the foliage.

5)   Phormium colensoi  (syn. P. cookianum) and P. tenax  (New Zealand Flax, Wharariki)

  • Both species native to New Zealand, P. colensoi is endemic;  both are widespread.
  • P. colensoi seed pods tilt downwards and twist in a spiral as they dry.  P. tenax seeds are held upright and do not twist when drying.
  • P. tenax is a larger plant with leaves reaching 9 feet and flowering stalk up to 15 feet compared to P. colensoi whose leaves reach 5 feet and flowering stalk is slightly taller at 6 feet.
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Academic opportunities at the Botanic Gardens

September 20th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff
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Make connections, gain experience, have fun: get involved at the UW Botanic Gardens!

Welcome UW Students! Make time in your busy schedule to get involved at the Botanic Gardens*. You won’t regret the investment because not only will you gain experience but you will also make connections with professionals and fellow students.

Ways to get involved:

What we do:

  • environmental horticulture
  • restoration ecology
  • public garden management
  • collection development
  • information management
  • communication & social networking
  • marketing
  • curriculum design
  • archives
  • curation
  • arboriculture
  • urban ecology
  • environmental education
  • integrated pest management
  • rare plant conservation
  • continuing education
  • visitor experience & interpretation
  • inventory ground-truthing & GIS mapping
  • surveying

*UW Botanic Gardens has two sites: the Washington Park Arboretum and the Center for Urban Horticulture and includes the Miller Library and Hyde Herbarium. Programs include continuing education for adults, outdoor programs for children plus conservation and restoration projects.

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Fiddleheads Forest School Opens

September 19th, 2013 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

Fiddleheads_sign_UWBG

The changing hues at the Washington Park Arboretum these days signal a transition.  Many of the deciduous trees that make up our collection are booting down in preparation for winter dormancy.  Despite these seasonal changes amongst the plants, however, there is an exciting new energy in the air, one of growth and development.  The source of this vibrancy is the newest and youngest members of our UW Botanic Gardens community – the inaugural class of our Fiddleheads Forest School.

This new endeavor is designed for preschool-aged children, and aims to introduce these 3-5 year olds to the natural world in the best way possible, by immersing them in it.  In gently guiding their innate curiosity, our uber-qualified teachers, Sarah Heller & Kit Harrington, seek to promote the complete development of their students – mental, emotional, physical and social.  A lofty goal to be sure, but one we feel well-worth pursuing.  And judging by the response from the families involved, one for which there is strong desire to be met. 

Innumerable studies point towards the value of early childhood learning.  Businesses and municipalities around the country are recognizing the long-term benefits of starting kids off on the right foot and are making investments in hopes of creating a more competent and competitive work force down the road.  These “Grow Smart” initiatives can be found in states across the country and make the connection between regional economic growth and the importance of early childhood education.  It behooves organizations like ours that lean green to join this movement if we are to have any hope of achieving a more sustainable relationship with the Earth.   

Richard Louv sounded the alarm in his now seminal book, “Last Child in the Woods”, in which he coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe a social byproduct of the information age.  Louv pointed out that while kids and people in general become more and more plugged in to a virtual world, they simultaneously become less and less connected to the natural one.  Disconnection leads to a loss or lack of appreciation, and in the Environmental Education world, appreciation is the first step towards conservation.

Over a year in the making, we are now almost two weeks into our first year of the Fiddleheads Forest School.  We have twenty-four families who have taken this exciting plunge with us and we couldn’t be more grateful for their trust and support.  The spectacular outdoor classroom that is the UWBG Washington Park Arboretum has never felt more perfect a space than with this new application.  And we could not have found a more dynamic duo than Sarah & Kit to lead this adventure.  So two weeks in, and I’m happy to report, so far, so so good. 

Are we winning the battle in combating nature deficit disorder?  Only time will tell.  At the UW Botanic Gardens we work a lot with trees and perhaps as a result, we think like trees and take a long-term approach.  The seeds we plant today, we plant to ensure healthy forests for tomorrow.  With this mentality, we hope that when these 3-5 year olds grow up to have 3-5 year olds of their own, that outdoor schools for early learners are commonplace, and that we as a society will have had the forethought to set aside spaces like the Arboretum in which to hold them.  

Kit reads a book about emotions during story time

Kit reads a book about emotions during story time

 

Sarah unleashes bubbles that elicit shrieks of joy and fits of dancing

Sarah unleashes bubbles that elicit shrieks of joy and fits of dancing


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Wahkiakum Lane closed Sep. 16-20

September 16th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

The Wahkiakum Lane trail between the Center for Urban Horticulture and the E5 parking lot (and the IMA) is closed September 16-20, 2013. Work crews will be making improvements to the heavily used trail. The detour is to go north on Mary Gates Memorial drive then west on Clark road, then go south on either Canal road or Walla Walla road.


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A glimpse into the past – remembering the original New Zealand garden

September 10th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

by Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus

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Sign for original 1993 New Zealand High Country garden.

In mid-September, 2013, we will dedicate the “The New Zealand Forest”, the largest-ever built garden in the Washington Park Arboretum. It is one of the new gardens in the ever growing “Pacific Connections” area.  On November 21, 1993, which was a rainy blustery Sunday afternoon, we dedicated “The New Zealand High Country”, the first Arboretum garden of New Zealand natives. The Honorable Denis McLean, New Zealand ambassador to the United States, and Mrs. McLean, along with many Kiwis were present. It was followed with a party in the Graham Visitors Center hosted by the Seattle-Christchurch Sister City Committee, one of the garden’s sponsors. It was the beginning of a dream, now being manifested, by Dr. H. John Bollard, New Zealand Consulate and also Garden contributor and his supportive wife Eve. Eve made cucumber sandwiches for the event and we lavished on New Zealand wines and cheeses.

The planting was designed to mimic the appearance of a subalpine tussock grassland, complete with a trail meandering through a small “pass” created by boulders. It was planted with 93 individual plants, representing 29 taxa. Patterned after an idea from Timothy Hohn, curator, from his collecting trip to New Zealand, and Lynda Ransley, Edcuation Coordinator, the actual garden was implemented by Christina Pfeiffer, horticulturalist ; Tracy Omar, recorder;  and Barbara Selemon, propagator;  and assisted by Ian Robertson, landscape architect.

The Garden was built entirely by the UW Grounds staff. On that November Sunday, the high temperature  was 50 degrees F, falling to 27 degrees F that night. Twenty-one mm of rain (24.5 mm = 1 in) fell that night, and on Monday, the high was 28 degrees F, and low, 22 degrees F. The staff rushed to wrap up all the plants like burlap holiday presents. The week ahead was unseasonably cold. This was the beginning of hardiness testing for New Zealand plants.

The idea of eco-geographic collections in the Arboretum began with discussions between Clement Hamilton, Center for Urban Horticulture director and associate professor of taxonomy, and Timothy Hohn, curator. It later became one of the foci in the Master Plan, approved in 2001. I specifically remember Dr. Harold Tukey, founding  CUH director, in a earlier visit of New Zealand dignitaries whom John Bollard often proudly led through the Arboretum, waving his hand over an area in the south central part of the Arboretum and enthusiastically saying “this is where the eventual New Zealand Garden will be.” Although not in that exact location, it certainly will become a destination for future generations to enjoy.

The New Zealand Forest contains a reconstructed and expanded version of the Bollard-sponsored garden, a continuing living tribute to a man who never gave up his dream. Although now dimmed by the infirmities of age, hopefully he will still feel his legacy. We do! Don’t miss any of the celebratory activities for this new Garden in September!

program scan.

The program to the 1993 dedication of the New Zealand High Country garden at the Washington Park Arboretum.


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Celebrate New Zealand Forest at opening Sep. 15

September 5th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

New Zealand Forest 2013The Arboretum Foundation, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the University of Washington Botanic Gardens invite the public to join us to celebrate the official opening of the New Zealand Forest in Washington Park Arboretum (2300 Arboretum Drive East, Seattle) on Sunday, September 15, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Opening Celebration—organized in partnership with the Seattle-Christchurch Sister City Association and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture—will pay homage to New Zealand’s culture and ethnobotanical history. It will feature a traditional Maori “haka,” or war dance, and a dedication ceremony with special guest Caine Tauwhare, a Maori wood carver from New Zealand who carved the slats for a park bench in the new forest.

Event Schedule:

  • 11:00–11:15 AM: Welcome
  • 11:15–11:20 AM: Haka dance performance by Te Tini A Maui.
  • 11:20–11:40 AM: Speeches by Darryl Smith (Deputy Mayor of Seattle), Jeffrey M. Riedinger, J.D., Ph.D., (Vice Provost for Global Affairs, University of Washington), Craig Trueblood (Arboretum Foundation Board President), and Rachel Jacobson (New Zealand Honorary Consul).
  • 11:40–11:45 AM: Procession from the Pacific Connections meadow to the New Zealand Forest.
  • 11:45 AM–12:00 PM: Ribbon-cutting ceremony, led by Jack Collins, chair of the Arboretum and Botanical Garden Committee chair.
  • 12:05–12:20 PM: Performance by Te Tini A Maui.
  • 12:25–12:50 PM: Poi and haka workshops by Te Tini A Maui.
  • 1:00–1:15 PM: Bench dedication with Maori carver, Caine Tauwhare.
  • 12:35–2:00 PM: Tours, family activities, and refreshments.

nzfoposter

Full press release.

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Garden Design: Planning for Spring!

September 3rd, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Does the impending bleak weather have you feeling down? Sign up for one of our garden design classes to stay positive, and hopeful through the blah months! Learn about attracting wildlife to your yard or window, and making a safe and exciting garden for your little ones!

Wildlife Habitat Garden Design

Courtesy of Emily Bishton

Courtesy of Emily Bishton

 

Bring birds, butterflies, and bees to your yard! Learn the steps of choosing plants and features that fit your yard, and fulfill the daily needs of wildlife all the while keeping pests at bay. Whether your goal is to design a new garden or to incorporate new habitat features into an existing garden, you will enjoy this practical approach to sustainable success. Wildlife habitat gardens have kind of a beauty that plants alone cannot provide!

Bring photos of your own yard for personalized advice!

 

 

 

Child-Friendly Garden Design

Courtesy Emily Bishton

Courtesy Emily Bishton

 

 

Turn your garden into a safe and inviting place for kids. Learn to make unique places for nature exploration, and design the garden so that it “grows up” along with your child. Even learn how to involve your kids in food gardening.  Attendees should bring photos of their garden for personalized advice, and they will also receive lists of child-friendly plants and plants to avoid.

 

 

 

And as always, you can register online or call 206-685-8033 for more information

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Dutch Elm Disease in the Washington Park Arboretum

September 3rd, 2013 by UWBG Arborist, Chris Watson

Recent test results from Washington State University Puyallup Plant & Insect Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed the first case of Dutch Elm Disease (DED) in the core area of the Washington Park Arboretum.  The tree, a 45 year old Guernsey Elm (Ulmus minor ‘Sarniensis’), had been suffering from mechanical injury to the root crown and annual infestations of the Elm Leafminer, an insect that that feeds on elm leaves.  Over the past year, a significant portion of the tree began showing symptoms similar to DED.  Twig and branch samples from the tree showed dark staining in the cambium, which is a typical sign of DED.  The samples were sent to the WSU lab in Puyallup, which resulted in a positive diagnosis for DED.  The Guernsey Elm has been removed.

Management of Dutch Elm Disease will include frequent monitoring for signs and symptoms of the disease, sanitation pruning, prompt removal of severely infected trees, and root graft disruption when necessary.

For more information on Dutch Elm Disease, click here:

http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/pdf/sdot2dedbrochure.pdf

or here:

http://pnwhandbooks.org/plantdisease/elm-ulmus-spp-dutch-elm-disease

Ophiostoma picture

Dutch Elm Disease fungus (Ophiostoma sp.)
Photo courtesy of WSU Puyallup Plant & Insect Diagnostic Laboratory

Guernsey Elm (Ulmus minor ‘Sarniensis’)
Photo courtesy of University of Washington Botanic Gardens

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