February Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

February 6th, 2014 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (February 3 - 16, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum             (February 3 – 16, 2014)

1) Chimonanthus praecox  Wintersweet

  • With exceedingly fragrant yellow flowers borne on the bare shoots in winter, C. praecox has a suitable home here within the Witt Winter Garden.
  • Chimonanthus is the Chinese counterpart of the North American genus, Calycanthus.

2)  Lonicera standishii Winter Honeysuckle

  • A native of China, L. standishii is a perennial favorite because of its charming fragrance.
  • This specimen can be found in the Witt Winter Garden.

3)  Pieris japonica ‘Valentine’s Day’

  • Known commonly as ‘Lily of the Valley’, P. japonica is an evergreen shrub of low habit. The clustered panicles of this particular cultivar are a dark, dusky red color, giving it plenty of mid-winter attraction.
  • Located near the south end of the Lilac Collection along Azalea Way.

4)  Prunus x subhirtella ‘Rosea’

  • Native to Japan, this relatively small flowering cherry has begun to show us its rose-pink blossoms.
  • Several specimens can be found throughout the Arboretum, including one along the trail that leads from here to the Winter Garden.

5)  Viburnum specimens

  • V. farreri ‘Candidissimum’
  • V. foetens
  • V. x bodnantense ‘Deben’
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A glimpse into the past – Rhododendron Glen before the canopy filled in

February 6th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By John A. Wott, Director Emeritus

Today it is difficult to find much open space when you walk about the Washington Park Arboretum. Often you have trouble seeing the sky. I have often heard visitors remark, “How I love the Arboretum, it never changes, only seasonally.” Several years ago, I had a gentleman tell me that he drove through the Arboretum daily and it had not changed a bit in 25years. It is interesting how subtly plants go up and around us, without us realizing it – that is, until we need to prune or remove them.   Plants, particularly conifers, in the Northwest can grow almost every day of the year, anytime the temperature is above 40 degrees F. No wonder we have such large conifers!

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View east from Interlaken boulevard toward Rhododendron Glen 7-16-1948

This is a picture taken July 16, 1948, soon after the Washington Park Arboretum officially began. It was taken from the lower part of East Interlaken Boulevard looking east across Lake Washington Boulevard. In the center is Rhododendron Glen. Look at the sparseness of trees and shrubs and you can actually see the “Glen” from East Interlaken Boulevard. You can also see the small meandering stream coming down the hillside and the small pond along Azalea Way.

Today the curatorial and maintenance staffs need to manage the growth of the plants, the collections and the native matrix (native trees that are not accessioned). It is a challenge to allow enough space for plants to grow to their intended size and shape. They make decisions on pruning and removal on a daily basis. The decisions they make enable us to enjoy the true beauty of each plant as well as the beauty of the panorama.

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