Landscapes on the Edge

September 22nd, 2016 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor

UW Botanic Gardens’ conferences, seminars, and symposia offer academics, scientists and practitioners opportunities to learn about the latest research and expertise in plant-related fields and create a forum for collaboration among professionals working in urban forestry, restoration and sustainable landscape management. Read on to learn about our exciting 2016 fall seminar. We hope you can join us!

Introduction to Landscapes on the Edge

Design and Implementation of Landscape and Restoration Projects
on Puget Sound Shorelines and Urban Ravines

Co-hosted by Greenbelt Consulting and University of Washington Botanic Gardens

UW Botanic Gardens & Greenbelt Consulting

November 15 & 16, 2016, 9am – 4pm
Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, WA 98105

Full registration – $230
One-day – $150

Register Here

* Special discount pricing for full-time students and conservation corps members. See registration site for details.

This program is designed to educate landscape professionals about the vulnerable nature of marine shorelines and provide guidance and instruction on how to better initiate, design, and implement successful landscape and restoration projects on upland buffers, shorelines, steep slopes, and beaches.

Expanding your skill set in this area will allow you to:

  • Meet the growing demand for this type of service
  • Implement successful projects, creating happy customers and positive word-of-mouth
  • Increase your company’s market share
  • Avoid regulatory problems, fines, and lawsuits
  • Improve public trust in the landscape industry to meet these environmental needs

The public is being educated about the need for better management of shorelines and steep slopes, resulting in rising public demand for professional services. This is an optimal time to train landscape professionals in the specifics of designing, planning, and installing projects on marine shorelines and other sensitive areas.

Speakers include:

  • Elliott Menashe, Greenbelt Consulting
  • John Bethel, Geomorphologist, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks
  • Kollin Higgins,  Senior Ecologist in the Science and Technical Support Section of King County Water and Land Resources Division
  • Erica Guttman, Washington State University Extension and Native Plant Salvage Foundation
  • Sasha Shaw, King County Noxious Weed Control Program
  • Marianne Edain and Steve Erickson, Frosty Hollow Ecological Restoration
  • Stephanie Williams, L.G., Geologist, Shannon & Wilson, Inc.
  • Karin Srelioff, MLA, Environmental Specialist | GSI Designer, Mason Conservation District
  • and more to come!

Landscapes on the Edge Program Flyer

Full program schedule coming soon.

Last Twilight Tram Tour of the Season!

August 19th, 2016 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Join us for the last evening tram tour of the season! We’ve added a bonus fall tour as an encore to our successful summer evening tram series.  Join us Friday, September 9th, at 6:30pm (the sun sets early that day!) to explore the Arboretum, and it’s nighttime life. We may encounter bats, raccoons, or owls as we glide through the forest. You’ll also learn a bit about the history of the Arboretum, the interesting plants living there, and the stories behind them.

WHAT: Twilight Tram Tour (last of the season!)
WHO: Anyone who wants to see and hear the Arboretum at night!
WHEN: Friday, September 9th, 6:30-8pm
COST: $15/person
HOW: Register online, or call 206-685-8033


DIY Wetlands In a Bottle

July 8th, 2016 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

BottleWetlandJoelBidnickWetlands rely on the right balance of invertebrates, plants, water, and nutrients to stay healthy. In this class you will learn about plants and animals living in our nearby wetlands, and you will build your very own mini-ecosystem for your living room or office. Learn to care for your bottle so that it thrives month after month. Watch your community of plants, zooplankton, and detritovores evolve everyday. Bring your own bottle, and we’ll supply the rest of the materials.

What: Make your own wetlands in a bottle class

When:  Tuesday, August 9, 2016, 7 – 8:30pm

WhereCenter for Urban Horticulture, Douglas Classroom (3501 NE 41st St
Seattle, WA 98105)

Cost: $30

How: Register Online, or by phone (206-685-8033)

Photo by instructor Joel Bidnick

Tour a Lavender Farm

June 7th, 2016 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Lavender2_woodinvillelavenderJoin Master Gardener Tom Frei for a talk and tour at the Woodinville Lavender Farm. Summer is the best time to view (and take in the scent) of lavender blooms!

Tom has been working with his wife and children to develop Woodinville Lavender since 2008. They are currently growing over 3000 plants and 25 varieties. Tom will discuss the history, botany, selection, care, and uses of lavender and lead us on a tour of the gardens. Lavender refreshments will be provided!

Afterwards, feel free to enjoy the gardens on your own, and don’t forget to stop in the shop where you can find all things lavender related!

What: Talk and Tour of Woodinville Lavender

When: Thursday, June 30, 1-2:30pm

Where: Woodinville Lavender, 14223 Woodinville Redmond Rd NW, Redmond, WA (about a 30 minute drive from Seattle)

Cost: $25/person

Register:  Online or by phone (206-685-8033)

Photos Courtesy of Woodinville Lavender


Tom, harvesting a bunch of lavender

Plants, Predators, and Food Webs

June 3rd, 2016 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

How could this pollinator be affected by a predator consuming a herbivore?

What is a food web and and how does each part interact? Ecological relationships between plants and animals can be complex. Plants produce food for many animals, forming the basis for food chains and shaping a community. Herbivores consume plants and have evolved special adaptations for digesting them. Herbivores can influence plants directly, through consumption, but plants can also experience ‘indirect effects’ through predators who control the herbivores. For example, wolf re-introduction in Yellowstone has increased willow tree growth by controlling the elk that eat them. Plant pollinators can also be affected by predators, indirectly benefiting plant reproduction and survival.  We will explore how plants can be affected by predators of herbivores in the food chain and explore trophic cascades.

Cost: Free! Optional $5 donation at the door supports our education programs
Please RSVP online, by phone (206-685-8033) or email (

Instructor Leeanna Pletcher is an Assistant in the Saplings Education Program at University of Washington Botanical Gardens where she teaches elementary school groups about forests, wetlands, and ecology through hands-on activities, games and observation. She has taught biology as an Adjunct Instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Her research interest is Ecology.

How do wolves, willow and elk interact?

How do wolves, willow and elk interact?

2016 Urban Forest Symposium

April 8th, 2016 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

UrbanForestSymposium2016Explosive population growth is underway in the Puget Sound Region. The 2016 Urban Forest Symposium will explore approaches to sustaining the urban forest in the face of this rapid densification. Speakers will introduce the tenets of Smart Growth initiatives which have been widely adopted by policy makers, influencing land use decisions and the urban forest in Seattle and around the world. Case studies of successful approaches from Seattle and other cities will offer insights into ways to creatively address our local challenges.

Speakers include:

  • David B. Williams, freelance writer and naturalist. Author of Too High and Too Steep, and The Seattle Street-Smart Naturalist
  • John McNeil, past Manager of Forestry Services, Oakville, Ontario
  • Laurie Reid, Urban Forestry Supervisor, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Shelley Bolser, Land Use Planning Supervisor, Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections
  • Roger Valdez, Director, Smart Growth Seattle
  • Shane DeWald, Senior Landscape Architect, Seattle Department of Transportation
  • Cass Turnbull, Founder of PlantAmnesty
  • Peg Staeheli, FASLA, PLA, LEED AP, MIG/SvR Design Company

What: 2016 Urban Forest Symposium

Who: Urban foresters, planners, policymakers, landscape architects, garden designers, landscape contractors, advocates, volunteers, restoration companies and organizations, project managers and landscape maintenance staff

Where: UW Botanic Gardens – Center for Urban Horticulture, NHS Hall (3501 NE 41st St)

When: Tuesday, May 17th, 8:45am-4pm. Reception to follow 4-6pm.

Cost: $85. Lunches available for $15. Free lunch available for the first 100 registrants

How: Register online, or by phone (206-685-8033)

We’ll see you there!

Tour Spring Ephemerals at the Miller Garden

March 21st, 2016 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

miller_garden_2014-031See some of the best and choicest plants for creating a lovely early season display. While strolling through the Miller Garden, you will learn how the garden weaves early spring flowering bulbs and perennials into the landscape. Join Richie Steffen, curator of the garden, and enthusiastic guide, as he shares his knowledge and expertise of these delightful garden gems. Space is limited so reserve your spot today.

What: Tour of the Miller Garden

When: Thursday, April 7th, 1-3pm

Where: The Elisabeth C. Miller Garden in the Highlands
(Directions will be sent after registration)

Cost: $25

How: Register Online, or call 206-685-8033



First Aid with Plants

February 22nd, 2016 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant
Heidi Bohan will show how to prepare simple plant remedies - perfect for hikers!

Heidi Bohan will show how to prepare simple plant remedies – perfect for hikers!

Learn how to use common native and wild plants for first aid along the way during your outdoor travels, using poultices, infusions, compresses, syrups and more made simply from raw plants. We will learn plant identification and preparation techniques, and practice these techniques in sample scenarios. Each person takes home a set of laminated Journey Plant Medicine Cards.

Instructor Heidi Bohan is an ethnobotanist known regionally for her knowledge of native traditional plants and their uses. She has worked extensively with local tribes, organizations and schools throughout the Pacific Northwest for over twenty years. She serves as adjunct faculty at Bastyr University and advisor for Northwest Indian College Traditional Plants Program. She is author of The People of Cascadia – Pacific Northwest Native American History, Starflower Native Plant ID Cards, Journey Plant Medicine Cards, and numerous other publications.

WHAT: Journey Plant Medicines

WHEN: Saturday, March 19, 2016, 10am – 4:30pm

WHERE: UW Botanic Gardens – Washington Park Arboretum, Wisteria Hall (2300 Arboretum Drive E, Seattle, WA 98112)


REGISTER: Online, or call 206-685-8033

Take home these handy laminated cards, perfect for camping, hiking, or canoeing

Take home these handy laminated cards, perfect for camping, hiking, or canoeing

Picturing Your Garden In Winter

February 16th, 2016 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

winterPhotography01_David_PerryWinter in Seattle offers a bounty of botanical treasures, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum. Want to learn to capture the beauty of the winter garden and bring it inside? Learn the best techniques in an extraordinary setting with master photographer and storyteller, David Perry. This class begins with short tour of the garden led by the UW Botanic Gardens Tour Coordinator, then a photo shoot, moves indoors for a warm-up and instructional lecture, and then continues back outside for an opportunity to take what you’ve learned and put it into practice. David will inspire you with his fantastic images, and explain how to photograph your own winter garden as well as how to set up simple indoor photo sessions. Bring your camera (point-and-shoots are most welcome), for equipment tips.
This class is a great outing for those in town for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show to see and experience the beautiful Winter Garden.
Cost: $60
Register Online or call 206-685-8033


Instructor David Perry is an inspirational, Seattle-based photographer, a willing teacher and a captivating storyteller with a keen knack for observation and a distinct twinkle in his eye. His reverence for gardens, flowers and the gardeners who tend them is apparent in the pictures he makes and his playful, sometimes irreverent manner of speaking about them keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.
David’s work has been featured on the cover of Fine Gardening four times in the past few years, and many times in Sunset, This Old House Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Garden Design, and Pacific Horticulture among others. His garden was recently featured by local Seattle Times garden columnist, Val Easton, in Pacific Northwest Magazine.

Seminar: Reconstructing Natural Areas in the Built Environment

December 8th, 2015 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor
garden photo

Prairie rain garden, Center for Urban Horticulture

Reconstructing Natural Areas in the Built Environment:

Linking design, function, and long-term performance for natural areas, restoration sites, and trail sides

January 25 & 26, 2016
9:00 am-4:00 pm

University of Washington Botanic Gardens
Center for Urban Horticulture
3501 NE 41st St., Seattle, WA 98105


PROFESSIONAL CREDITS: CPH-6/day, ecoPRO-6/day, NALP/WALP-6/day, APLD-4.25/day, ASLA-5.5/day



Day One: January 25, 2016

Day Two: January 26, 2016

Additional Resources from Presenters and Attendees