November Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

November 10th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (November 3 - 16, 2014)

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

 

1)    Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii  ‘Profusion’  (Beautyberry)

  • Native to western China.
  • Ornamental purple berries on display in autumn months.
  • Specimen located north of the Wilcox Bridge by the parking lot.

 

2)    Gaultheria mucronata    ‘Rubra’

  • Native to southern Chile.
  • Formerly known as Pernettya, this particular variety has carmine pink berries.
  • Specimen is located in the Chilean Gateway Garden.

3)   Grevillea victoriae    ‘Marshall Olbricht’

  • Native to Australia. This cultivar is from a seedling, possibly a hybrid, named for the co-founder of Western Hills Nursery in California.
  • Exotic orange flowers persist throughout winter – loved by hummingbirds.
  • Specimen located in the Australian entry garden at Pacific Connections.

4)   Quercus cerris   (Turkey Oak)

  • Native to southern Europe.
  • Notable for hairy caps on the acorns. Trunk can reach six feet in diameter.
  • Specimen located in the Viburnum Collection near Lake Washington Boulevard.

5)   Wollemia nobilis   (Wollemi Pine)

  • Not a pine, but a member of Araucaceae, the family of the Monkey Puzzle Tree.
  • Wollemia was known only from fossil records until it was discovered in Australia’s Wollemi National Park in 1994 by David Noble, hence its name.
  • Our specimen is growing at the bus turnaround on Arboretum Drive.
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Arboretum Loop Trail nears construction start

November 5th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By Audrey Wennblom

An artist's rendering of one of the bridges on the Arboretum Loop Trail. Image courtesy the Berger Partnership

An artist’s rendering of one of the bridges on the Arboretum Loop Trail. Image courtesy the Berger Partnership

At long last, the Arboretum Loop Trail (ALT) appears to be just a few months away from the start of construction. “Right now, it looks like the tentative start date would be late spring 2015,” said Raymond J. Larson, Curator of Living Collections for the UW Botanic Gardens. “The idea is to start after most of the rain has passed and to do construction over the drier months.’’

Depending on the the bids received, Larson said the project may be done in two phases. The first phase would be from E. Madison Street to the Boyer/Birch parking lot along E. Lake Washington Blvd. (across from the Holly Collection), he said. The second phase, in 2016, would be from the Birch Lot to the Graham Visitors Center. Larson said, however, that it could also happen all at once. “It depends on a variety of factors,” he said, “and the contractor selected.”

But before any work begins, “the first thing we will do in the field is contract out the transplanting of collections,” said David Zuckerman, Horticulture Manager for the UWBG. “This work will begin as early as this fall sometime, even if it’s just root pruning,” he said.

The ALT is expected to have several benefits for the Arboretum.  “First, it will get people into areas of the arboretum that are currently less well known and visited,” Larson said.  Most people don’t make it to the viburnum collection or know where it is, and don’t get through the Flats (where birches, poplars and the creek is) much of the year because the ground is too wet and there are no trails there, Larson said.  “The ALT will also open up a new route through the largely undeveloped southern hillside across from the Japanese Garden and will provide another way to access the Pacific Connections Gardens,” said Larson.  That is an area currently difficult to navigate and where it is easy to get disoriented (especially for new or occasional visitors), Larson said. Access is going to be much better and the park should feel bigger, he said.

The collections themselves will also benefit. “We will have many new planting areas that will be accessible and viewable,” Larson said.  Some of these will anticipate future phases of the Pacific Connections China and Chile ecogeographic gardens.  “Where the trail crosses through these areas we will be planting plants from those areas along the way,” Larson said.  Other areas will see the addition of a diversity of new plantings that strengthen existing collections (viburnums, oaks, rhododendrons, etc.). “There are going to be a lot of new plants going in, and areas with a lot of ivy and invasives will be refreshed,” he said.

All of this adds up to a better visitor experience—finding your way more clearly as you navigate through the gardens. The north end will be enhanced with better sightlines and a clearer, more obvious connection to the Graham Visitors Center, where the trail forms a loop with Arboretum Drive E, Larson said.  It should feel less hidden and more welcoming.  Some existing blind spots will be improved and in general areas should feel refreshed.  “We think this will be a popular walking and bicycling trail, and the loop connection should help people better experience more of the park,” Larson said.

More Information

Seattle Department of Planning and Development trail project page

Seattle Parks and Recreation trail project page

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A glimpse into the past – a very low tide on Foster Island

November 4th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By John Wott, Director Emeritus

For many years both Lake Washington and Union Bay had variable water levels throughout the year.  The Army Corps of Engineers allowed the water of the Lake Washington system to drop several feet in order to have enough capacity for heavy spring rains and snow melt.  This frustrated many dock owners and also led to significant shoreline erosion.  Today they try to maintain a steady level, although it is difficult to predict both rainfall and rate of snow melt.

The photograph taken on September 12, 1958, show an extremely low water level on the north end of Foster Island. Currently the water level is usually near the top of the large stone works.  The gentleman standing there gives a perspective of at least a six foot drop.

photo

Low tide on Foster Island in September 1958.

Looking west is the University of Washington Stadium, which depicts only the southern section (now demolished and rebuilt in 2012). The campus buildings are quite low and mostly indistinguishable, and the smoke stack from the UW heating plant has been replaced with the newer large one.

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Miller Library annual gift show inspired by nature

November 4th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff
Monotype by Roberta McDaris Long

Monotype by Roberta McDaris Long

GIFT EXHIBIT December 5 – 23

From December 5th through December 23rd, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library will have a selection of locally made arts and crafts available for purchase. Nature inspired gifts such as hand made tiles, letter press cards, and felted wool flower pins will delight recipients.

OPENING RECEPTION   December 5

Join us for refreshments at the opening reception and sale on Friday, December 5th from 5 to 8pm.

Cash or Check only please! 25% of proceeds benefit the Miller Library.

Participating artists:

  • BARBARA CLARK, carved ceramic tiles
  • JENNY CRAIG, Notta Pixie Press, vintage letterpress cards and gifts
  • AL DODSON, color photographs of bark, trees, plants and landscapes.
  • MOLLY HASHIMOTO, nature-inspired watercolor paintings, prints, cards and calendars
  • JOAN HELBACKA, Elda Grace handcrafted journals
  • ROBERTA MCDARIS LONG botanically themed monoprint cards and prints, shown right
  • SYLVIA PORTILLO, The Human Hand Card Company, cards, prints, dioramas and botanically inspired, felted wool, wearable flowers
  • JENNIFER ROSE, flower photographs, cards and calendars

3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98105

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What to do with fallen leaves? Arborist Chris Watson considers the options

November 2nd, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff
photo

Beautiful fallen leaves from the Amelanchiers growing at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Photo by Larry Howard 2007

To rake or not to rake? When asked what homeowners should do with leaves falling from trees growing in city gardens, Chris Watson, the Arborist who cares for the trees at the Washington Park Arboretum definitively stated, “It depends!”

Is the best mulch for a tree its own leaves? Or does that spread disease and pests? Chris explained:

“From a nutrient cycling perspective, ideally the leaves would be left in place where they fall.  Much like a forest, this would reduce the need for additional inputs, such as fertilizer. However, the urban situation is quite different from a forest.  We have introduced plants, soils, pests and diseases, as well as the desire for aesthetically pleasing landscapes.  Leaves blow in the wind and have the potential to clog drains.  Also, the first best management practice for most foliar diseases is to remove all leaves when they fall to reduce inoculum.

“When leaf removal is necessary, I recommend composting leaf material if possible.  The compost can then be used to amend soils around landscape plants.  If leaves are diseased, they should be composted in a way that increases the temperature to sterilize pathogens.  This is difficult to do for the typical homeowner, so it may be best to place leaves in the yard waste bin where they will be processed in a suitable manner.”

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Interested in graphic design? Miller Library seeks book sale poster design

October 28th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

Calling all artists & designers

 The Miller Library needs a poster design for the 2015 10th anniversary Garden Lovers’ Book Sale.

Tulip Tree FlowerWe seek your donation of creative talents for a new design for the 11 x 17 poster and 5 x 8 postcard advertising the 2015 Garden Lovers’ Book Sale. The successful design will have a plant or garden theme and eye catching appeal. The poster must include the specific details below about the date and location, plus the UW Botanic Garden logo. We will accept submissions through December 29th. Send a message to Tracy at tmehlin@uw.edu for more information. The creator of the selected design will receive two tickets to the book sale preview party.

 


 

GARDEN LOVERS’ BOOK SALE APRIL 3 & 4, 2015
Elisabeth C. Miller Library

CENTER FOR URBAN HORTICULTURE 3501 NE 41ST STREET, SEATTLE

ART EXHIBIT AND SALE PACIFIC NORTHWEST BOTANICAL ARTISTS Continues through May xx

WINE AND CHEESE PREVIEW PARTY AND BOOK SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 3rd FROM 5:00 – 8:00 PM ADVANCE TICKETS: $20

BOOK SALE SATURDAY, APRIL 5TH FROM 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM FREE ADMISSION!

For more information visit www.millerlibrary.org
To purchase party tickets call the library at 206-543-0415

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

October 27th, 2014 by UWBG Arborist, Chris Watson
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (October 20 - November 2, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (October 20 – November 2, 2014)

1)   Euonymus hamiltonianus subsp. sieboldiana                      (Siebold’s  Euonymus)

  • Native to the eastern Himalaya 1
  • Ornamental seed pods on display in autumn months 2
  • Specimen located in the Spindle Tree Collection

 

2)   Illicium henryi      (Henry Anise Tree)

  • Native to western China 1
  • Red summer flowers turn to star-shaped fruits in autumn
  • Specimen located along Upper Trail near the Asiatic Maple Collection

3)   Lithocarpus henryi      (Longleaf Chinquapin)

  • Native to central China 1
  • Notable for “laurel-like, narrow, glossy leaves” 2
  • Specimen located along the Lower Trail near the Sino-Himalayan Hillside

4)   Osmanthus yunnanensis      (Chinese Osmanthus)

  • Native to southern China 1
  • “Less cold-hardy” than other Osmanthus species in Seattle 2
  • Specimen located in the Sino-Himalayan Hillside

5)   Polyspora kwangsiensis      (Fried Egg Plant)

  • Relative of the Camellia and Stewartia 1
  • Camellia-like flowers appear in autumn 1
  • Specimen located along Upper Trail near the Camellia Collection

 

1 Bean, W. J., and George Taylor. 1970.  Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles.  London: J. Murray.
2 Jacobson, Arthur Lee. 2006.  Trees of Seattle.  Seattle, WA: Arthur Lee Jacobson.

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October Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

October 10th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (10/6/14-10/19/14)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (10/6/14-10/19/14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1)   Franklinia alatamaha

Close-up photo of Franklinia flower

Close-up photo of Franklinia flower

  • Native to the Alatamaha River, Georgia, and discovered in the late 18th.
  • Genus contains just one species, and has long been extinct in the wild. Today’s plants all descend, it is believed, from those cultivated in Philadelphia under the name chosen by William Bartram in honor of Benjamin Franklin.
  • Specimen located along Arboretum Drive near the Camellias.

2)   Ilex crenata      ‘Mariesii’

Close-up photo of Rehderodendron seed pods

Close-up photo of Rehderodendron seed pods

  • A very slow-growing female holly with tiny leaves and black fruit. Collected in Japan around 1890 by Charles Maries and sent to Veitch Nursery.
  • Located within the Asian/North American clade in the Holly wedge.

3)   Rehderodendron macrocarpum

  • An upright deciduous tree with red young shoots and glossy dark green leaves.
  • Native to western China, seeds from macrocarpum were first collected in 1932 from a fruiting specimen on Mount Omei in the Szechwan Province.
  • This specimen is located in grid 36-B, northwest of the Winter Garden.

4)   Sorbus helenae

  • Very distinctive species only recently introduced to cultivation. White fruits and autumn leaf color make helenae an attractive tree this time of year.
  • Located about midway through the Mountain Ashes, west of the path.

5)   Viburnum odoratissimum

  • A vigorous, bushy evergreen shrub with glossy, dark green leaves and red fruit ripening to black.
  • Native to India, China, Burma, Philippines, and Japan.
  • Located in grid 12-8E along Arboretum Drive.
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Annual United Way “Day of Caring” made a huge impact at the Washington Park Arboretum

September 30th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff
photo

United Way Day of Caring volunteers. Photo courtesy of the Arboretum Foundation.

Over 100 volunteers teamed up on September 19th on six projects that included spreading 218 yards of mulch, salvaging 150 sword ferns and grubbing out truckloads of invasive blackberry. Thank you to every one involved in the Day of Caring!

2014 United Way Day of Caring Debrief
Sept 19, 2014 9a-1p

Participating partners:

Arboretum Foundation – volunteer recruitment and organizer

UW Botanic Gardens – project management (5 projects), equipment and supplies

Seattle Parks and Recreation (1 project), equipment and supplies

 

UWBG Projects Details:

    • Pacific Connections Garden-New Zealand Forest
      • Led by Kathleen DeMaria and Annie Bilotta
      • 80 yards of mulch spread. 30% of NZ forest
      • Participating corporation – Blucora. Approx 25 volunteers
photo

Volunteers make short work of a mountain of mulch in the Native Knoll.

  • Fern Salvage in Arboretum Loop Trail footprint S. end slope beyond Chilean Gateway
    • Led by Chris Watson and Preston Pew
    • 150 sword ferns dug up and transported to old lath house bed behind greenhouse
    • Participating corporation – Amazon. Approx 20 vols
    • Volunteerss win the “the most challenging” project award due to steep slope and hard ground
  • Native Knoll
    • Led by Roy Farrow and Neal Bonham
    • 60 yards of mulch moved and spread; 15 sword ferns planted
    • Participating corp – Nordstrom. Approx 20 vols. Plus 5 from Native Plant Study Group (Arboretum Foundation volunteers – led by Rita Cloney)
  • Hollies
    • Led by Ryan Garrison and Darrin Hedberg
    • 75 yards of mulch moved and spread covering the 3 Eurasian clade berms ; other 4 berms weeded
    • Participating corp – Virginia Mason. Approx 25 volunteers. And, 1 vol from CenturyLink Pioneers
      photo

      The Hollies collection looking a little scrappy before the volunteers arrived.

      photo

      The Hollies collections after the volunteers swarmed the area with barrow loads of mulch.

  • PCG-Chilean Gateway and Siskiyou Slope
    • Led by Kyle Henegar and Rhonda Bush (AF – Steward Coordinator)
    • 3 yards of mulch spread in Chilean Gateway; 3 yards of blackberry removed in Siskiyou Slope
    • Participating corp – Urban Renaissance Group. Approx 25 volunteers. Plus 8 Pacific Connections Garden Stewards
  • City Parks Project – west end of waterfront trail (former MOHAI side)
    • Led by Paul Smith and Giles Moorish
    • Moved and spread mulch
    • Participating corps N/A # of volunteers N/A
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A glimpse into the past – Lookout rockery renovations

September 30th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By John A. Wott, Director Emeritus

One of the most interesting rockeries in the Washington Park Arboretum is located just below and north of the now restored Lookout.  It is an impressive wall of granite stones which gives great strength to the area on the southern edge of the large pond near the southern boundaries of Azalea Way. The original work was done by the Works Progress Administration laborers who defined many features within the Arboretum.

It would appear that it was neglected for much of its early life, and these photographs document its state in 1967. Taken by Brian O. Mulligan, then Director, the photos show the over-growth of grasses and other trashy plants. They were taken on July 2, 1967, and marked as the “north bank of Lookout, before reconstruction”.

lookout photo

For the next nearly 50 years, this has been a formidable rockery, with several prominent rhododendrons and other plants clinging to it. With the renovation of the Lookout, the plants at the top ridge have been removed, so again one can see north to the University District. The rockery is very steep and rugged for visitors to climb, even though many brave “souls” do.

Currently the UWBG staff is working on a renovation plan and they have been clearing much of the overgrown vegetation. Several new rhododendrons have been planted in honor of Professor Ben Hall and his wife Margaret, for his life-time research on rhododendrons.  So as you walk around this beautiful “bowl” at the south end of Azalea Way, watch for the rockery to again be a prominent feature in this section of the Arboretum.


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