Art Exhibit: Now You See It! The Slime Mold Revelation

September 11th, 2015 by UWBG Communication Staff

Tuesday, September 15 – Friday, October 30

slime mold artWhat do evolution and the Emperor of Japan have to do with art about slime molds? Now You See It! The Slime Mold Revelation reveals the stories behind four centuries of artistic devotion to these otherworldly organisms. Just what are slime molds? Worldwide, one-celled bacteria-munching travelers of the earth beneath your feet. Shimmering rainbow-colored spore-filled protists on your rosebush. Tiny dwellers of the arctic, the rainforest, and the desert. Now You See It! is a colorful foray into a little-known world: a visual and scientific delight for all ages. Come confused, leave stupefied. Curator Angela Mele is a scientific illustrator finishing the illustrations for a field guide to cosmopolitan slime molds. She recently received a Master’s of Museum Studies from the University of Washington.
The artist invites you to a reception at the Miller Library on Friday, September 18 from 5:00 to 7:00pm.

Hear Angela recount how she got started with slime molds in this interview by KPLU.

2015 Miller Memorial Lecture features Helen Dillon

August 19th, 2015 by UWBG Communication Staff

photo of Helen DillonThe Pendleton & Elisabeth C. Miller Charitable Foundation

The Evolution of an Irish Garden featuring Helen Dillon

Thursday, September 10th
The Lecture is FREE!

To receive a ticket, please email

The lecture is in Meany Hall on the UW Seattle campus. Doors open at 6:15pm with the lecture beginning at 7:00pm. A free reception with refreshments will be held at the conclusion of the program.

As a lasting gift to the horticultural community, the Pendleton and Elisabeth Carey Miller Charitable Foundation, the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library, the Northwest Horticultural Society and Great Plant Picks sponsor this free annual memorial lecture to remember the legacy of Betty Miller.

US Forest Service honors Rare Care for monitoring rare species

June 27th, 2015 by Jennifer Youngman, Program Coordinator

Trifolium thompsonii (image by Julia Bent)The US Forest Service recognized Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation – including hundreds of trained volunteers from all parts of the state who, in the past 14 years, have participated in the rare plant monitoring citizen science project – by awarding Rare Care its Regional Volunteer Award for Citizen Stewardship & Partnerships.

When Lauri Malmquist, district botanist with the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, nominated Rare Care, she wrote, “As staffing and funding to the Botany/Ecology Program on the Okanogan-Wenatchee NF continue to decline, [Rare Care’s] rare plant monitoring program has played a vital role in continuing the monitoring necessary to provide critically needed information on the status of Washington State’s rare plant species. . . . Many rare plant populations have not been visited in a decade or more due to diminishing Federal funding and capacity. The scarcity of updated information on these plants puts them at risk of extirpation as a result of development, invasive species competition and other threats. All USFS Forests in Washington State have benefitted from this volunteer effort. . .”

Toward the end of each year, Rare Care consults with federal, state and other public land managers across the state to develop a list of the most urgent monitoring priorities for the coming year. Then each volunteer chooses an assignment and sets off at the proper season in search of one of Washington’s 3,500 rare plant populations. Finally, Rare Care compiles their data, maps and sketches and distributes them to the appropriate land managers and the Washington Natural Heritage Program (WNHP). Land managers use the data in making land use decisions. The WNHP maintains the state’s rare plant database and determines the status of each species.

Gentiana glauca (image by Brenda Cunningham) & Iliamna longisepala (image by Gail Roberts)This year, Rare Care volunteers are searching in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest for the threatened Thompson’s clover (Trifolium thompsonii) and the sensitive obscure paintbrush (Castilleja cryptantha), longsepal globemallow (Iliamna longisepala) and Seely’s silene (Silene seelyi), among other species. To prepare for their field visits, they pore over previous reports, maps and other documentation. But there’s a catch. The documentation comes in many degrees of specificity! Plus, things change over the years. Roads are decommissioned. Trails are rerouted. Invasive species crowd out native species. Native vegetation grows into tangles of underbrush. Logging operations and fires change the face of the landscape.

Last year in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, with only vague location information to go on and crossing snowfields and camping along the way, three volunteers relocated a two-square-meter population of glaucous gentian (Gentiana glauca) that hadn’t been documented since 1966. Two years ago, two volunteers traipsed through underbrush in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest to find a single Wenatchee larkspur (Delphinium viridescens) remaining at a site that had grown into a young forest since the population was previously observed.

Rare Care is delighted to receive this US Forest Service Award in recognition of these dedicated volunteers and their substantial achievements.

Delphinium viridescens (image by Betty Swift) and Silene seelyi (image by Rod Gilbert)

Comprehensive Audit of Hyde Herbarium Now Complete

May 5th, 2015 by UWBG Communication Staff

By Eve Rickenbaker, Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium manager and School of Environmental and Forest Sciences graduate student

The herbarium specimen of Pseudotsuga menziesii,  beloved Douglas fir of the Pacific Northwest, is just one of 22,500 specimens in our Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium collection at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens.  During the last two and half years, a group of dedicated volunteers logged close to 1,200 hours in the herbarium completing an audit of the entire collection.


Ross Bayton in the Hyde Herbarium with a Douglas fir specimen

Ross Bayton, our 2014 UW Botanic Gardens’ Volunteer of the Year, led the audit by generously giving 680 hours of his time.  With Ross’s botanical knowledge and expertise, he checked each of the 22,500 specimens for accuracy while adding information from each specimen into our database and organizing the collection to match current classification. Ross came to the herbarium during the fall of 2012 from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he earned a PhD in plant taxonomy.  In addition to Ross’s work, twenty-three students and community volunteers* committed over 500 hours working on the audit from October 2012 until now, April 2015.


Eve Rickenbaker, Herbarium Manager, would like to thank Ross and each of the 23 herbarium volunteers who completed this project.

The pressed plant specimens of the Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium reflect the research of faculty, staff and students at the UW Botanic Gardens.  The Herbarium includes specimens from the Washington Park Arboretum, horticulturally significant plants, and the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board collection.  We offer free plant identification services and many volunteer opportunities.  Come see us in the Herbarium at the UW Botanic Gardens Center for Urban Horticulture to see specimens such as the Douglas fir and other interesting pressed plants.

*Herbarium audit volunteers:

Larisa Campos
Kathryn Christensen
Loretta Fisher
Cole Gross
Kezhu Guo
Janice Jap
Mary Lee
Aileen Liu
Austin Lucas
Susan McDougall
Margaret McGrew
Sasha McGuire
Patricia Nevin
Loni Jean Rodrigo
Heidi Sandhorst
Paul Schloemer
Lisa Schomaker
Sarah Verlinde
Alex Von Bredow
Gabe Wisswaesser
Emily Wittenhagen
Jenny Yang
Boyang Zhao

Getting Low On Plants? Our Plant Sale Calendar Will Help!

March 30th, 2015 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

Believe it or not, there are over 100 plant sales in the Pacific Northwest in April. Find rare dahlias or fuchsias at specialty sales or tried and true annuals and perennials at general sales. The Elisabeth C. Miller Library compiles a list of regional plant sales and garden tours so when you get tired of weeding, consult the calendar and go buy plants instead!

A few of our favorite sales:

  • FlorAbundance at Warren G. Magnuson Park, Building 30, Saturday, April 25, 9 am to 5 pm Sunday, April 26, 10 am to 2 pm; Benefits the Washington Park Arboretum
  • Master Gardener Foundation Plant Sale at the Center for Urban Horticulture, Saturday,  May 2,  9 am to 5 pm and Sunday, May 3, 11 am to 3 pm
  • Hardy Fern Foundation’s Fern Festival 2015, Center for Urban Horticulture, Friday, June 5, noon to 6:30 pm and Saturday June 6, 9 am to 2 pm

Shop for rare plants and support a good cause at the Florabundance Plant Sale! Photo courtesy of Arboretum Foundation.

Fill your shelves at the Garden Lovers’ Book Sale!

February 25th, 2015 by Jenelle Clark

Come to the 10th annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale to select choice titles on garden design, plant selection, horticulture, edibles, and pest control among others.
The tips, inspiration, and vital information contained in these books will keep you inspired and on track as you plan and enjoy your garden this year.

The fun begins on Friday, April 3th at 5 pm at the Preview Party. Tickets cost $25 and include hors d’oeuvre and wine plus first crack at the books. Purchase in advance by calling 206-543-0415.

On Saturday the doors open at 9:00 am. The public sale is free. Bring your own bags or boxes to load up on great deals.


Why are these women smiling? Because they are thrilled with the fantastic plant & garden book deals!

Sale is at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98105.

  • Preview party: April 3, 5-8pm, $25.00
  • Public sale: April 4, 9am-3pm, free.
  • All proceeds benefit the new materials budget for the Miller Library.

Arboretum Event Rentals on Sale

December 23rd, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

We are offering 10% off the room rental fee if you hold a new event* at Graham Visitors at the Washington Park Arboretum between December 2014 and April 2015.

GVC Patio at Arboretum

Call 206-221-2500 to take advantage of this offer and to book your next event!

*This promotional discount is good for one meeting or social event per customer. Weddings or wedding receptions do not apply to this offer.



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.


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

Art exhibit: native plants by Linda Stewart Henley

October 27th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

Linda Stewart Henley: OregonGrapeWatercolors by Linda Stewart Henley will be on exhibit in the Miller Library from November 4th through December 2nd. The paintings of Washington natives, done mostly on location, are accompanied by field notes. The exhibit shows the plants in representational, but not scientifically botanical, style. The poster Washington Shrubby Plants is featured as part of the exhibition.

Meet the artist at a free reception at the Library on Friday, November 14th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

Orchids and Monkeys and Quetzals – OH MY!

July 28th, 2014 by Sarah Reichard, UW Botanic Gardens Director

An Upcoming UW Botanic Gardens Adventure in Costa Rica


Adventure awaits in Costa Rica with UW Botanic Gardens. Photo by Joanna Livingstone

One of the best things I did for myself during my graduate school days – no actually, in my whole life – was to take a two month tropical ecology class in Costa Rica from the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). Besides being in an incredibly beautiful place, I found myself in experiences that challenged me. Because I am a serious plant geek, I have always chosen projects relating to plants, but OTS would have none of that – we were assigned to work with various biologists and did projects relating to their specialties. Therefore, I spend a very memorable night trapping bats with a noted expert from the Smithsonian Museum, with a dawn serenade from howler monkeys all around us. I also worked on leaf cutter ants and poison dart frogs – and plants.

It was such a wonderful experience, that I felt no need to return to Costa Rica – until now. Holbrook Travel has organized a great trip that has many of the experiences I had with OTS, but a little safer. For instance, Holbrook can arrange for us to float in a raft on the Rio Sarapiqui. This river flows through the OTS La Selva station. Our field work was usually done in the morning and we would often run up the river a ways and then jump in the water fully clothed and float back to the field station to cool off before lunch. Between rocks and caimans we were probably flirting with more danger than we should, but we were in our 20s and had that live-forever mentality. I also spent a memorable evening with others in the class on Volcan Arenal, an active volcano, that resulted in our wandering in the dark as the volcano erupted, trying to find the bus that was coming to pick us up. Holbrook has placed us in the lovely Arenal Lodge, where we will be able to view the volcano and engage in a number of civilized activities.


Photo by Dain Van Schoyck

We will also be visiting the high elevation Monteverde Reserve, where I am determined to see the Resplendent Quetzal! Despite many attempts to see this bird in Costa Rica and Guatemala, all involving me getting up in the wee hours of the morning, I have never seen it. In Guatemala I went to the place listed in all the guidebooks as the place you were guaranteed to see one. I heard them calling all around me (lovely call, by the way) but never saw one. To add further insult to injury, the woman who owned the property showed me a time-stamped photo taken the previous afternoon of three of these gorgeous birds sitting on a wire by her house! This time I will see one – I just KNOW it!

So come with me to Costa Rica! I can’t promise caimans and bats (and apparently not a Resplendent Quetzal), but I can promise fun and new experiences. We will very likely see all sorts of critters and certainly some amazing tropical rain forest plants. Oh and here is a tip – when we go out for a night walk to see nocturnal animals, bring a flashlight, but not a head lamp –a 6 inch moth banging into your head repeatedly is very distracting!

Download the itinerary for January 04, 2015 – January 13, 2015. Space is limited so register today!