7th Annual Pacific Northwest Botanical Artists’ exhibit opens April 4

March 18th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

Fragaria_x_ananassa©SylviaPortilloAs spring revives our parks and  gardens, come and enjoy an exhibit of botanical art at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library.

Visit this display of original  paintings and prints from April 4 through May 3. Artwork, prints and cards will  be for sale, with a portion of the sales benefiting the Library.

PNBA is a chapter of the American  Society of Botanical Artists, a nonprofit organization dedicated to  promoting public awareness of contemporary botanical art, to honoring its  traditions, and to furthering its development. This year PNBA has invited  members of the local chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators to join  in the exhibit.

For more information on PNBA  please visit: www.pnba-artists.com and  GNSINW at www.gnsinw.org


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Garden Lovers’ Book Sale & Preview Party

March 17th, 2014 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer

IMG_7190The annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale is coming up. This is your chance to build your gardening library at bargain prices!

Join us for the preview party to enjoy wine and light refreshments while getting first dibs on the book sale bargains. Please purchase tickets in advance, $20.00, by calling 206-543-0415.

This important benefit for the Elisabeth C. Miller Library funds the purchase of new books and magazine subscriptions.
Beautiful art will also be for sale from the Pacific Northwest Botanical Artists.

Location:  Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, 98105

Preview Party:  Friday, April 4, 5 – 8pm

Free Public Sale:  Saturday, April 5, 9am – 3pm

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Rare Care Wraps up a Productive Year and Preps for 2014

January 10th, 2014 by Wendy Gibble
Rare plants

Washington’s rare plants monitored by Rare Care volunteers.

2013 was another busy year for Washington Rare Plant Care and Conservation (Rare Care). Our corps of volunteer citizen scientists contributed their expertise and time to monitor over 150 rare plant populations across Washington State. Some of these sites were visited during our annual monitoring weekend, which took place at Hanford Reach National Monument last year. We also added 20 collections to the Miller Seed Vault, including eight new species to the collection. You can read all about our 2013 monitoring and seed collecting efforts in our annual reports.

Rare Care will be offering a volunteer trainings on March 1, 2014 for our rare plant monitoring project. This citizen science project provides critically needed information on the status of Washington’s rare plants. Volunteers visit rare plant populations throughout the state and provide information on population sizes, habitat characteristics, and potential threats to the populations. Because many of these populations are visited once every decade or less, the data contributed by volunteer monitors are critical for long-term conservation of Washington’s rare plants.

Would you like to become a part of this valuable effort and have an opportunity to become familiar with some of the rare plants of Washington State? Volunteering with Rare Care provides an opportunity for you to explore Washington’s native flora, visit premier examples of Washington’s native ecosystems, and continue to build your plant identification skills. To participate in the program, volunteer rare plant monitors need to have some experience identifying native plants in the field, have a commitment to native plant conservation and good observation skills, be able to commit a few days during the spring and summer, and be able to provide their own transportation. Visit our volunteer page to learn more!

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It’s the People, People: UWBG Heads to Cuba AGAIN!

July 9th, 2013 by Sarah Reichard

The first time I heard about the plan to issue “People to People” licenses to travel legally to Cuba and have significant interactions with Cuban people, I knew it was something I wanted to do. My memories of hearing about Cuba go back to some of my earliest years.  I applied to the U.S. Department of Treasury that first year, was awarded a license, and off flew our intrepid group in 2012.  We met amazing people and had adventures both in Havana and in the nearby countryside and beyond.

KORIMACAO-musicians

Talented young students in the KORIMACOA Project entertain us near The Bay of Pigs

 

During the second year our trip was organized under the auspices of another licensed non-profit called the Fund for Reconciliation and Development. This trip also visited many of the same sites, but we were much more successful at bird-watching on this trip and it was a revelation to me.  Our skilled guides helped us to see more amazing, endemic, birds than I could have ever imagined.

Farm - Miquel with tumeric

Miquel Salcines explains about some of the products made at the organic farm near Havana

After I returned from this trip, I thought I would not return for at least a few years. Two years in a row was fun, but there are so many other great places to visit. But – the people I met in Cuba stayed strong in my mind. There was our first guide, Frank, whose mother got him through the starvation of The Special Period by getting him to focus on playing the piano. Our second guide, Yuli, talked frankly about being a young woman growing up after the Revolution. We watched her transform from a city girl who thought nature was icky, to an avid binocular-grasping birder calling out bird names in one afternoon. On both trips, my counterpart at the National Botanical Garden, Dr. Angela Leiva Sanchez, talked with the same passion about “her” Garden as I talk about “mine.” Miquel Salcines and Norma Romero shared with us their stories about how Cuba was forced during The Special Period to embrace the principles of organic gardening, and how their innovative Alamar Organoponic Garden has provided food and so much more to the cooperative.  On this last trip, we met with Dr. Carlos Alzugaray, a former Cuban diplomat, for a very frank discussion about Cuban-American relations. We saw very talented young people perform at both the Opera de la Calle and the KORIMACAO Project. And the person who returns to my mind most often is a young botanist, Alejandro González Álvarez, at the National Institute for Research on Tropical Agriculture, who was filled with enthusiasm about plants and about the future. He would dearly love to be able to attend botanical conferences and workshops outside of Cuba. I have been unable to make this happen, but I do intend to keep trying.

I left Cuba this year, fully intending to not return for a few years, if at all. But people continued to ask me about whether I was going in 2014 and after a while, I realized that I was not ready to part from these people. One thing that really surprised me was that even though American visitors  to Cuba have greatly increased the last two years, all of these people, and those who stopped us on the streets of Havana, were so excited to meet us and share with us. I was stunned to find that in 2013, the people we had met with in 2012 – even just once – remembered me and were happy to see me return with more people. Our first guide, Frank, recognized me in a restaurant and warmly greeted me. Alejandro wanted to show me things that had changed since my first visit, with great pride.

So… UWBG is going to Cuba in 2014! Come with me and make memories of your own! Enjoy the stories, the plants, gardens, agriculture, birds, and so much more.  But it really is the people that will stay with you, people. Don’t miss this opportunity to share with them on our People-to-People trip. I plan to lead a trip to New Zealand in 2015 and because it would be at about the same time, I really won’t be going back for a while after this.

Soroa-Albertobirdcall

Our nature guide in Soroa, Alberto, tries to lure birds by making very realistic calls, while our guide Frank (in red) and members of our tour watch

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Trees Cheer for Community Volunteers!

April 30th, 2013 by UWBG Horticulturist

As we bid adieu to relentless April showers, let’s also praise a fond farewell to over 300 relentless April community service volunteers that helped support the stewardship of our beautiful botanic gardens. Because of them, May flowers have never looked and smelled soooo good.

Student Conservation Association 2013 Earth Day at the Washington Park Arboretum. Photo curtesy of SCA.org

Student Conservation Association 2013 Earth Day at the Washington Park Arboretum. Photo curtesy of SCA.org

The 3 Big April events:

    1. April 13, Earth Day in the Arboretum w/ Student Conservation Association – see photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-sca/sets/72157633264603184/
    2. April 19, UW Partners w/ Starbucks for Earth Day at CUH and Farm- see video

  1.  April 25, Ivy Out w/ Seattle Prep  - a few photos below
Seattle Prep students removing ivy in the hollies

Seattle Prep students removing ivy in the hollies

Seattle Prep students removing ivy in Pinetum

Seattle Prep students removing ivy in Pinetum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few of the impressive metrics:

  • Over 22,000 sq feet of invasive plants removed (ivy and blackberry)!
  • Over 60 yrds of mulch spread!
  • Over 1500 native plants planted!
  • Over 20 yrds of ivy hauled!
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2013 Earth Day Events

April 6th, 2013 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer

Are you ready for Earth Day? Here are just a few Earth Day activities happening this month:

The Seattle Conservation Association (SCA), the University of Washington Botanic Gardens (UWBG), and Seattle Parks and Recreation have a fun day of projects planned for Earth Day on Saturday, April 13th.  They will be working on a variety of projects around the Washington Park Arboretum. Something for everyone!

group photo

Happy students having fun at the SCA 2012 Earth Day event

Join Wilderness Awareness School on April 20th from 10am-1pm at the Washington Park Arboretum for a free, fun-filled afternoon of nature connection activities to celebrate Earth Day. Bring yourself, your buddies and the whole family for nature games that will expand your senses and enrich a deeper connection to the earth.

April story time at the Miller Library will celebrate Earth Week with stories celebrating Mother Earth and some of the ways we can help preserve our planet’s green beauty for future generations. After the stories, peer at a scoop of compost under a magnifier to see and sketch some of the life there. Saturday, 4/27, 10:30 – 11:15 am.

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Stock your library: Shop at the Garden Lovers’ Book Sale

March 11th, 2013 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

What could be better than a garden full of beautiful plants? A home library full of books about plants!

The 8th annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale is the best source of used books on plants, horticulture, garden design, edibles, pest control, and special this year only: cooking!

Dahlia photo by Brian ThompsonThe fun begins on Friday, April 5th at 5 pm at the Wine & Cheese Preview Party. Tickets cost $20 and include light refreshments 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.

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

  • Preview party: April 5, 5-8pm, $20.00
  • Public sale: April 6, 9am-3pm, free.
  • All proceeds benefit the new materials budget for the Miller Library.
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Northwest Horticultural Society Spring Plant Sale

February 25th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

Saturday, March 9, 2013 9am – 3pm

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Find elusive spring ephemerals for sale at the NHS Plant Sale

Come get your early blooming plants at the Northwest Horticultural Society Spring Plant Sale. This annual event features dozens of vendors and lectures by gardening experts, including Dan Hinkley.

Dan Hinkley will be speaking twice at the sale. Tickets go on sale at 8:30 for $5. At 10am his topic is Foliage First – Building the foundation of your garden. At 1pm the topic is The moment at Windcliff – Winter gives way to early spring.

Also, at 11:30 there will be a free experts Q&A session with Lorene Edwards Forkner, Richie Steffen & Marty Wingate.

The sale is free, but tickets for the lectures cost $5.00. Proceeds benefit the Miller Library.

3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98195

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NW Flower & Garden Show – Get a Jump on Spring

February 7th, 2013 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

Please stop by the UWBG booth and say “hello” at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show this year. We’ve got a great corner spot at booth #2304 in the Community Organizations area. New for this year, we’re combining forces with Seattle Parks & Recreation to create a “mega-booth” connected by a wedding arbor being built by the city’s carpenter crew. During the show, we’ll be highlighting our Rental Program, so look for lots of pretty pictures of events at our rental sites at the Center for Urban Horticulture and the Graham Visitors Center.

A Hobbit house surrounded by native New Zealand plants at the NW Flower and Garden Show

A Hobbit house surrounded by native New Zealand plants at the NW Flower and Garden Show

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The Arboretum Foundation’s award winning garden from 2012 featured birdsong.

This year’s show runs February 20-24 at the Washington State Convention Center.

graphicFor a fantastic evening out why not attend the Tuesday evening Preview Party hosted by the Arboretum Foundation? You can bid on unique items in the silent auction, stroll the display gardens before the crowds arrive, sip wine and enjoy a dessert buffet. This fund raiser for the Arboretum is always a fun time. Tickets on sale now.

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Grad student’s thesis work benefits rare plants

December 26th, 2012 by Wendy Gibble
Ivy Clark plants Castilleja seedlings (photo by Wendy Gibble)

Ivy Clark plants Castilleja seedlings (photo by Wendy Gibble)

Reprinted from the Rare Plant Press

Graduate student Lauren “Ivy” Clark has been knee deep in seeds ever since
she started her Master’s work at University of Washington. She first came to work with Rare Care in 2009 to develop protocols for propagating ten shrub-steppe species from seed for a project Rare Care was working on with BLM. Having developed an interest in germination ecology, Ivy also started working with Rare Care’s rare plant seed collection, conducting germination tests on collections held in the Miller Seed Vault. This ongoing work dovetails nicely with her thesis work, in which she explores the potential for hybridization between golden paintbrush (Castilleja levisecta) and harsh Indian paintbrush (C. hispida).

Both Castilleja species occur on Puget Sound prairies, and hybridization has been observed in a nursery setting. Recent golden paintbrush reintroductions have resulted in both species growing in close proximity to one another at out-planting sites. After ascertaining that the same pollinator species frequent both species, Ivy collected seeds from both species where they co-occur and is propagating them in the greenhouse. She will evaluate morphological features of the progeny to determine whether and to what extent hybridization is occurring at these reintroduction sites and whether the risk of hybridization is reduced by increasing the distance between neighboring individuals of the two species.

Ivy has had an interest in plants for as long as she can remember. Growing up in Texas, her interest in the natural world was nurtured by her parents. She’s held a variety of jobs since becoming a biologist, many of them restricting her to laboratories. Finding that she really enjoys being in the field, she hopes to use her skills and degree to work in the restoration ecology field. In the meantime, we are delighted to have her working on Rare Care projects and caring for our ex situ collection.

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