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.

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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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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.

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Orchids and Monkeys and Quetzals – OH MY!

July 28th, 2014 by Sarah Reichard

An Upcoming UW Botanic Gardens Adventure in Costa Rica

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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.

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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!

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Stormwater Garden gets new plants

May 23rd, 2014 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer

McVay_Stairs_DesignPacific Coast Hybrid Irises, Yucca Filamentosa, and many varieties of Hebe are just a few of the plants you’ll see in the newly planted beds around the Stormwater Garden. The garden is irrigated from an underground cistern fed by roof runoff as well as from filtering and stormwater collection pools at the bottom of the garden.

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The garden is located just off the McVay courtyard at the Center for Urban Horticulture and features a solar fountain. Come check it out!

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Gabion walls allow water to drain while retaining the slope soil. Pacific coast hybrid irises are charming perennials that flower in May.


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Student Poster Exhibit 2014

May 7th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

posterExhibit_Kim2008Wonder what goes on in the labs of Merrill Hall or in the study plots sprinkled throughout Union Bay Natural Area? Find out at the annual UW Botanic Gardens graduate student research review May 9 to June 13 in the Library.

Want to meet the researchers? Then join us for the public reception Friday, May 9 from 5 to 7pm. Light refreshments will be served. The public is invited to this free event.

 

 

Participating students and research topics

Crescent Calimpong Elwha Revegetation 2013: A Plant Performance Study
Natalie Footen How do parasites affect prairie plant communities?
Nate Haan Interactions between hemiparasites, hosts, and herbivores
Alex Harwell The Restoration of Sweetgrass (Schoenoplectus pungens) in the Nisqually Delta: An Ethnobotanical Restoration Effort
Kathryn Hill Effects of prescribed fire on the spatial structure of butterfly habitat in South Puget Sound prairies
Eve Rickenbaker UW Student Perception of the Washington Park Arboretum
Kathleen Walter Amphibian Use of Union Bay Natural Area
Christopher Wong The Sisyrinchium Common Garden Study
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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.

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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.

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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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