Students: Earth day work party at the Arboretum April 12

March 25th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

SCA2014EarthDayJoin the Student Conservation Association for our annual Earth Day service event while celebrating the 30th anniversary of SCA’s conservation leadership youth program in Seattle! Attending will be Liz Putnam, SCA’s Founder and the first conservationist to receive the Presidential Citizens Medal—the nation’s second highest civilian award! Following a short program in the meadow, volunteers will prune back overgrown vegetation, remove invasive plant species, and re-vegetate areas with native plants.

WHEN: Saturday, April 12th, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
WHERE: Washington Park Arboretum, 2300 Arboretum Dr. E, Seattle, WA 98112
WHAT: Invasive plant removal, planting native species, and spreading mulch
BRING WITH YOU: Please wear weather-appropriate clothing and sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty
PROVIDED: Whole Foods Market in South Lake Union will provide breakfast. SCA will also provide work gloves and all project supplies.

Please register at earthdayseattle.eventbrite.com to complete the online volunteer waiver.

Questions? Contact Meredith Stone at wanw@thesca.org or 206-324-4649.

Recruit your friends: share this FLYER or this post.

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

March 21st, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist

“Seeing Red”

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (March 17 - 30, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (March 17 – 30, 2014)

1)   Acer rubrum      (Red Maple)

  • Specific epithet, rubrum (red), refers to foliage in fall; however, flowers are red too
  • One of the earliest trees to flower, appearing in March, well before the leaves
  • Located at south end of Arboretum Drive East, against the Broadmoor fence
Close-up photo of the Acer rubrum (Red Maple) flowers

Close-up photo of the Acer rubrum (Red Maple) flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
2)   Camellia japonica      ‘Jupiter’

  • Carmine-red flowers with prominent yellow stamens on white filaments
  • Located along Ridgetop Trail at head of Rhododendron Glen

3)   Chaenomeles sp.      (Flowering Quince)

  • Old-fashioned, early spring flowering shrub
  • OK, so this specimen is not the reddest available, but the best I could find.
  • Located behind the Stone Cottage along the public path

4)   Grevillea victoriae      (Mountain Grevillea)

  • This proteaceous plant’s foliage was the feature cutting for the first half of March 2014; now it’s the red flowers.
  • Located in the Pacific Connections – Australia Entry Garden

5)   Rhododendron strigillosum

  • Early maroon-red flowering rhododendron
  • Twigs and leaf stalks on young growth covered with long bristles
  • Specimens located in the Witt Winter Garden, Woodland Garden and Sino-Himalayan Hillside
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Harbinger of Spring in Seattle – Flowering cherries on Azalea Way!

March 20th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist

Cherry photoMost visitors experiencing the beauty of our historic Azalea Way flowering cherries from now through May probably have no idea of how intensive maintaining their health and prolonging their longevity truly is for the UW Botanic Gardens horticulture staff.   Just ask our Integrated Pest manager, Ryan Garrison. Ryan with staff support spends many a day throughout the year monitoring and controlling the numerous diseases and insect pests our 175 plus cherries are prone to suffer from. Our rainy climate doesn’t help one bit either, especially when dealing with our most notable disease during blossom time;  a fungus known as Cherry Blossom Brown Rot. Yucko!  The good news is any new cherries we plant need to show a reasonable level of resistance. The not so good news is many of our older earlier bloomers, the ones extremely susceptible to the brown rot fungus,  need to be protected with fungicide applications during their bloom period.  As with all of our pest issues, we start with cultural and mechanical control efforts before resorting to chemical controls. The following Integrated Pest management (IPM) program discusses our best management practices for the control of blossom brown rot.  If you are interested in planting cherries for your home garden, I’ve included a list of cherries recommended for our PNW climate.  All have good to excellent resistance to blossom brown rot.

14 new cherries will be planted along Azalea Way, Spring of 2014! Thanks to the UW being awarded funds from the Nationwide Cherry Blossom Tree Planting Initiative grant co-sponsored by the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle and other supporting local community organizations.

Cherry Blossom Brown Rot - causal fungal agent known as Monolinia fructicola. The fungus overwinters on infected twigs and dried fruit on the tree or ground.  The fungal spores are spread in the spring by wind and rain through the blossoms, causing twig dieback.  As part of the UWBG IPM program, moving toward our goal of eliminating the use of all synthetic pesticides is our ultimate goal.

IPM relies on many strategies to manage plant health care. 

  • Proper ID of the pest and its life cycle
  • Regular monitoring of the plants
  • The use of physical, mechanical, cultural, and biological controls
  • Chemical controls used as a last resort*
  • Least toxic chemicals used

* All spray applications are in compliance with WSDA pesticide regulations.  Sign postings are located at all entrances and Graham Visitor Center. Spray applications are scheduled based on timing and weather. We do our best to apply when public are not present. For more information, pls contact, David Zuckerman at 206-543-8008 or dzman@uw.edu

The cherries are pruned in early fall  to remove infected twigs and improve air circulation.  Tree rings are given a fresh coat of mulch in the fall to bury any infected plant material that may be on the ground.  In our Cherry Replacement program we are only using cultivars that are resistant to Blossom Brown Rot.

Cherries recommended for the PNW:

    • Prunus‘Berry Cascade Snow’
    • Prunus ‘Kwanzan’ syn. ‘Sekiyama’
    • Prunus‘Pink Flair®’
    • Prunus‘Royal Burgundy’
    • Prunus‘Shirofugen’
    • Prunus‘Shirotae’
    • Prunus‘Snow Goose’
    • Prunus subhirtella var. ascendens
    • Prunus x yedoensis ‘Shidare Yoshino’
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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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Spring and Summer Classes

March 17th, 2014 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Are you getting excited about warmer weather and experiencing sunlight? Finally, things are starting to grow, and green is a welcome relief from the grays and browns. There is even a smell to spring, a warm breeze carrying the scent of growing things and earth. Springtime always gets me excited about plants, and what better way to celebrate the new season than by learning a new topic!

Edible Seaweed

Browse our Spring/Summer Course catalog and see what catches your eye. Whether you are a novice gardener or an experienced horticulturist, there is a class for everyone. We offer a wide range of topics from garden design, wild sea vegetables, and summer pruning.

 

 

 

Succulent Seaweed courtesy of Melany Vorass Herarra

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Feel like getting outside, walking or discovering a new place? Join us in our continuing tour series, including Wednesday Walks, tours of the Miller Garden, a trillium garden or a lavender farm.

 

 

 

 

 

40-Ton Bed, courtesy of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden 

 

 

 

We even have free classes, courtesy of the King County Master Gardeners. These hour -long classes contain useful tidbits of gardening information, including composting, veggie gardening, and what to do with that unsightly boulevard!

 

 

Designed by Kim Rooney, Instructor of Practical and Creative Landscape Design

 Registration is easy, go online, or call 206-685-8033 to register by phone. 

Hope to see you there!

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March 2014 Plant Profile: Stewartia sinensis

March 10th, 2014 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes
Photo by Mitch Evans

Photo by Mitch Evans

It may seem odd that we’re profiling a plant we currently don’t have yet at UWBG, but soon everyone will be able to see it in a very prominent spot at the Center for Urban Horticulture. After over 10 years in its place, the 2nd of two Parrotia persica (Persian Ironwood) in the Soest Garden will be removed to make room for a new tree that will take its place for the next 10 year cycle to cast part shade in Bed 2. Curation has selected the exquisite and rare Stewartia sinensis.

Many keen gardeners and horticulturists are familiar with the more common Stewartia pseudocamellia and the stunning bark of S. monodelpha. This Chinese stewartia seems to have been overlooked in the trade as descriptions state that the flowers are a hair smaller than that of S. pseudocamellia and monodelpha and the fact that it may be less hardy than the two species may also have contributed to its status as a collector’s item destined mainly for taxonomic collections.  It has the same exquisite white blooms with the yellow stamens and the trunk of this small tree is truly exceptional with pretty peeling bark and a magnificent marbling pattern as the plant ages.

Be on the lookout for this stunning species. It will be years until it casts the kind of shade the underplantings of herbaceous perennials prefer, but the eventual effect will be quite dramatic.

 

 

 

 

Common Name:  Chinese Stewartia
Location: Soest Garden Bed 2
Origin: Central China
Height and Spread: 20-25′ high x 15-20′ wide
Bloom/Fruit Time: June-July

 

 

 

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March Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

March 9th, 2014 by Pat Chinn-Sloan
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (March 3 - 16, 2014)

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

1)   Berberis fortunei      (Chinese Mahonia)

  • Previously categorized in the genus, Mahonia
  • Characterized by narrow, serrated evergreen leaves
  • Located in the Sino-Himalayan hillside

2)   Grevillea victoriae      (Mountain Grevillea)

  • Australian shrub, growing up to four meters
  • Named for Queen Victoria
  • Located in the Pacific Connections – Australia Entry Garden

3)   Lomatia myricoides      (River Lomatia)

  • Originally placed in the genus, Embothrium
  • Specific epithet refers to foliage similar to the genus, Myrica
  • Located near the Pacific Connections – New Zealand Forest

4)   Morella californica      (California Bayberry)

  • Formerly of the genus, Myrica
  • A Pacific Coast native shrub that is well suited for borders and hedges
  • Located in the Pacific Connections – Cascadia Entry Garden

5)   Podocarpus macrophyllus      (Kusamaki)

  • Japanese conifer, sometimes referred to as Buddhist Pine
  • Known by carpenters for termite resistant wood
  • Located near the junction of the Middle Trail and Lower Trail
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A glimpse into the past: A view of Azalea Way 70 years prior

March 7th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By John A. Wott, Director Emeritus

photo

Azalea Way from Lake Washington Boulevard. Photo by H. G. Ihrig 1944

This view looks from Lake Washington Boulevard toward the southern end of Azalea Way. The photo was taken by H. G. Ihrig in May, 1944. It shows the opening of Arboretum Creek along Azalea Way as it flows north from the culvert under Lake Washington Boulevard. Note the large weeping willow trees as well as the large open grass path we all know as Azalea Way. The wooden bollards with the long grass growing under them are also noteworthy of the time.

On the extreme left is the entrance to East Interlaken Boulevard. The small kiosk located at the intersection was built by the Works Progress Administration crew. The kiosk was later destroyed and removed.

The intersection appears much the same today, with a few minor changes. Besides being widened, formal concrete curbs along Lake Washington Boulevard have been added.

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Slowing the Clock with Winter

March 5th, 2014 by Lisa Sanphillippo

Before we know it, it will be spring. April will be here and there will be flowers and (more) rain and leaf buds opening. We will continue on with our lives; work, school, exercise, going out and of course, gardening. Time moves on, no matter what, and it feels like it’s moving VERY quickly.

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I think I may have found a way to slow things down. Well, slowed down for an hour, anyway. I went to the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden at Washington Park Arboretum with my camera. It was on a day we were supposed to have rain and didn’t. For the hour I was out in the field, I saw color, smelled sweet and spicy scents, felt soft and hairy flower buds, heard birds sing and declare territory and relished in the form of the naked trees. Time slowed and my senses (including my sense of wonder) took over.

If you don’t already know, the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden is just a short distance from the parking lot near Graham Visitors Center. Walking west of the center and up the graveled ramp, you pass by one of the most fascinating trees, Malus fusca or Pacific Crabapple. This particular tree is at least as old as the Arboretum (1935) and is listed as a State Champion for it’s width. You can see in the picture below how long the side branches are.

Malus fusca

Just a little further down the trail, in the “hallway” to the Winter Garden, are two of my most favorite witch hazels. Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’ not only has a beautiful flower color, but it’s fall color is also spectacular. I have seen purple, orange, red, green and yellow in one leaf.

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Directly across the trail is Hamamelis mollis, which has my favorite witch hazel fragrance and a brilliant yellow color.

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A few steps more and the the garden and all its beauty presents itself.

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A Townsend’s Warbler in Berberis ‘Arthur Menzies’ – tasting the last of the flowers. Too fast for me to get a great shot.

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The friendly and fuzzy flower buds of a star magnolia.

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The amazing and nearly unbelievable color of Cornus sanguinia ‘Midwinter Fire’.

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The shy (they don’t even lift their ‘heads’ when you walk by) and spicy sweet flowers of the Chimonanthus praecox.

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Mercy! I could go on and on. There is so much to see, smell and touch! Okay, just one more. Helleborus ‘HGC Cinnamon Snow’.

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You must come to the Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden for yourself and take the time to be fully rooted in the present. You will feel like you are suddenly living in technicolor after having been in black and white. Don't delay, soon enough we’ll be caught up in spring’s turn to blow our minds with sights and sounds.

(Top picture is a Acer griseum surrounded by two Betula albo-sinensis var. septentrionalis.
All photographs taken by Lisa Sanphillippo, UW Botanic Gardens Education Program Assistant.)

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