Annie Bilotta is a Gardener, working at the Center for Urban Horticulture. She is originally from New York State, and she moved to Seattle in 1989. Annie started working at the UW Botanic Gardens in 1993 at the Washington Park Arboretum as a Gardener. She moved over to the Center for Urban Horticulture around 2005.
Annie is especially fond of vegetable gardening. When not gardening, she can usually be found riding one of her four bikes, either on a long road ride or in the mountains. In the rare times that she can be found sitting still, she likes to knit or weave baskets.
Annie has no formal education in horticulture and received her bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College in music education. One of her favorite classes in college was instrument repair. It wasn’t apparent to her then but she loves working with her hands. Annie became involved with UW Botanic Gardens when she persistently called for about two years and asked about getting hired on as a gardener at the Arboretum. When a position opened up in 1993 she applied and was hired.
The thing she likes most about her job is the variety. A typical day has her checking out the landscape and determining what the most pressing issues are. Out of the many that she identifies as needing doing ‘Right Now’ she picks one and does it — if she doesn’t get sidetracked by something else. The things she does the most, in order of frequency, are: weeding, mowing, irrigation, mulching, pruning, and planting. Annie also likes talking to visitors.
Annie’s favorite place at the UW Botanic Gardens is the Union Bay Natural Area because it is calm and peaceful, and has a lot of wildlife. What is Annie’s favorite plant? Well, right now she is most fond of sedums (tender and hardy succulents). She likes the color palette they provide, that they are somewhat drought tolerant, and they’re easy to grow.