And the Winners Are…..Biodiversity Conference Art Exhibit up through March

March 19th, 2012 by Wendy Gibble

Paintbrush and Sedge illustration by Louise Smith

The winners of the botanical art exhibit  held in conjunction with the conference Conserving Plant Biodiversity in a Changing World: A View from NW North America were announced Wednesday afternoon at the close of the conference.  The winners are:

Botanical Illustration:
1st Place: Louise Smith for Paintbrush and Sedge
2nd Place: Daphne Morris for Carex macrocephala
3rd Place: Jan Hurd for Rosa nutkana

Photograph:
1st place: Daniel Mosquin for Castilleja applegatei var. pinetorum
2nd Place: Michael Hannam for Veratrum viride
3rd Place: Morgan Turner for Blechnum spicant

The exhibit is on display in the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the UW Botanic Gardens through March 29th.


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Cherry Tree Removal at CUH

March 14th, 2012 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

Our row of cherry trees along the driveway at CUH are scheduled to be removed this Thursday, March 15.

Though they’re starting to bloom, we have a severe infestations of blossom brown rot, a common fungal disease of cherries in the Pacific Northwest.

Fungicdal treatments are not a sustainable option. Our decision to display healthy plants available in the trade has left us with the option to choose plants that will be more adaptable to this site.

For more information, check out a post composed by Horticulture Supervisor, David Zuckerman, on the early flowering cherries along Azalea Way in Washington Park Arboretum.

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Biodiversity Conference Registration Open

January 26th, 2012 by UWBG Communication Staff

Barrett's beardtongue closeup, photo by Betty SwiftThere’s still time to register for the upcoming conference Conserving Plant Biodiversity in a Changing World: A View from NW North America to be held at UW Botanic Gardens, March 13-14. Act now so you don’t miss the chance to raise questions and find solutions to protect endangered plant communites. Program sessions include Climate Change: Observed Effects on Plants and Plant Communities and Recovery of rare species and the restoration of their habitat. Mingle with experts from around the Northwest and hear keynote speakers Dr. Peter Raven, President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden and Dr. Joshua Lawler, Associate Professor of the University of Washington.

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Are Weddings Allowed at the UW Botanic Gardens?

January 10th, 2012 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

Answer:  Yes!  Weddings and all social events are a natural fit at the beautiful Center for Urban Horticulture (CUH) and Washington Park Arboretum (WPA).   Weddings and many other social events are booked months, even a year, in advance at both of these sites.

NHS Hall photo

Imagine your wedding reception at the beautiful and affordable UW Botanic Gardens

Our wedding packages include tables, chairs, catering kitchen, parking and staffing.  The surrounding gardens and patios further enhance your event and are included in the package.  Other social event rental packages such as memorial services, auctions and parties are available – ask our reservationists for pricing tailored to your event.

Where would a wedding or other event take place?

Answer:  We have two sites to choose from.  The CUH is a distinctive Northwest event destination with a hall, classrooms and outdoor spaces that can be configured for conferences, weddings, meetings, exhibits, auctions and more conveniently located just blocks from the University of Washington (UW) main campus and the University Village shopping center.  The Graham Visitor Center is a unique urban woodland destination with a hall, classroom, conference room and outdoor patio for weddings, meetings, parties and more located in the 230-acre WPA amongst the UW’s collection of plans from around the world.

Arboretum wedding photo

Perfect for an intimate party

To book your wedding or other social event for 2012 or beyond, please contact the Rental Team to discuss your plans, available dates and personal site visit.  Please phone 206-221-2500 or 616-3994.  We look forward to working with you to plan a truly memorable event!

Book Your Events Now for 2012 at UW Botanic Gardens!

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CUH Update – December 2011: New Garden Features & Season’s Greetings

December 21st, 2011 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

It has been an incredibly busy autumn here at CUH as we have several new projects underway. Our entire horticultural team has been involved with 2 major projects we’d like to highlight as these are pretty significant changes that might raise a few eyebrows.

Soest Garden by R. Reyes

new tree photo

Earlier this autumn, our arborist crew took down a large specimen of Parrotia persica that’s been growing in a raised planter in the Orin and Althea Soest Herbaceous Perennial Garden. You can read our notice about it from a few weeks ago.

 

 

If you’ve visited UWBG-CUH in the last two weeks or so, you probably couldn’t help but notice a small broadleaf evergreen tree standing by itself on a “pedestal” with soil excavated from it. This is the first phase of what should be an extravagant perennial border to be design, planted and maintained by the Hardy Plant Society of Washington. HPSW and UWBG have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and we’re moving forward to assist them in preparing the site. The first step was to remove as much of the existing soil as possible to help eradicate the horrendous horsetail that has inhabited the bed after years of mediocre maintenance as this section of CUH has always been a low priority, yet it’s really our front door. We are ecstatic to have a group that can take this on (and also take over the Blooms of Bressingham evaluation program and its maintenance.

It will be awhile before both these projects really come into their own, but because we are the CENTER for urban horticulture, we will aim to provide our visitors with ongoing interest, color and at this time of year, festive decor such as our lovely Christmas tree donated by City People’s Garden Store and decorated by one of our many generous supporters, Charlotte Behnke and our containers in the Seattle Garden Clubs’s Fragrance Garden where members flanked containers with scented pansies and primoses accented with bright gold sweet flag grass.

On behalf of the UWBG staff, we want to wish you Season’s Greetings and a very Happy Holidays and may the upcoming year bring with it much joy, good health and, hopefully, more frequent visits to our gardens!

Cheers,

Riz

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November 2011 Plant Profile: Acer griseum

November 13th, 2011 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

Fall color this autumn has been truly exceptional and this wonderful maple is no exception. Though more well known for it’s papery bark, Acer griseum is one of the most beloved landscape trees here in the Pacific Northwest. You see it more frequently these days as street trees and main specimen subjects in small urban gardens because of it’s slow-moderate growth rate.


Here it is just a few months ago. What makes this maple so distinct and easy identifiable is the bark, of course, but the foliage isn’t palmately dissected like the Japanese maples, but instead it’s a compound leaf with several leaflets.

Acer griseum fall color
Come fall, the foliage takes on a spectacular orange/red color that’s more pronounced when planted in full sun, but since this adaptable plant also thrives in part sun, the fall color is more yellow.

My friend Sean Barton with one of the largest specimens of Acer griseum I've ever seen at Bodnant Gardens in Wales, UK during a visit earlier this spring.

Common Name: Paperbark Maple
Family: Sapindaceae
Location: North of Merrill and NHS Hall
Origin: SW China
Height and spread: 18-20ft. high and 15-18ft. wide. Older specimens will ultimately reach 40-50ft.
Bloom Time: Early June
Bloom Type/Color/Fruit: Almost inconspicuous flowers appear in spring followed by dull green samaras appear in mid-summer.

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CUH Update: The Autumn Approach

October 4th, 2011 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

After a nonexistent summer, we’re now charging forward and anticipating the return of rain and cooler temperatures, the shorter days, and all the fall tasks that seem to just ramp up without warning.

Autumn can be a mesmerizing time of year as many plants, particularly in the Soest Perennial Display Garden, have reached their full potential in growth and in many cases, abundant bloom. There’s indication of fall color all around (check out this month’s Plant Profile selection) and the last thrust of blooms being encouraged from slightly tender plants such as the dahlias, salvias, and agapanthus make for a tremendous show. The ornamenntal grasses are beginning to turn color as well as infloresences beginning to show creating a wonderfully diverse and complimentary foil to the landscape.

Our Plant Pick for the month of October: Vitis coignetiae the Crimson Glory Vine.

Fall is also the time to get one last mow of the lawn and then fertilize it. A major tree removal is on the task list this fall/winter (read about it here).We’ve also got a few planting areas that need to be prepared and hopefully installed this autumn and spring. It will be a very busy fall. We just pray that the weather cooperates when we have these large tasks to take on.

Cheers,

Riz

Salvia guaranitica 'Black and Blue' with Dahlia 'Bishop of York' with giant feather grass (Stipa gigantea) in the background.


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Oral History of UWBG Open House Nov. 1

September 28th, 2011 by Carrie Bowman

Oral History of Washington Park Arboretum, the Arboretum Foundation and the Center for Urban Horticulture

Graham Visitor Center

In 2010, a combined effort of many donors, led by John Wott, funded an oral history project, administered by the Miller Library. Carrie Bowman is supervising the project; Shelly Leavens was hired last November and spent the past ten months conducting research and interviewing people. People with long term associations with the Washington Park Arboretum, the Arboretum Foundation, and/or the Center for Urban Horticulture were invited to participate. Carrie, with the help of many others, looked for narrators who fulfilled multiple roles within these organizations, as well as seeking narrators from outside them.

The collection of interviews is an open door to our history. The intent of this phase of the project was to collect a variety of interviews, index them so that people can determine what was discussed, and organize them so that materials relevant to each interview are gathered in one place. Research materials, field notes, indexes, and narrator data sheets are all included with the interviews. This collection will remain in the Miller Library and will be available for public use. Arboretum Bulletin article.

The public is invited to a presentation of the project on Tuesday, November 1, from 5 – 7 pm in the Miller Library. Several displays will showcase the interview collection and will remain on exhibit in the library from Oct 21 until the week of Nov 20. The displays include audio clips from the interviews, set up so that people can browse at 5-10 different “stations.” Light refreshments will be provided.

Merrill Hall photo

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UW Student Reports on Stormwater Planting at CUH

September 14th, 2011 by Jennifer Youngman, Communications Specialist
Rain garden at CUH

Proud students admiring their hard work planting up the rain garden.

The Arboretum has its bog garden. The Center for Urban Horticulture (CUH) has its rain garden. A new rain garden is part of a larger project designed by Berger Partnership to direct rainwater from the roofs of Merrill and Isaacson Halls to the existing roof garden, an as-yet undeveloped hillside garden, and collection bins (rain gardens). When funding is found to complete the project, the CUH will present a completely integrated water system which collects rain, delivers it to the gardens, and drains to Lake Washington.

Lisa Haglund, a recent graduate with a degree Community, Environment, and Planning  in the UW College of Built Environments, created the planting plan for the rain garden with guidance from the UW Botanic Gardens’ Dr. Kern Ewing, David Zuckerman and Barbara Selemon. In May, students from Maggie Rose’s Ingraham High School science classes prepared the site with Haglund and Patrick Mulligan, after Selemon arranged for Haglund to give a presentation on stormwater at their school. Ingraham currently has no available site for rain garden construction, so the Ingraham students’ trip to the CUH was funded through GROW, a program designed to engage high school students with the UW Botanic Gardens.

Lisa describes her experience working with high school students:

From the first field trip to the last, I saw an awakening interest in plants, planting, maintenance techniques, and natural systems take root in many of these young people. Through experiential learning students gained knowledge of how plants and soils act to capture and filter out the contaminants in runoff, the value of freshwater and freshwater ecosystems, and how each of them can make a difference by implementing Low Impact Development  projects at their homes and schools.

Lisa’s complete LHaglund_Stormwater_GROWProgram with photos. Visit Lisa on LinkedIn.

 

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September 2011 Plant Profile: Vitex agnus-castus

September 1st, 2011 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

I’ve decided to go with a woody species this month so I selected the fabulous Chaste Tree. Our specimen here at CUH is just coming into bloom and will absolutely peak in the next couple of weeks attracting bees, butterflies, and other wildlife while also attracting the attention of our frequent visitors who inquire as to “why do you grow butterfly bush? Don’t know you know it’s a noxious weed?!”


Vitex agnus-castus makes a wonderful substitute to the agressively self-seeding Buddleja davidii. It has a far more elegant appearance with it’s scented, silvery green, palmately compound leaflets and the conical, upright flowering stems that bear lavender flowers that really look like butterfly bush.

As a Mediterranean native, it prefers a warm environment in full sun and fairly well drained soil. It is readily available in most garden centers and while the most common form is the lilac color. Vitex also comes in white and pink. Though hardy and thrives in the Pacifc Northwest, it is VERY slow to leaf out and looks like a dead tree in early summer before it begins to leaf out. Vitex comes into its own in later summer entering fall, which makes it so ideal for later season interest.


Common Name: Chaste Tree
Family: Lamiaceae
Location: Douglas Conservatory Parking Lot
Origin: Mediterranean
Height: 5 meters
Spread: 5 meters
Bloom Time: Late August-September
Bloom Type/Color: Upright panicles of lavender, occasionally white and pink forms available.

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