New Winter/Spring Courses Are Out!

January 3rd, 2014 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

 

pink-orchid

 

 

Our new course catalog for Winter/Spring is out and ready for registration. Whether you are a novice gardener, or an experienced horticulturist, you will find something to interest you.  Why not take up watercolor or drawing, learn to be a beekeeper, forage for your own foods, or learn about our very own seed vault right in Seattle.

 

 

???????????????????????????????

 

 

Interested in the background and stories of the Botanic Gardens? Go behind the scenes with our Curator Talks series, and discover the history of the Gardens’ most remarkable collections. Or if you feel the need to get outdoors, why not sign up for Wednesday Walks with John Wott?

 

 

 

millergarden01

 

Maybe take a tour with the Botanic Gardens! We will be touring the Elisabeth C Miller Botanical Garden to discover spring ephemerals and taking a trillium tour at the Cottage Lake Gardens in Woodinville (where we will get tea and snacks!).

 

 

beetle

 

 

For our professionals and advanced gardeners out there, we have the Master Pruner series,  Woody Plant Study Group, and First Detector: Pest and Disease Diagnotics. These classes focus on material relevant to professional horticulturists, and include pruning for trees, vines, and roses, woody plant selection for location and aesthetics, and pest detection, identification and monitoring.

 

 

 

flickerPlants not your thing? Local birding expert and author Connie Sidles will be doing a 4-part bird series with us this year, kicking off with Avian Tools.

 

There you have it! There really is something for everyone this year. And you can sign up for any of them by registering online, or calling 206-685-8033.

Share

Fiddleheads Winter Series

December 19th, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

A new year brings new faces, fresh starts, and a new Fiddleheads series! Join Teacher Kate this winter in exploring the Washington Park Arboretum using all of our senses. Each week will be a different theme including:

Baker11-Smithers-small

  • Rain, Water and Mud!
  • Ice and Snow
  • Hibernation
  • Nature Through Our Noses
  • Sounds of the Forest
  • Roots, Shoots, and Bark
  • Decomposers Are My Friends
  • I Can Be A Scientist
  • Dinosaurs and Fossils
  • Signs of Spring
  • Turtles, Beavers, and Wetlands
  • How Animals Move

 

So this winter, join us for a class of nature connection activities and outdoor play. Each week’s activities include art projects, games, learning stations focusing on fine and gross motor and pre-literacy skills based around the theme, as well as hiking and exploring the park and letting the children’s interests lead the way. Fun for parents and their preschoolers!

Classes meet Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays from 10am-12pm at the Washington Park Arboretum. More information about the classes.

$18/class for 1 adult and 1 child. Additional child: $9/class.

Discount for 6 or more classes! ($14/class, $7 for additional child)

Register online or call 206.685.8033

 

Baker15-Smithers-small

Share

Master Pruner Series

November 13th, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

PruningComing this winter to the University of Washington Botanic Gardens is the Master Pruner Series, held in cooperation with PlantAmnesty. This 12-course series will highlight techniques and tools for quality pruning from a number of professional instructors.

Register online or call 206-685-8033.

Master Pruner 2014 Flyer

 

 

 

 

MasterPruner2014Flyer

Share

Autumn in the Soest Garden

October 31st, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Have you ever visited the Soest Garden and wondered what kind of work goes into making it thrive year round? Join Soest Gardener Riz Reyes for a morning of hands-on instruction, fun and fall perennial care. Learn how he keeps this garden glowing even in the winter months!

foggysoest2


 

In this exclusive class, you will get down and dirty in the garden with Riz while he shares his favorite “tried and true” selections for fall interest as well as tips and techniques for keeping your own garden beautiful even in the rainiest, grayest months.

 

 

 

 

Riz01

Instructor Riz Reyes has worked at UW Botanic Gardens since 2004 and has run his own garden consultation business, RHR Horticulture, since 2003. He is a regular contributor to many local horticultural publications and also writes a monthly feature on the UW Botanic Gardens website. Earlier this year, Riz won the Founder’s Cup for Best Show Garden at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show. Recently Riz has been working in the Soest Garden at the Center for Urban Horticulture, a garden designed to help local gardeners select plants appropriate to a variety of site conditions commonly found in Pacific Northwest urban gardens.

For more information on Riz, check out his website and blog!

Participants should bring their own hand-pruners, gloves, and hori-hori soil knife, and dress for the weather.

Date: Saturday, November 9th, from 10am-12pm

Fee: Early Bird Discount: $25; $30 after November 2

Register online, or call 206-685-8033

Share

October Dispatches From the Fiddleheads Forest School

October 30th, 2013 by Sarah Heller, Community Programs Coordinator & Fiddleheads Forest School Director

Bucket OIMG_7597IMG_6859

What is it about the autumn that generates so much nostalgia? A season evoking such emotion somehow always manages to pass in a blur. It marks the end of lackadaisical afternoons and the start of the annual decent into the cooler, more introspective months.  The way I see it, fall is the natural steward of the New Year. We begin afresh: in school, in season, in time. Fall is about possibility, and that being given, there is no lovelier place to be than surrounded by preschoolers.

EzraThese past weeks in the Forest Grove have been filled with observations of our changing surroundings.  Children this age are just beginning to have an awareness of the passage of time, and autumn therefore provides the perfect canvas for that initial introduction. We literally see the passage of time echoed in the ever sooner sunsets, the coming of the rain showers, and most particularly, in the changing and falling of the leaves and the mushrooms that burst through them on the forest floor. Contrary to life in a traditional classroom, in the forest school the change in seasons literally alters our landscape. Bug HuntTaking the time to draw attention to these changes and allowing the children the opportunity to explore and experience them first hand encourages the development of a heightened ability to discriminate the subtle nuances of the environment, and is therefore a very important part of our curriculum indeed. When we bury ourselves in giant maple leaves, or collect seedpods with different size tongs, or compare and contrast mushrooms, or close our eyes and listening to the new sounds of migrating birds, or choose a specific tree to visit weekly, we are ensuring that these changes do not pass unnoticed.

In addition to the science of our IMG_7586surroundings, children in the forest school have been learning to discriminate feelings, thoughts and the social and emotional need of individuals as well as of a group. We have begun using “The Incredible Flexible You!” social thinking curriculum to better understand why we choose to act in certain ways, and how that impacts those around us. I never cease to delight in the expression of independence and pride on the face of a child who for the first time verbalizes a feeling and then is able to follow that up with an explanation of “why I feel that way.”

These thoughts and ideas are powerful, not only for children but for adults as well. Sarah and I have learned at least as much about social interaction as the children have- there is so much to know! Remy makes nature stickersRecently, we have read the books “Thinking Thoughts and Feeling Feelings,” and “The Group Plan,” and have incorporated activities in regard to these topics into our daily lesson plans. Here in the forest grove, we can already see the impact it is having on the children, who ask to hear the stories again and again and who have begun using their hand to demonstrate a “thought bubble” whenever they discuss a thought they’ve had.

In the Magnolia class we’ve seen an incredible group dynamic develop. The children take on large-scale projects together and successfully navigate complex imaginative games. It is exciting to experience the change that has occurred as these preschoolers become increasingly less reliant on us and more reliant on one-another. There is a sense of independence, responsibility, and pride among all of the students, and it is reflected in the way they interact. They shout out roles and tasks and pass them back and forth, taking turns without needing to be asked. They incorporate new members into the play as they arrive. photo7They take time to solve conflicts and listen to one another’s words. These are self-confident, self-directed kids, and they go out of their way to help one another problem solve and achieve success. In so doing, they are able to take on new and greater challenges, and take full advantage of the educational experiences available to them. As a teacher, it is absolutely thrilling to stand back and observe each morning as everyone greets one another with a hug or a smile and then get right to work- these kids don’t need to be told what the important work of the day is- they are creating it themselves.

The Cedar class has been taking advantage of all the outdoor classroom has to offer. They really want to know everything about their classroom and how to engage with it. We go on spider-web hunts and are astounded at how many are to be found high in the cedar trees above us. We learn that Native Americans used cedars to make shelter, fishing gear, and even clothing, and then we fashion braided bracelets from long cedar “ropes.” We collect a menagerie of mushrooms by the nurse log and make spore prints with them, discussing the how and why of the images left behind. We work together to fill a basket with heavy stones, use our combined power to heft it upundefined high, check to make sure that the “danger zone” is clear, then laugh and clap as it comes thundering down to the ground with a satisfying “thunk.” On a walk we find a print in the ground and throw out suggestions as to what it might be- a lion? a dog? a coyote? -We decide that it probably isn’t a lion and continue on, hunting for more clues as though they were our prey. In the mud pit we’re moving our bodies to accommodate one-another, making space while making mud-cakes. We join together to roll a large log up a hill, then collapse exhausted on the ground. We build fairy houses and furniture for our fort. We use binoculars to spy into the trees and search for birds, discovering a chickadee nest outside the classroom boundaries. We sing songs as a group and take turns singing songs for one another. We are learning and growing by the minute.

WalkingDespite the speed with which the autumn blazes past, we have accomplished much these past weeks in the forest grove, and have loved every second of it. The funny thing I’ve come to realize about this quirky season is that indeed, time passes quickly, but if you take the time to really stop and appreciate them, the moments within seem to last forever.
Warmly,

Kit Harrington and Sarah Heller

 

IMG_7438photo2IMG_7607

Share

The Garden at Rest

October 7th, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

You may think fall and winter is a time for rest for your garden. Get prepared this fall so your garden will be supercharged come spring!

Register Online, or call 206-685-8033!

 

Putting Your Garden to Bed

WinterProt11_18_2010 002

Protecting tender plants

In this FREE class taught by a Master Gardener, find out what you should do in your garden in the fall to prepare it for winter and make your garden chores easier come spring. You can help give it a gentle transition into the winter season by performing a few important tasks that will not only make the winter garden more appealing but also able to better handle the cold temperatures ahead.
By doing these simple things, your garden will be ready for winter and further ahead for next spring.

Join us on Saturday, October 26th from 10-11 to see how to put your garden to bed!

 

November Garden Tasks: Ensuring a Healthy Flower Garden Next Year

soestcombosm

Soest in the Fall and Spring

Join the Soest Garden gardener Riz Reyes for this hands-on workshop on fall perennial garden care.  Walk the extensively planted beds and learn about which plants to cut back now, and which ones to leave until spring.  Learn how to divide and transplant specific types of plants, and some tricks and techniques for maintenance practices that create visual appeal for the dormant season.  Riz will also share his favorite “tried and true” selections for fall interest.
Participants should bring their own hand-pruners, gloves, and hori-hori soil knife, and dress for the weather.

Join the class on Saturday, November 9th, from 10am-12pm; $25/person.

Share

The Hidden Side of Plants

September 30th, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Want to delve a little deeper into the plant world? This series of classes will take you below the surface, looking at small, overlooked or under-appreciated plants. I guarantee that taking one of these classes will open your eyes, and you will notice a whole new world every time you step out in your backyard or walk in the park!

Register online or call 206-685-8033

IMG_20130625_133603_203

A small sample to show the diversity of seeds.

As a former seed technician, I can’t tell you how cool seeds are. The wild and whimsical forms, the variation, and the functionality inherent in a seed are always fascinating to me, not to mention the straight up beauty. Seeds can range from the dust-like seeds of orchids, to the largest seed in the world, the coco-de-mer ( a 40 pound whopper!) Learn a little about seeds in our upcoming class, Spectacular Seeds!

What: Spectacular Seeds!
When: Sunday, October 6th, from 1-3pm
Where: Washington Park Arboretum
Cost: $30

wild salad

Does this salad taste as good as it looks?

If seeds aren’t your thing, maybe food is! Did you know that some of the weeds you pull from your lawn and garden are edible and taste pretty darn good? Kill two birds in one stone: weed your garden, and prepare a salad for dinner. Harvest the untapped potential in your yard!

What: Urban Foraging: Weeds and Wild Foods
When: Saturday, October 5th, from 1-3pm
Where: Washington Park Arboretum
Cost: $35

 

 

lichen

What is this lichen trying to tell us about air pollution?

 

And don’t overlook the lowly lichen! And although they are not technically a plant, (lichens are a symbiotic growth of a fungus and an algae) these little guys are everywhere once you start looking for them. They can tell you valuable information about the climate and air quality, and add visual interest to your trees and rocks!

What: Cemetery Lichens
When: Saturday, October 26th, from 10am-12pm
Where: Mount Pleasant Cemetery, 700 W Raye St, Seattle, WA 98119
Cost: $25

Register online or call 206-685-8033

Share

Rain Garden Gala Oct. 22 and Workshop Oct. 23-24

September 26th, 2013 by Jessica Farmer, Adult Education Supervisor

 

Rain Garden Gala Flyer

Please join us for the launch of our new rain garden handbook!

Catch up with the latest in rain garden science and techniques with the region’s leading researchers!

  • Find out what’s new in thie edition of the handbook from lead author & expert, Curtis Hinman
  • Have your questions answered by a panel of rain garden experts, owners, & builders!
  • Enjoy complimentary Salmon Safe wine & beer along with locally sourced appetizersPlease join us for the launch of our new rain garden handbook!

Please RSVP to Kelly: KS@stewardshippartners.org

For more information, go to www.12000raingardens.org or contact Aaron Clark: ac@stewardshippartenrs.org, 206.292.9875

**************

Then, join us on October 23-24 for a Rain Garden Training for Professionals!

For full details and to register, visit: http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/education/stormwater.shtml

Rain Garden Training for Professionals

Share

Fiddleheads Forest School Opens

September 19th, 2013 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

Fiddleheads_sign_UWBG

The changing hues at the Washington Park Arboretum these days signal a transition.  Many of the deciduous trees that make up our collection are booting down in preparation for winter dormancy.  Despite these seasonal changes amongst the plants, however, there is an exciting new energy in the air, one of growth and development.  The source of this vibrancy is the newest and youngest members of our UW Botanic Gardens community – the inaugural class of our Fiddleheads Forest School.

This new endeavor is designed for preschool-aged children, and aims to introduce these 3-5 year olds to the natural world in the best way possible, by immersing them in it.  In gently guiding their innate curiosity, our uber-qualified teachers, Sarah Heller & Kit Harrington, seek to promote the complete development of their students – mental, emotional, physical and social.  A lofty goal to be sure, but one we feel well-worth pursuing.  And judging by the response from the families involved, one for which there is strong desire to be met. 

Innumerable studies point towards the value of early childhood learning.  Businesses and municipalities around the country are recognizing the long-term benefits of starting kids off on the right foot and are making investments in hopes of creating a more competent and competitive work force down the road.  These “Grow Smart” initiatives can be found in states across the country and make the connection between regional economic growth and the importance of early childhood education.  It behooves organizations like ours that lean green to join this movement if we are to have any hope of achieving a more sustainable relationship with the Earth.   

Richard Louv sounded the alarm in his now seminal book, “Last Child in the Woods”, in which he coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe a social byproduct of the information age.  Louv pointed out that while kids and people in general become more and more plugged in to a virtual world, they simultaneously become less and less connected to the natural one.  Disconnection leads to a loss or lack of appreciation, and in the Environmental Education world, appreciation is the first step towards conservation.

Over a year in the making, we are now almost two weeks into our first year of the Fiddleheads Forest School.  We have twenty-four families who have taken this exciting plunge with us and we couldn’t be more grateful for their trust and support.  The spectacular outdoor classroom that is the UWBG Washington Park Arboretum has never felt more perfect a space than with this new application.  And we could not have found a more dynamic duo than Sarah & Kit to lead this adventure.  So two weeks in, and I’m happy to report, so far, so so good. 

Are we winning the battle in combating nature deficit disorder?  Only time will tell.  At the UW Botanic Gardens we work a lot with trees and perhaps as a result, we think like trees and take a long-term approach.  The seeds we plant today, we plant to ensure healthy forests for tomorrow.  With this mentality, we hope that when these 3-5 year olds grow up to have 3-5 year olds of their own, that outdoor schools for early learners are commonplace, and that we as a society will have had the forethought to set aside spaces like the Arboretum in which to hold them.  

Kit reads a book about emotions during story time

Kit reads a book about emotions during story time

 

Sarah unleashes bubbles that elicit shrieks of joy and fits of dancing

Sarah unleashes bubbles that elicit shrieks of joy and fits of dancing


Share

Garden Design: Planning for Spring!

September 3rd, 2013 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Does the impending bleak weather have you feeling down? Sign up for one of our garden design classes to stay positive, and hopeful through the blah months! Learn about attracting wildlife to your yard or window, and making a safe and exciting garden for your little ones!

Wildlife Habitat Garden Design

Courtesy of Emily Bishton

Courtesy of Emily Bishton

 

Bring birds, butterflies, and bees to your yard! Learn the steps of choosing plants and features that fit your yard, and fulfill the daily needs of wildlife all the while keeping pests at bay. Whether your goal is to design a new garden or to incorporate new habitat features into an existing garden, you will enjoy this practical approach to sustainable success. Wildlife habitat gardens have kind of a beauty that plants alone cannot provide!

Bring photos of your own yard for personalized advice!

 

 

 

Child-Friendly Garden Design

Courtesy Emily Bishton

Courtesy Emily Bishton

 

 

Turn your garden into a safe and inviting place for kids. Learn to make unique places for nature exploration, and design the garden so that it “grows up” along with your child. Even learn how to involve your kids in food gardening.  Attendees should bring photos of their garden for personalized advice, and they will also receive lists of child-friendly plants and plants to avoid.

 

 

 

And as always, you can register online or call 206-685-8033 for more information

Share