A Treasure Trove of Trilliums!

May 9th, 2014 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Enjoying our snacks and tea while learning about trilliums

Our latest offsite tour to the Cottage Lake Gardens was a resounding success! The treats and tea were delicious, (and the trillium-themed china was exquisite), the presentation was informative and entertaining, and rain held off until the very end of the tour!

Trillium cuneatum Bed 03G (2) 600x399 107KB

Trillium cuneatum



We toured the woodland garden of Susie Egan, owner of Cottage Lake Gardens and self-described “Trillium Lady”. Her lovely gardens had not only all 46 species of Trillium but also a wonderful assortment of other spring ephemerals and other shade loving plants. Her passion for all things Trillium was evident as she showed us around her well-marked and -tended garden, answered any and all questions, and  even struck a few bargains at the end of the tour.

Ladyslipper Orchid

Ladyslipper Orchid




Everyone left feeling happy, full, and best of all, going home with a few trilliums or other rare plants of their own. Susie was a gracious host, and if you ever get a chance to visit her garden or bed and breakfast, you will not be disappointed!





Everyone had a good time!

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





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!

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






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

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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


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.

Who are the G.R.O.W. participants? A profile of Nathan Hale students

April 29th, 2011 by Barbara Selemon
greenhouse image
hanging baskets lined up in greenhouse

Students in Jessica Torvik’s Horticulture/Ecology classes meet in the Nathan Hale High School greenhouse on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.   The new site for horticulture classes is a few minutes’ walk from the main school building,
across the street and up the hill.  As they arrive, the students take the initiative to begin doing tasks assigned to
them in their working groups.   This day, they were also preparing to start making hanging baskets for their upcoming plant sale.  As an observer of the greenhouse activities,  I wanted to know why students signed up to take this class and what it is about gardening that they like.

For some, there is a connection to family.  For Colin, his mother was the impetus for him
to take the class since gardening is a major hobby of hers.  He finds that plants are a way for them to bond. For Emmy, her grandparents, who are members of the American Rhododendron Society, passed along  their interest in plants to her.  She sees herself working with plants in the near future, possibly having a small garden of her own at college.

For others, the class is fun to take.  For Michael, it is a break from being inside of a classroom.  He enjoys deadheading  the plants because it is easy and relaxing. Chris is taking the class because it is fun and accessible.  He especially likes working in groups and is the leader of his table group.

Farin and Andy are taking the class because they like the teacher.  In fact, many  tudents told me that their friends had taken the class and that is why they signed up as well.  A few students mentioned that working with plants was special to them in other ways.  For  Jasper, he likes watering plants in the greenhouse because he can experience a change in the environment when there is water in the atmosphere and on the floor.  Felisha enjoys working with  nature and not doing a lot of writing in class. Her favorite task is transplanting plants.  Faye believes that horticulture class is great for many students, since the learning is both visual and tactile and reaches those who learn in a different way.  Richard and Kenny are taking the class a second time around.  Richard enjoys learning the names of plants and says that there is an endless amount of knowledge to learn still about plants.  For Kenny, he’s hoping to grow watermelons and grapes in the school farm, but will settle for
the lima beans which were one of his favorites last year.

Green house image
Daily watering tasks

The UW Botanic Gardens is partnering with Nathan Hale horticulture classes as well as with students at Nova High School, Ingraham High School and Garfield Teen Center in the area through the Garden-based
Restoration and Outreach Workshops (G.R.O.W.) program.  The Nathan Hale students will undertake a
transformation of an empty site outside of the greenhouse into a farm where
they will grow vegetables.  Site prep and planting have begun and will continue throughout the spring semester.

Nathan Hale Horticulture will be selling their organic hanging baskets, vegetable starts, and bedding plants at their greenhouse site located just north of Jane Addams K-8 School (11051 34th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125) next month at the following days and times.

May 4 & 5 (WED AND THURS)–2 PM to 6 PM
May 6 (FRI)–1 PM to 6 PM
May 7 (SAT)-9 AM to 1 PM