Stock your library: Shop at the Garden Lovers’ Book Sale

March 11th, 2013 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

What could be better than a garden full of beautiful plants? A home library full of books about plants!

The 8th annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale is the best source of used books on plants, horticulture, garden design, edibles, pest control, and special this year only: cooking!

Dahlia photo by Brian ThompsonThe fun begins on Friday, April 5th at 5 pm at the Wine & Cheese Preview Party. Tickets cost $20 and include light refreshments plus first crack at the books. Purchase in advance by calling 206-543-0415.

On Saturday the doors open at 9:00 am. The public sale is free. Bring your own bags or boxes to load up on great deals.

Sale is at the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98105.

  • Preview party: April 5, 5-8pm, $20.00
  • Public sale: April 6, 9am-3pm, free.
  • All proceeds benefit the new materials budget for the Miller Library.
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Northwest Horticultural Society Spring Plant Sale

February 25th, 2013 by UWBG Communication Staff

Saturday, March 9, 2013 9am – 3pm

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Find elusive spring ephemerals for sale at the NHS Plant Sale

Come get your early blooming plants at the Northwest Horticultural Society Spring Plant Sale. This annual event features dozens of vendors and lectures by gardening experts, including Dan Hinkley.

Dan Hinkley will be speaking twice at the sale. Tickets go on sale at 8:30 for $5. At 10am his topic is Foliage First – Building the foundation of your garden. At 1pm the topic is The moment at Windcliff – Winter gives way to early spring.

Also, at 11:30 there will be a free experts Q&A session with Lorene Edwards Forkner, Richie Steffen & Marty Wingate.

The sale is free, but tickets for the lectures cost $5.00. Proceeds benefit the Miller Library.

3501 NE 41st St, Seattle, WA 98195

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Celebrating evergreens with stories

December 10th, 2012 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

 Join us Saturday, December 15 from 10:30 to 11:15 am  for stories and art.

In the Pacific Northwest, we treasure our evergreen forests, and today’s stories celebrate them. After the stories you’ll have time to color a tree picture or use homemade salt dough to sculpt your own evergreen tree. Free for kids ages 3 to 8 and their parents.

GRANDPA GREEN by Lane Smith
THE TREE by Dana Lyons
DOUGLAS FIR by Wendy Davis

Miller Library monthly Story Program happens once a month in the Children’s Corner.

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7th Annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale

March 27th, 2012 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer

Spring is the perfect time to update your gardening library with new inspiration. Choose from thousands of used gardening, horticulture, botany and landscape design books at the Miller Library’s 7th annual Garden Lovers’ Book Sale.

Want to get first dibs and beat the crowds, all while enjoying a glass of wine? Join us for the Wine and Cheese Preview Party on Friday, April 6, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, and bid on specially selected books in the silent auction. Tickets to the Preview Party are $20 each, and directly fund the book budget of the Miller Library. Contact the Library at 206-543-0415 to purchase tickets.

The book sale takes place on Saturday, April 7, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admittance is free. While you’re there, be sure to check out the original Pacific Northwest botanical artwork on exhibit and for sale through May 5.

The sale and preview party will take place at the Center for Urban Horticulture, UWBG, 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle. All proceeds from the book sale and preview party directly fund the book and journal budget of the Miller Library.

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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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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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Plant Answer Line: Going Strong After Ten Years

May 9th, 2011 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

Plant Answer Line - click to ask a questionIn the spring of 2001 the Elisabeth C. Miller Library launched a new service designed to answer plant and gardening questions quickly over the phone or via email.

“How do I prune a Hollywood juniper to shape and train it so it looks good?”

The Plant Answer Line is staffed by professionally trained librarians who also have a life-time passion for gardening. The librarians find answers in an extensive collection of books and magazines, as well as online from trusted websites and databases. Over the last decade, tens of thousands of gardeners from all over the world received well researched answers with citations to sources.

“Can you tell me how to grow Hibiscus from cuttings?”

travel mug image

Buy your Plant Answer Line gear today!

To celebrate the ten year anniversary of the Plant Answer Line the Miller Library opened a Cafe Press shop where travel mugs, caps, book bags and magnets may be purchased all featuring the PAL anniversary logo.

Have a question? Call 206-897-5268 (UW-PLANT) or send a message to hortlib@uw.edu. Plant Answer Line is a free service, but the Miller Library depends on private donations to buy books and pay staff.

“Will I be able to get  syrup from maple trees in our climate?”

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Plant Sale Season Now in Full Swing

April 28th, 2011 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

Trillium chloropetalum

  • FlorAbundance at Warren G. Magnuson Park, Building 30 Saturday, April 30, 9 am to 5 pm Sunday, May 1, 10 am to 2p m Benefits the Washington Park Arboretum
  • Master Gardener Foundation Plant Sale at the Center for Urban Horticulture, Saturday,  May 7,  8 am to 5 pm and Sunday, May 8, 10 am to 3 pm
  • Hardy Fern Foundation’s Fern Festival 2011, Center for Urban Horticulture, Friday, June 3, 1 pm to 6:30 pm and Saturday June 4, 10 am to 2 pm

For a complete list of plant sales all over the Pacific Northwest (especially Washington) check out the Miller Library’s Garden Tours & Plant Sales Calendar!

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March 2011 Plant Profile: The Genus Helleborus

March 9th, 2011 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

The popularity of this tough and resilient perennial has made it one of the most revered and sought after of all winter blooming plants in our climate. The range of varieties and different color forms now available is quite remarkable and being able to select just one for your garden is near impossible.

Helleborus x hybridus Winter Jewels™ Black Diamond

By far the most popular and well known are the diverse hybrids of Helleborus x hybridus (often incorrectly dubbed as Helleborus orientalis) or the Lenten Rose. These represent the wide range of colors and forms that currently exist and some of the finest examples come from a breeder who generously donated some of their previous breeding stock to UW Botanic Gardens, which are all now in full bloom at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Ernie and Marietta O’byrne of Northwest Garden Nursery developed the fabulous Winter Jewels Series. Thousands of crosses comprised of hybrids bred from at least 16 different species make up several color strains to showcase much improved flower forms, exquisite colors and unusual markings.

Here’s just an example of their work and what’s currently blooming now:

Helleborus x hybridus Winter Jewels™ Jade Star flower reverse

Helleborus x hybridus Winter Jewels™ Onyx Odyssey reverse

Helleborus Winter Jewels™ Painted

Helleborus x hybridus Winter Jewels™ Golden Lotus

When it comes to early bloom, prolific flowers and sturdy, disease-free foliage, the new hybrids coming out of Europe are tough to beat. The “Gold Collection”, again a complex series of hybrids are actually identical clones propagated vegetatively (via tissue culture) to ensure uniformity. In varying shades of pure white, cream, to deep saturated pinks, these have proven to be vigorous and excellent garden or container perennials. ‘Joseph Lemper’ our January 2010 Plant Profile) along with ‘Jacob’ are two selections of Helleborus niger that are a part of this Gold Collection. Then you have the exquisite quality of varieties such as ‘Ivory Prince’ and ‘Pink Frost’ that are flying off the nursery tables at nurseries in mid-winter.

Helleborus 'Josef Lemper'

A brand new hybrid that was new for us last year is getting established and looking quite lovely is Helleborus x ‘Rosemary’. An unusual cross between H x hybridus and H. niger bringout the fine qualities of both plants.

Then you have the sturdiness and dependability of species such as Helleborus argutifolius, the Corsican Hellebore, which opens later in the spring with pale green flowers. A selection called ‘Silver Lace’ is lovely with finer dissected foliage and a more compact habit. Helleborus foetidus you can find growing in the Fragrance Garden despite its unpleasant smell if admired up close, The foliage is exquisitely elegant, narrow and finely dissected.

Hellebores will be the highlight of an early spring plant sale taking place here at CUH being run by the Northwest Horticultural Society. Proceeds from the sales go to support the Miller Horticultural Library and there will be plant vendors from all around the Puget Sound region selling plants and, yes, they’ve been asked to also bring their blooming hellebores to entice you! There will be demonstrations, displays, and even a talk by renowned plantsman, Dan Hinkley.

For more information, please visit our page dedicated to this event!

This is the perfect month to see these wonderful jewels in person as the weather begins to warm, the earliest of bulbs begin to pop and the color heralding the arrival of spring.

Common Name: Lenten Rose, Christmas Rose
Family: Ranunculaceae
Location: Throughout CUH
Origin: Original species come from Eastern regions of Europe. Mostly hybrids.
Height: 10″-18″ tall
Spread: mature clumps can get 2.5ft. wide
Bloom Time: Mid-Winter-Early Spring
Bloom Type/Color: Flowers composed of persistent sepals often marked or fully double with central nectaries. Flowers are out to downfacing opening sequentially.
Water/Soil: Moist to moderately dry. Drought tolerant once established.

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CUH Update – October 2010: UW Classes, plant evaluations and fall color

October 11th, 2010 by Soest Gardener, Riz Reyes

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'

Classes in UW are in full swing as is the fall landscape at UWBG. Color is just beginning to show on our deciduous trees and the fall-blooming perennials are slowly waiting in the wings to burst into flight and glorious bloom here at CUH. After a inconsistent and late summer, fall seems to be right on queue as the weather slowly cools and our usual autumn tasks are well underway: fertilizing the lawn, planting and transplanting, monotonous raking and gathering of fallen leaves in either cold wet or windy weather, and one of my more favorite task is evaluating the year’s successes and failures in order to plan for next season.

Our formal evaluations were actually done on a crop of hardy perennials supplied to us by Blooms of Bressingham. For years we’ve received material and grown them on for people to see, but it was just last year that we resumed our formal trials and gave “BLOOMS” our feedback on how well their plants performed. This season, I decided to step it up; I recruited a enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteer to help me with maintenance and evaluations based on a set of criteria. We noted things like flowering period, stem and foliage quality, and pest and disease resistance. Maintenance practices were also jotted down to determine a variety’s overall performance throughout the growing season. I hope to develop an exclusive page that will feature photos of each variety under evaluation and our findings. There are some exceptional varieties and a few that never should have entered the market based on our criteria. So, stay tuned for those results!

Helichrysum Pink Sapphires - a brand new variety drawing much attention as it completes its 2nd year of evaluations.

One of the more exciting things to observe as an employee is being able to access “behind the scenes” to see the number of student projects taking place. Graduate students and post docs run various experiments and several classes make use of our facilities to set up labs and it’s all very fascinating to see. At times I feel like I’m so out of touch with recent developments and research, but it’s reassuring to know that there are hard working individuals answering various questions concerning our ever-changing ecosystems and landscapes.

Both the students and the general public have a most treasured resource here at CUH that’s celebrating its 25th anniversary. The Elisabeth C. Miller Horticultural Library is one of the best in the nation providing both novice and professionals a tremendous number of resources related to gardening and plants. Be sure to check our calendar for upcoming events to celebrate.

Our Douglas Conservatory has never really lived up to its name as our collection of indoor plants have consisted of only random hand-me downs from various sources who didn’t want to bother with them and tropicals left over from seasonal containers, but with a few doing reasonably well. I asked one of our volunteers to work with what we have and create a more appealing composition. Here’s what we came up with:

With fall being an ideal time to plant and transplant, expect a few changes as we play another round of musical plants. Look out for new plantings, a lot of digging and thinning and, hopefully, a few pleasant surprises come spring. There’s plenty to do as we shift in the seasons and I invite you all to come and visit and see the transformation before your eyes!

R

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