In early May UWBG suffered a sever vandalism attack of in the Gateway to Chile garden. This follows similar vandalism last May in the same location and in some cases, the same plants. KOMO news covered the story with an interview with the Manager of Horticulture, David Zuckerman:
Yesterday Director Sarah Reichard received a call from a private banker representing an anonymous donor and by late yesterday UWBG had a check to cover the estimated costs to replace plants and repair the damages – $43,000!
Director Reichard reassured staff in an email announcing the donation that the investigation continues:
“This does not mean we will not continue to assist the police to track down the guilty parties but I hope you feel – as I do – that your faith in human nature at least a little bit restored.”
Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Arboretum Foundation, and the UW Botanic Gardens ask anyone with information about the crime to contact the Seattle Police Department’s East Burglary Unit at 206-684-4300
The new Cascadia bog is a perfect solution for a wet spot.
When the Cascadia section of the Pacific Connections Garden was under construction, a natural depression appeared. Recognizing the potential for this poorly-draining area, Jason Henry of the Berger Partnership incorporated a Cascadian bog into the design. Pacific Connections Gardener Kyle Henegar explains, “Creating the bog is a long-term process as the soil conditions mature, the plants are phased in, and as Roy Farrow and I continue to procure and stage snags and rocks to create a more realistic-looking garden. I suggest visitors come visit the bog frequently to see how it ages over time and develops the beautiful patina of a native bog.”
An irrigation system will keep the soil soggy during dry months. Vegetation includes Andromeda polifolia, Ledum glandulosum and Rhododendron occidentale grown from seed collected in the Siskiyou Mountains by Collections Manager Randall Hitchin, and Darlingtonia californica from the UW Botany Greenhouse. Native plants such as huckleberry and maidenhair fern are serving as placeholders while bog plants are being phased in. In addition, the Cascadian Focal Forest contains a Siskiyou seep area along the east side of the first stairway. It too is being phased in and is currently full of container-grown native plants and plants grown from wild-collected seed.
Darlingtonia californica from the UW Botany Greenhouse
Rhododendron occidentale grown from seed collected in the Siskiyou Mountains by Collections Manager Randall Hitchin
No, aliens haven’t invaded the arboretum. The “straw tepees” (left), as Kyle Henegar, PCG gardener, aptly coins them, are to protect the newly planted Phormiums and other marginally hardy New Zealand plants make it through this cold spell that’s hit Seattle. It just wouldn’t seem fair to let these plants try to make it on their own since they were just planted late last summer and have yet to get their roots established.
The new Chilean Gateway garden also has several box structures dotted along the rockery hillside (bottom right). These wooden frames enveloped w/ shade cloth are protecting our new Chilean wine palms that are indeed cold sensitive.
Box over palm
Sundstrom, Gateway contractor, has also treated the palm’s crowns w/ a copper-based pesticide, to help inhibit the colonization of bacteria and fungal crown rots. If you look inside the structures, you’ll notice straw has been used to blanket the trunks and crowns as well.
Let’s all hope that these extraordinary winter protection measures pay off. We won’t know for sure until late spring or even early summer in some cases. And no, you needn’t worry about alien invasions in the arboretum.
“Uno, dos, tres, cut!” cried Paige Miller, the Arboretum Foundation’s executive director. Armed with garden shears, dignitaries clipped the bamboo ribbon, officially opening the Gateway to Chile in Washington Park Arboretum’s Pacific Connections Garden. Bathed in sunshine, and on the heels of the Chilean miners’ safe return above ground, the Oct. 17 Gateway to Chile celebration was triply joyous. Watch a 2 1/4-minute video.
Can’t wait until the monkey puzzle trees and other fascinating plants mature so you can stand immersed in a Chilean forest? Join Dr. Sarah Reichard, professor at UW Botanic Gardens, and Plantsman Dan Hinkley for a breathtaking tour of Chile’s national botanical gardens, parks, nurseries and private estate gardens Jan. 15-30, 2011.
33 trees will be removed under the Pacific Connections Phase 2 Project. These trees do not contribute to the horticultural collection. They are being removed as a management tool and to make way for the new Chilean garden.
Location: Pacific Connections Garden – Chilean Immersion Forest NE quadrant of intersection of Lake Washington Blvd. and Arboretum Drive.
Timeframe: April 19 -23, 2010
Safety: Service roads and trails near tree removal operations will be clearly signed “Closed” for this removal and a detour will be set up to route pedestrians around the removal.
Contact: Andy Sheffer, Seattle Parks and Recreation, for additional information. firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.684.7041