3 reasons to buy plants for a good cause

September 11th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

Why should you buy plants in autumn?

  1. trees, shrubs and perennials planted in warm fall soil get eight months of consistent moisture to become established before summer drought hits.
  2. Growers often discount plants in fall so that they don’t have to overwinter so much inventory.
  3. Serious plantaholics need a content flow of novel plants to keep their gardens interesting.

How to support worthy causes? Buy plants at charitable plants sales such as the Northwest Horticultural Society’s sale on September 12 & 13 or the Arboretum Foundation sale on September 27.

Not in Seattle? There are charitable plant sales all over the Pacific Northwest. Do your part, go out and BUY MORE PLANTS!

FallAbundance-logo-orange1

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A glimpse into the past: the early years of FlorAbundance

April 2nd, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By John A. Wott, Directory Emeritus

The first major plant sale in Seattle (now called FlorAbundance) was sponsored by the Arboretum Foundation as a fund raiser for what was then the University of Washington Arboretum. The sales were originally held in a small building called Floral Hall, which later burned down. As the plant sale grew, it was moved to the small cluster of buildings on the northern end of the Arboretum.

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An eager crowd of shoppers line up waiting to get into the 1982 FlorAbundance sale. Photo by John A. Wott.

When the Graham Visitors Center and its larger parking lots were opened in 1986, this increased the available sale area. Eventually the sale outgrew this location as well. First, it was moved to an outdoor area on the Naval Station Puget Sound grounds where the volunteers almost froze with the cold winds. Then for several years it was held in the E-1 Parking lot on the University of Washington campus.   Although the parking lot had plenty of space, it also had hot sun, beating winds, and no shelter from heavy rains. It also had little electricity and water. After the Puget Sound Naval Station was “given” to the City of Seattle and become Warren G. Magnuson Park, Building 30 became an ideal home for many years. While that building underwent renovation during 2012 and 2013, the sale returned to the Arboretum. This year, FlorAbundance will again return to Building 30 at Magnuson Park.

For many years, the Plant Sale was managed through the Unit Council, an organized sub-group of the Arboretum Foundation. The many AF Units were represented in the Unit Council. The AF members often raised the plants which were sold, or the chair of each section (e.g. trees, perennials) secured those plants from nurseries. Today it is primarily a vendor’s sale composed of area nurseries and garden centers.

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A sale volunteer decked out in a floristic fancy hat. Photo by John A. Wott

Both pictures were taken by me on May 5, 1982 during the first sale I attended. The first shot shows the line-up of attendees at the entrance from Foster Island Drive onto Arboretum Drive. When the rope was dropped, there was a massive stampede to grab the most unusual plants. For many years, after that, it was my privilege to manage the massive line-ups for the cashiers. The second picture features Lee Clarke, a long-time volunteer (and resident poet). Many of the volunteers loved to dress up and wear fancy hats. They obviously enjoyed the customers and working for the Arboretum and its sales.

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NHS Spring Plant Sale – March 7

February 28th, 2014 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer

1912242_712998182064027_770195739_nJoin us for the Spring Ephemeral Plant Sale on March 7 with selections from  more than 20 local nurseries. Dan Hinkley will present a special lecture, “Favorite Vignettes of Spring:  Noteworthy Plant Combinations for the Pacific Northwest.” Tickets to the lecture ($5) go on sale at 8:30 am.

The sale runs from 9am – 3pm at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Elisabeth C. 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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FlorAbundance: Seattle’s best plant sale moves back to the Arboretum

April 17th, 2012 by Tech Librarian, Tracy Mehlin

photoIf you only make it to one plant sale this spring be sure not to miss FlorAbundance held on April 28th and 29 at the Washington Park Arboretum. The Arboretum Foundation, with many, many volunteers organize and host the sale that features dozens of specialty nursery vendors and expert help from the King County Master Gardeners.

Complete information on the Arboretum Foundation site.

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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.

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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
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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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Plant Sale to Benefit Miller Library

March 3rd, 2011 by UWBG Communication Staff

Hellebores by L. ThornbergSaturday, March 12, 2011 9am – 5pm at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st, Seattle.

Choice specialty nurseries, lectures by Dan Hinkley, Hellebore “Theatre”, drawings for Great Prizes, & More! Complete Information.

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