Summer Camp in Full Swing!

July 22nd, 2014 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

UW Botanic Gardens Summer Camps are in full swing at the Arboretum as we begin Week 4: “Tadpoles & Whirligigs”. Last week’s “Don’t Bug Out” camp was a big hit with our 6 – 12 year old audience, and to go along with the theme, we gave our 48 campers a survey about insects. Surprisingly, though most kids thought that if insects were human-sized, ants would most likely take over the world, “flying” was the more desired insect super power with “ant strength” barely registering. See below for all the results, and follow this link if you’d like to take the survey yourself! https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M6P29LK

 

kids_Bug_Survey_Page_1 kids_Bug_Survey_Page_2

kids_Bug_Survey_Page_3

Share

July Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

July 12th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (July 7 - 20, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (July 7 – 20, 2014)

“Sporting Wood”

1)    White Ash    (Fraxinus americana)

  • Tough, plentiful, and easily bent into curves, Ash is used in tennis racquets, billiard cues, skis, and baseball bats.
  • White Ash is native to eastern and central North America.
  • This cutting is from the cultivar ‘Rose Hill’, located in grid 47-3E near the Lagoons.

2)   Common Box    (Buxus sempervirens)

  • Used for crocquet balls because of its hardness.
  • Native to Europe, northern Africa and western Asia.
  • The cultivar here is ‘Argentea’ from grid 5-B in our Boxwood Collection.

3)   American Hop Hornbeam    (Ostrya virginiana)

  • The first ice hockey sticks were made from the dense wood of this small tree in the mid-19th century until the 1930s by the Mi’kmaq people of Nova Scotia.
  • Ostrya virginiana is native to eastern North America.
  • The Arboretum has two trees in grids 19-3W and 24-4W.
Close-up photo of Persimmon flowers

Close-up photo of Persimmon flowers

4)   Persimmon    (Diospyros virginiana)

  • The “woods” of golf (drivers, not Tiger’s) were typically made from this American member of the ebony family from which it inherits its extreme density.
  • Persimmon is most common in the southeastern United States.
  • In the Arboretum, they are in grids 12-1W and 12-2W, north of the Boyer Street parking lot.

5)   Sugar Maple    (Acer saccharum)

  • Commonly called “rock” maple by those who value its hardness and smooth grain.
  • This native of eastern North America provides wood for bowling alleys, bowling pins, basketball courts, and baseball bats.
  • The Arboretum has several cultivars in various locations.

Sources:

Share

A glimpse into the past – Joe Witt in the “pit house”

July 1st, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By John A. Wott, Director Emeritus

photo

Joseph A. Witt inspecting seed flats and cuttings in the “pit houses” of the University of Washington Greenhouses at Washington Park Arboretum. April 1976,

This photograph taken in April 1976, shows Joseph A. Witt inspecting seed flats and cuttings in the “pit houses” of the University of Washington Greenhouses at Washington Park Arboretum. Joe, as he preferred to be called, was a prominent staff member of the Arboretum for more than 30 yrs. Officially the Curator, he was also appointed as a Professor of Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture, when it officially opened in 1980.

Joe was a “people person” and was instrumental in assisting the Arboretum Foundation in starting many programs, including encouraging volunteers, “fun days” in weeding, and other educational events. As curator, he was in charge of bringing many new plants into the collection and for the leadership of the UW grounds crew. He was an expert on the horticultural and native flora of the Pacific Northwest. He was renowned and sought-after for his teaching of plant materials, both to UW students and to thousands of horticulturists who came to the Arboretum during his tenure. He also experimented with plant breeding and many of his unnamed rhododendron hybrids still “lurk” within the Arboretum collections. He named many plants and the famed Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’, a highly striped form of the Manchurian Stripebark Maple, is now  found in increasing numbers on Seattle streets.

His widow, Jean, still active in her mid-90’s, was a keen iris breeder and together they were well known and respected in the native and hardy plant societies of the world. I personally remember several memorable field study trips to the Cascades and east side of Washington in the early 1980’s, whereby Joe spoke about the plants and Jean spoke about the geology. As Joe approached retirement age, he was stricken with cancer and died in May 1984, a great loss to the Northwest horticultural community. However, his legacy lives on.

photo

Joe and Jean Witt, Arboretum Foundation Annual Dinner, June 1972


Share

June Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum (Part II)

June 29th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist
Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (June 23 - July 6, 2014)

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (June 23 – July 6, 2014)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1)   Erhetia dicksonii

Close up photo of Ehretia dicksonii  inflorescence

Close up photo of Ehretia dicksonii inflorescence

  • Ornamental tree from Asia with corky bark and fragrant white terminal cymes.
  • Located along path heading up to Rhododendron Glen from Azalea Way, grid 15-1E.
  • Go to link below for thorough description and uses.
    http://www.arthurleej.com/p-o-m-July07.html

2)   Holodiscus discolor      (Ocean Spray)

  • My favorite summer flowering Pacific Northwest native deciduous shrub.
  • In full flowering, cascading glory now throughout our native matrix.

3)   Hypericum henryi ssp. uraloides

  • The really big Azalea Way flower show may be over, but now it’s Hypericum time.
  • This shrubby St. John’s wort is a huge attractant of many kinds of bees.
  • Located in east-side bed J, midway down Azalea Way, grid 20-1W.

4)   Illicium henryi      (Henry Anise Tree)

Close up photo of Toona sinensis leaves and inflorescence

Close up photo of Toona sinensis leaves and inflorescence

  • A handsome evergreen woodland shrub or small tree from China.
  • Waxy, bright rose-colored flowers. Leaves and star-shaped fruit give off a scent of anise when crushed.
  • Located along forested Ridge Trail within the Asiatic Maple section, grid 25-1E.

5)   Toona sinensis      (Chinese Cedar)

  • You can Toona piano, but you can’t Toona fish . . . or in this case, happyfacea tree.
  • Deciduous tree from eastern and southeastern Asia with pinnately compound leaves and white flowering panicles in summer.
  • Located in north Pinetum, grids 44 and 45-6W. For cultural, medicinal and commercial (timber) importance, go to link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toona_sinensis.
Share

2014 Park in the Dark Dates

June 23rd, 2014 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Night time is special at the Arboretum – the people and cars are gone, and the nocturnal animals move about. Night hikes are a chance for us to explore our senses, search for crepuscular and nocturnal movements in the forest and learn about night-related animal adaptations. Programs are designed for families with children aged 5-12. Meet at the Graham Visitors Center and BYOF (Bring Your Own Flashlight!)
Hikes are always from 8-9:30pm on the Saturday nights listed below:

2014 Summer DatesNight Hike Image

  • June 28 (New Moon)
  • July 12 (Full Moon)
  • July 26 (New Moon)
  • August 9 (Full Moon)
  • August 23 (New Moon)

Cost is $8 per person
Register online or call 206-685-8033

Pre-registration is required. This allows our instructor to properly plan and prepare for each class so that you and your family can get the most out of it. Drop-ins are not accepted.

Share

iSchool Capstone: Improving the visitor experience with an app

June 20th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By Sarai Dominguez

photo

Information School graduate students, Anna Sgarlato, Sarai Dominguez and Loryn Lestz, presenting their Capstone poster 6/5/2014.

It has been a great pleasure to work in partnership with the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and Information School to design the future Arboretum mobile app. My team and I had a blast!

After four quarters of information science courses, we were all eager to practice our learning’s in a real-world scenario. Throughout our first meetings with UWBG staff, we learned about the exciting digitization projects at hand. However, we still realized the information need of Arboretum visitors who wanted map and plant information while wandering the park, and not just at home on a desktop computer. We started our project with a research phase (which allowed us to meet and interview volunteers and staff throughout the organization), sketched our ideas, built an interactive prototype and tested our design with Arboretum enthusiasts; it was a hit!

My favorite part of the project was meeting volunteers and staff and noticing how invested in the Arboretum this group is. They truly believe in the Arboretum as a place for retreat, exploration, learning and building valuable friendships. These principles were the inspiration for our mobile app design and we hope that current and future park visitors will experience this in the information tool we have placed in their hands.

Thank you, UWBG, for an incredible capstone experience!

Interactive map of the Arboretum (optimized for desktop computers)

Sketching out the app user experience.

Sketching out the app user experience.

A design comp of the app home screen

A design comp of the app home screen


Share

iSchool Capstone: Designing an app for Arboretum visitors

June 19th, 2014 by UWBG Communication Staff

By Loryn Lestz

photo

Information School graduate students, Anna Sgarlato, Sarai Dominguez and Loryn Lestz, presenting their Capstone poster 6/5/2014.

Working with the staff and volunteers of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens to design a mobile app for Arboretum visitors has been a wonderful way to bring my graduate school experience to a close. Everyone my team came in contact with during the design process was not only enthusiastic and supportive of our project but also eager to contribute ideas and provide feedback on the app itself. A number of the usability tests we conducted to confirm our design choices were done with volunteers and the passion they expressed for the Arboretum in my interactions with them was truly inspiring. It was truly encouraging to hear them talk about the ways in which they felt the app would be able to help them and the visitors they interact with to enjoy the Arboretum even more than they already do.

Perhaps the most rewarding part of this project for me as a designer was getting to negotiate a balance between enriching Arboretum visitors’ experience with new technologies and keeping that experience focused on the natural beauty of the Arboretum. As someone who loves coming to the Arboretum and forgetting that I am in the middle of the city for a few hours, I knew this was something we would need to be mindful of as we worked. My team and I were successful at keeping this among our top priorities throughout the design process, and couldn’t be happier with the resulting design. I am looking forward to seeing the app move into the development phase and can’t wait to see (and use!) the final product.

Interactive Map of the Arboretum (optimized for desktop computers)

Sketching out the app user experience.

Sketching out the app user experience.

A design comp of the app home screen

A design comp of the app home screen.


Share

June Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

June 15th, 2014 by UWBG Horticulturist

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (June 9 - 22, 2014)

1)  Hydrangea macrophylla   ‘Madame Emile Mouillere’

  • A blizzard white beauty all summer, long considered the best white mop head.
  • A charming companion to evergreen shrubs.
  • A beautiful 70-year old specimen graces the Hydrangea Collection along the Arboretum Drive.

2)  Leucothoe davisiae      (Sierra Laurel)

  • Native to the mountains of northern California and southern Oregon.
  • One of 4,000 species in the Ericaceae family.
  • A 20-year old specimen can be found in the Rhododendron Glen.

3)  Rosa moschata ‘Plena’      (Double Musk Rose)

  • Cultivated in European and American gardens for centuries.
  • Grown for its strong, clove musk fragrance and abundant alabaster white flowers.
  • A 65-year old specimen is flourishing by the entrance to the horticulture headquarters.

4)  Stewartia pseudocamellia var. koreana      (Korean Stewartia)

  • Native to Japan and Korea, this tree has garnered the Royal Horticulture Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
  • The flowers are white with orange anthers, shaped like those of the related camellia.
  • A graceful 64-year old specimen is growing beautifully at the south end of Arboretum Drive.

5)  Philadelphus lewisii      (Lewis’ Mock Orange)

Share

Buzza-Ruzza, Buzza-Ruzza: A Visit from The Bee Lady

June 9th, 2014 by Sarah Heller, Community Programs Coordinator & Fiddleheads Forest School Director

FFS6Most have us have been stung by a wasp or bee at some point in our lives, and many of us have an innate fear of flying insects with stingers. Personally, I was stung almost every year of my life between about the ages of 5 and 18. It never swayed me from spending all my free time outside, but I did cower at the familiar buzzing sound of nearby wasps.

At Fiddleheads Forest School we are lucky enough to be a short walking distance from an apiary located in the UW Botanic Gardens’ pollination garden. We inquired with the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association (PSBA), who manages and maintains the apiary, if they’d be able to come teach us about the bees. On May 29th & 30th Elaina Jorgensen from the PSBA taught both Fiddleheads Forest School classes all about bees. She affectionately became known as “The Bee Lady” and her enthusiasm was contagious. As we settled down on the grass in front of the garden Elaina put her hand in her shirt pocket and said, “Can you guess what I have in here?” as she slowly pulled out a small jar with a queen bee inside! She showed the bee around and told us that this bee was just a few hours old, it had just been born. Then she reached into her other pocket and pulled out another queen bee and this one was only a few minutes old!FFS1

When we asked what their favorite part of the bee lesson was, the kids responded with:

-          Holding the boy bee (drone bee)

-          Seeing the queen bees

-          Watching baby bees hatch in the observation hive

-          Learning about bee predators

 

 

My favorite part of the experience? Seeing all the kids dress up as little beekeepers:FFS3FFS4

These lessons immediately inspired dramatic play involving all the kids and the teachers too. As we were walking away from the pollination garden to the nearby vegetable garden to wait for parents, kids were choosing their roles in the hive. Once we got to the vegetable garden some kids curled up as larva bees, other kidsFFS2 took on the role of nurse bees to care for the larva and another set of kids took off as worker bees to collect pollen and nectar for the hive. The queen bees established themselves in different areas (for different hives) and the nurse bees brought them food too. This imaginative hive scene has returned day after day back at the Forest Grove. Now, larva bees change and grow into nurse bees, the nurse bees change into worker bees and so on. Comb structures have been built for the baby bees to be in and also to make honey in.

The kids asked Elania if bees have any predators because we’ve been experiencing a lot of predator/prey relationships with our owl family feeding their 4(!) new babies and observing our praying FFS5mantises hunt (all for a future blog post). The Bee Lady told us about bears, wasps, and birds. Guess what stuck with the kids? BEARS! So now some kids choose to be bears that raid the hives of honey every once in a while. The kid-bees know that bees only sting once and then they die so they do a lot of buzzing and chasing of the bear, but very little stinging. This is an aspect of the bee-play that feels heavily informed by the bee lesson because pre-bee lesson all the kids could talk about was how bees sting.

One of the big take-a-ways for all of us is that the girl bees (nurses, workers, and queen bees) are the ones with stingers. The daddy bees (drones) do not have stingers. During the lesson we got to hold a daddy bee and for those of us with some bee-fear this was quite exhilarating! The kids have been teaching everyone they can what they learned, but this key fact – that there are bees without stingers – is most often shared.

The UW Botanic Gardens’ Pollination Garden is located at the Washington Park Arboretum just behind the greenhouses south of the Graham Visitor Center. The hives are maintained and managed by the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association. We’re lucky to have such hard working pollinators on site and an incredibly valuable educational resource.

FFS8Puget Sound Beekeepers Association (PSBA) was founded in 1948 and exists to promote common interest and general welfare of beekeeping, to protect honey bees, to educate beekeepers, encourage good bee management practices, and to encourage good relations between beekeepers and the public. If you’re interested in learning more about what they’re all about check out their website.

Thank you Elaina (aka The Bee Lady) for taking the time to teach us all about BEES!

Share

Summer Classes at the Botanic Gardens

June 6th, 2014 by Sasha McGuire, Education Program Assistant

Summer is the perfect time to learn about plants. Once you are finished with your class, you can actually put your new knowledge to work, whether its learning about unusual hydrangeas to add to your landscape, maintaining your trees or shrubs, or just getting outside to enjoy a farm tour!

Register Online!

Take a look at some of our upcoming classes:

IMG_1761

Enjoying the wonderful scent of lavender on last years tour!

Woodinville Lavender Tour

What could be better than smelling the scent of a bouquet of lavender? Smelling 3 acres! Join Tom Frei, Master Gardener, on his lavender farm and learn a little about the uses, the care and types of lavender. There will even be lavender teas and cookies as we listen to Tom, then a tour of the 25 varieties of lavender grown there.

Here’s what people had to say about last years tour:

“I really enjoyed this session. It was gorgeous, relaxed, useful, the snacks were tasty and the store was full of things I wanted.”

“I had a thoroughly enjoyable experience just learning more about lavender. Loved discovering this new gem and will definitely be back to visit the farm in the future!”

More information…

Hydrangea1-HarpaKarin

One of the many lovely hydrangeas from the Washington Park Arboretum

 

 

Curator Talks: Hydrangea Family

Go behind the scenes and learn about the interesting and unusual members of the Hydrangea family. Curator Ray Larsen will discuss the rare, the weird, and his favorite members of the Hydrangea family. Take notes on the handy map that will be provided, and find them on your next trip to the Arboretum!

More information…

 

 

 

Hedges are often pruned in the summer

Hedges are often pruned in the summer

 

Pruning Shrubs and Trees: The Summer Advantage

Is your garden looking overgrown? Are you unsure of how to manage it? Summer may be the best time to prune it! Learn what can and can’t be achieved through pruning in the summer with certified arborist Chris Pfeiffer. This is a 2 part class that includes a lecture and a trip to a homeowner’s residence where we will have a practical demonstration! Let us know if your garden may be a potential candidate for the field demonstration section of the class.

More information…

 

 

 

compost

The “black gold” of the gardening community.

The Hows, Whys and Uses of Kitchen & Garden Composting

Take a quick tour into the world of compost! Join Master Gardener and compost enthusiast Fred Wemer for a look into the hows, whys and what you can do with compost made from your kitchen or garden in this FREE class.

More information…

 

 

 

 

paccon02

Part of the New Zealand Garden

Wednesday Walk with John Wott: Touring the Pacific Connections Garden

 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could travel through Cascadia, Australia, China, Chile and New Zealand all in one day? In the Washington Park Arboretum’s Pacific Connections Garden, you can! In this garden, you will find amazing plants from five countries connected by the Pacific Ocean. In addition to the beautiful entry gardens, you can venture more deeply into the plantings of Cascadia and New Zealand, and learn about the ongoing progress and future plans for the newest and largest project in the Arboretum this century.

paccon04

The strange-looking Monkey Puzzle Tree

Join John Wott, Professor Emeritus and former Arboretum Director, for a new series of walking tours at the UW Botanic Gardens’ Washington Park Arboretum. Dr. Wott will discuss the history of the Arboretum, overall design, and changes over time. Throughout the year, each walk will feature plants that offer us seasonal highlights. These walks take routes that are well-suited for visitors with limited mobility.

More information…

Class dates, locations and pricing can also be found our class catalog as well as additional classes.

You can always call 206-685-8033 or email urbhort@uw.edu with questions; we are happy to answer them!

Register online!

Share