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UW Botanic Gardens Newsletter, Vol 7 Issue 4, April 2012
This magnificent sale, the largest in the Puget Sound region, features dozens of top specialty nurseries and vendors selling a wide selection of choice, locally-grown plants. You’ll find trees, shrubs, beautiful conifers, native plants, vegetable starts, species and hybrid rhododendrons, favorite and rare perennials, unusual annuals, glorious groundcovers, grasses, vines, and more.
Benefit from the advice of gardening experts, who’ll be roving through the vendor tables (in yellow aprons) to help with plant selections. And look for the colored surveyor flags, which will mark the favorite plants of Ciscoe Morris and Bob Lilly at the sale!
This year’s sale will take place at the Graham Visitors Center in beautiful Washington Park Arboretum. The vendor stalls will be located in the Visitors Center parking lot. Parking for the public will be along the west side of Arboretum Drive. Traffic managers will direct traffic one way southbound on the drive; shuttle buses will be available to transport shoppers to and from the sale area.
A Glimpse Into the Past
(A monthly column by Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus) The University of Washington Arboretum was the original facility in the Northwest where gardeners could learn about caring for woody plants. In this photo from 1952, Al Howe, Arboretum Gardener, is explaining rose pruning to a (presumed) Arboretum Unit. Director Brian O. Mulligan is supervising. Note the “required” dress attire for attending class. (Photo from UWBG Archives).
Fourth Annual Urban Forest Symposium
The 2012 Urban Forest Symposium will address the concerns of municipalities, NGOs and educational groups whose work involves volunteer planting and care for the urban forest. Andy Lipkis, founder of the Tree People of Los Angeles, will give the keynote address, tracing the history of the organization that planted one million trees for the 1984 Olympics and thrives today with over a thousand volunteers. Throughout the day representatives from a variety of non-profit organizations will share what has (and hasn’t) worked to motivate volunteers and secure funding. There will also be planting projects and the latest on the best practices for planting trees. The event is sponsored by UWBG, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service, and the Northwest Horticultural Society.
Monday, May 14, 2012 -- 9am - 4pm
Spotlight on Grad Student Katie Murphy: Evaluation of Parking Strip Soil to Determine Appropriate Land Use
This month, we are spotlighting the work of Graduate student Katie Murphy. Have you ever wondered what is most appropriate to plant in your parking strip, that skinny area between the sidewalk and the street in front of most Seattle houses? Katie is investigating parking strip soil health to determine what land uses are the best for the arable roadside land. Some avid gardeners have grown sun-loving vegetables, others have created pollinator pathways and wildflower gardens to attract urban wildlife. Traditionalists choose to keep the parking strip planted with a narrow lawn that has been around for decades. By measuring and evaluating soil health indicators such as pH, bulk density, soil texture, available nutrients and heavy metals, Katie is determining what is most appropriate to grow in our parking strips based on the existing on-site soil. She is also comparing levels of heavy metals (lead, arsenic, and cadmium) across different traffic density categories. By sampling soil from quiet residential streets, neighborhood arterials, and busy thoroughfares Katie is determining if there is a pattern to deposition of automobile emissions that have ended up in the parking strip soil. This study is in the analysis stage with results delivered in a public defense this summer.
Upcoming classes and learning opportunities
Botanical Drawing Series Seven-part course starts Wednesday, April 18 at the
April 2012 Plant Profile: Ribes sanguineum
(by Soest Gardener Riz Reyes) Spring is definitely in the air when the clouds of pink burst forth into bloom and our native red-flowering currants put on a show. Though most forms aren’t truly red, their flower power is outstanding. It is a native that seems to have adapted well to our harsh urban environment. There’s a lovely white form that’s also floating around at this time of year drawing Oohs and Aahs from those who encounter it. The flowers give a light pungent scent and hummingbirds go absolutely crazy for them.
If you have some young 'uns with a literary and/or horticultural bent, join us in the Miller Library on April 28 for the Amazing Seeds Story Program. The featured books are How Groundhog's Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry, Flip, Float, Fly: Seeds On The Move by JoAnn Early Macken and Plant Secrets by Emily Goodman. Before the stories, join us in the program room to make a seed collage. The program runs from 10:30am-11:15am and is open to children ages 3 to 8 and their families--but all are welcome!
And stay tuned next month for a new column about UWBG Volunteers from Linda Haba, our volunteer Volunteer Coordinator!
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