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UW Botanic Gardens Newsletter, Vol 7 Issue 7, July 2012

Come to the Arboretum For A Kayak Tour

kayak tours in julyThe UWBG is unique among other botanic gardens in the country in that our “grounds” include quite a bit of water. Owing to our location around Lake Washington, our 230 acres includes the longest stretch of freshwater marsh in Washington State. There is no better way to enjoy this wetland ecosystem than by kayak.

The Agua Verde Paddle Club in partnership with the UWBG is pleased to offer guided kayak tours of our Foster Island Wetlands to the public for the third consecutive summer. Tours are approximately 90 minutes in length and push off from “Duck Bay” at the north end of the Washington Park Arboretum. During the tour you will learn a little about the history of the area and have a chance to meet some of our plant and animal residents.  All proceeds will go from Agua Verde Paddle Club to the UWBG for the Agua Verde Scholarship fund. This fund will help provide educational opportunities to students and schools with limited resources.

No experience necessary! Double kayaks, safety equipment and a brief training session will be provided by Agua Verde Paddle Club. Youth & children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their parent/guardian.

Tour Dates & Times:
Wednesday, Aug. 29th: 11am & 3pm
Thursday, Aug. 30th: 11am & 3pm
Wednesday, Sept. 5th: 11am & 3pm
Thursday, Sept. 6th: 11am & 3pm
Friday, Sept. 7th: 7am (“early birders”), 11am & 3pm
Cost & Registration:
Space is limited to 12 participants per tour, so online pre-registration is required. Cost: $30/person ($5 discount for early registration before August 1st)

See Rosemary Washington Watercolors at the Miller Library

iris-r washingtonRosemary Washington has lived and worked in Seattle for over 30 years. Her watercolor sketches are one expression of her attention to the ordinary, seasonal gifts of Life and Nature. She is also a photographer and shares her observations, photos and sketches on her blog.

The exhibit, Rosemary Washington: Watercolor Sketches, will be on display at the Miller Library from August 2 – September 28. The exhibit includes watercolor sketches of objects found on walks in her neighborhood throughout the four seasons of the year.

A Glimpse Into the Past

Lath House

(A monthly column by Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus) The current “educational” greenhouse was the main greenhouse for propagating new plants for the Arboretum for many years. Early pictures show a set of lath houses already located around the greenhouse when it officially became the University of Washington Arboretum in 1936. After propagation, the small plants were often placed under the lath houses in order to gain size and to acclimate to outside weather. The lath houses north of the Greenhouse were demolished in 1985 when the current Graham Visitors Center was built. The set south of the Greenhouse were removed in the 1990’s when they were deemed unsafe. Many of the concrete bases for the beds are still evident.  The cedar timbers lasted nearly 50 years. This photo was taken March 3, 1956, when many rhododendrons were being introduced into the collections.   (Photo from UWBG Archives).

Be sure to check out the full sized photo.

July 2012 Plant Profile: Lathyrus odoratus (Sweet Peas)

(by Soest Gardener Riz Reyes) sweet peas 1This is the first time we’ve selected an ANNUAL for our monthly
plant profile!

Over the past few years, we’ve refrained from planting annuals (except for seasonal containers) because they typically require more maintenance and we would have to replant them each year. However, for the Seattle Garden Club’s Fragrance Garden, we needed more height, extended color, and, of course, a delicious scent for visitors to enjoy! I recommended we erect three sets of three stakes, teepee-style, and flank them with climbing sweet peas. They took their time getting going, but are now displaying fragrant blooms that will stop visitors in their paths so they can inhale the magnificent perfume.

Common Name: Sweet Peas
Location: Fragrance Garden
Origin: Garden Origin
Height and spread: 18″- 6 or 7ft. high (dwarf to standard varieties) and about 12″ wide.
Bloom Time: Early to Mid-Summer.


The Cultural Landscape Foundation is hosting an exciting new event in Seattle called Garden Dialogues on July 14 and 15. You'll gain exclusive access to private gardens and hear from landscape architects and their clients about the creative process. The tours feature designs by Paul R. Broadhurst, Jason Morse and Randy Allworth. Visit their website to find out more details and to register.

There is still time to stop by the Miller Library and see Out of The Ordinary, an exhibit of photographic Botanical Portraits by David H. Fishman. This dazzling show runs until July 25, so don't miss it!

Need to speak with a Master Gardener concerning gardening questions and diagnosis of plant problems? There is a clinic at the Center for Urban Horticulture on Mondays from 4pm to 8pm. Master Gardeners are also available at the Arboretum on Sundays from noon to 4pm. They also field questions online through their e-clinic

E-Flora is a regular online newsletter of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens

University of Washington Botanic Gardens' mission:
Sustaining managed to natural ecosystems and the human spirit through plant research, display, and education

3501 NE 41st Street, Box 354115, Seattle, WA 98195-4115
Phone: 206.543.8616

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