UW Botanic Gardens Newsletter, Vol 7 Issue 6, June 2012
UWBG Vendor Showcase is coming
The 2nd Annual UWBG Vendor Showcase will be held on Thursday, July 26, from 3pm to 7pm. It will showcase the event lawns, outdoor patios, large hall and classrooms of the Center for Urban Horticulture. Nearly 50 of the vendors that have served our rental clientele over the years will be on hand to display their businesses. Caterers, rental companies, photographers, entertainers, florists and many others will bring the venue to life and demonstrate the varieties of events possible at CUH. Settings for business meetings, conferences, graduations, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, auctions, memorial services and parties will be on display. There will also be activities and yummy samples from the caterers. Admission is free, but please RSVP by Friday, July 13, by calling 206-221-2500 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and number of attendees.
A Glimpse Into the Past
(A monthly column by Dr. John A. Wott, Director Emeritus) In early spring 1983, the first shovel was turned to begin Merrill Hall, the first of four buildings to be called the Center for Urban Horticulture. The official ground breaking was attended by a number of dignitaries. Pictured here are Elisabeth Carey Miller (namesake for Miller Library), Harold B. Tukey (founding director), George Beckman (provost), Pendleton Miller (major donor), and UW President William Gerberding with the shovel. The location is approximately where the rear wall of Merrill Hall now stands. The old circular drive, visible in the background, is still in existence. (Photo by UW, in UWBG Archives).
Make sure to check out the full sized photo.
Summer Camp Promises Great Adventure
Summer camp at the Arboretum is bounding into its second year with more weeks offered and new programs. Join us for a week (or more!) of fun and educational adventures in our 230-acre outdoor classroom. We focus on hands-on exploration, play, and experiential learning. Campers may become ethnobotanists, artists, urban farmers, or field biologists. You can find out more information and register online.
Who: 1st through 6th graders
When: July 9-August 10, (week-long sessions) 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (extended camp hours available)
Cost: $250 per week (15% discount for UW employees and Arboretum Foundation members)
Vladivostok Botanic Gardens Partnership
(Patrick Mulligan, WPA Education Supervisor, just published a piece in the Spring issue of APGA Magazine, Public Garden, about his visit to Vladivostok in 2011. He was good enough to provide us with an overview of the article)
Over the last several years, the UWBG has developed a relationship with a sister organization, the Vladivostok Botanical Garden Institute in Vladivostok, Russia. It began when one of our Garden Guides, Tony Allison, dropped by their garden while on a visit to the area in 2009. What has blossomed from that initial encounter is a rich partnership that both organizations have benefited from on multiple levels.
In September, 2010, three of their staff came to Seattle to learn all they could about environmental education and volunteerism. We booked their itinerary with visits to various organizations around town, and had them take part in our Fall Garden Guide Training at the Arboretum. They took what they learned back to VBG and began developing their own education and volunteer programs with great success.
Last summer, it was our turn to visit them. I was fortunate to be among the 3-person team sent to evaluate their progress and provide feedback for future development. It was an incredibly rewarding adventure, and one that I will never forget (you can read a detailed account on the UWBG blog). The partnership continues this summer, though UWBG’s role is now one of facilitation. Two environmental educators, one from Islandwood and one from CleanScapes (friends of the family, so to speak) will be heading over to help VBG run a week-long summer camp focused on sustainability issues. Who knows where these new partners will take us, but we wish them best of luck, safe travels, and send along warmest regards to our Russian colleagues.
Park in the Dark Offers Nighttime Family Fun
It's nighttime at the Arboretum...but the park isn't sleeping! UWBG Education has arranged a series of special family adventures called Park in the Dark. Join us and learn how animals adapt to the nighttime. You'll see the gardens in a whole new light! These night hikes are designed for the whole family and run from 8pm to 9:30pm. They are scheduled for June 23, July 14, August 25, September 15 and October 13. It's $8 per person and you can register online.
June 2012 Plant Profile: Gentiana x 'True Blue'
(by Soest Gardener Riz Reyes) Blue is such an elusive color in the floral kingdom and it’s no wonder people are captivated by blue flowers. Sadly, a lot of flowers that aren’t naturally blue have been artificially dyed in order to sell. This month’s Plant Profile highlights the Gentian, a genus that’s known for its natural blue flowers.
Many Gentians are alpine/sub-alpine herbaceous perennials. The species requires very specific watering, soil types and exposure. There was great excitement when this hybrid was first released. Not only does it capture the purest blue of a Gentian, it’s a garden-worthy plant that’s adaptable to most home gardens. It is aptly named ‘True Blue’.
This plant is spending its third year here at CUH and it’s been moved quite a bit. However, it overwintered beautifully. With luck, it will bulk up with more of these ethereal blue blossoms which are capable of blooming on and off throughout the summer.
Common Name: True Blue Gentian
Location: CUH-Soest Garden Bed 6 (just behind signage)
Origin: Garden Origin
Height and spread: 25-30″ high and about 18″ wide.
Bloom Time: Early Summer through Mid-Autumn.
Join the Friends of Yesler Swamp for the last workday for this summer. On Sunday, July 1 at 10AM they will meet at the trail entrance and concentrate on removing invasives out of previously restored areas in the upland portions of the swamp till noon. They will restart their monthly workdays in September.
There are two Family Ecology Tours at the Arboretum on June 16. Bird Bonanza is geared towards children ages 3 to 5 and goes from 10-11:30am. Then there's one for kids 6 to 12 entitled Citizen Science: Water Works that runs from 1-3pm. The cost is $8 per person. Visit our website to find out more info and register.
Congratulations to the Restore the Montlake Cut project. They took part in the Odwalla Plant A Tree competition and sent out a call for votes. The project finished in the top ten and they were awarded $10,000 towards planting trees.