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UW Botanic Gardens Newsletter, Vol 6 Issue 8, August 2011

Learn landscape design, field sketching, botanical watercolor

In an intensive, hands-on, six-session Landscape Design course, environmental horticulturist Nancy Tom will teach you all you need to know to develop a site analysis, site a house on a plan, design workable hardscaping and choose plants for your soil, microclimate and home. You’ll consider color, texture, lighting, drainage, trellises and arbors. Tuesdays and Thursdays Sept. 8-27, 7:00-9:30 PM, at the Center for Urban Horticulture. Register by Sept. 1 to secure the Early Bird Price of $175.

Koi Rock by Suzanne FerrisIn a single, all-day Plein Air Field Sketching workshop Sept. 24, botanical artist Suzanne Ferris will get you started indoors by drawing basic shapes and then head outdoors to discover the same shapes in trees and shrubs. You’ll consider “value veils” for creating depth, one- and two-point perspective, point of view and the process of seeing by mark making, while working in sumi and walnut ink as well as soft graphite. Register by Sept. 12 to secure the Early Bird Price of $75. Suzanne's work is pictured at right.

In Beginning Botanical Watercolor, botanical artist and instructor Kathleen McKeehen will show you how the application of controlled washes and the dry-brush technique produce images that are three-dimensional and aesthetically appealing. Five weekly classes meet at the Center for Urban Horticulture 7:00-9:30 PM beginning Sept. 28. Register by Sept. 16 to secure the Early Bird Price of $170.

What new discoveries will be made during autumn Bioblitz?

Foster Island spiderIn May 2010, more than 100 university students, community members and professionals participated in Seattle’s first Bioblitz. Now it’s time to scrutinize Washington Park Arboretum’s nooks and crannies once again. Whatever your level of expertise (or non-expertise!), you’re invited to jump in any time during the 24-hour period from 3:00 PM Sept. 23 to 3:00 PM Sept. 24. During the second annual Bioblitz, each team will be assigned a 2- to 3-hour shift, location, taxa group and specialist. The goal is to catalogue every living thing. The first Bioblitz turned up some fascinating discoveries, including what’s likely a new spider species and a couple of unexpected plants displaying suspicious behavior. So why do it again? Education Supervisor Patrick Mulligan puts it this way: “Going out into the field and collecting data on a single day is like taking a snapshot; it gives you some idea of what’s going on. Going out and collecting data year after year is like making a movie, and it gives you a much fuller picture of what’s going on.” Want to make a movie? Call 206-543-8801 or email.

Fall series prepares professionals for Sustainable Sites Initiative

The "Science and Practice of Sustainable Sites" series beginning next month consists of three evening classes: Observations from Two Parks Pilot Projects Sept. 20, Practical Implementation of Soil Protection Sept. 27, and Watering Without Waste Oct. 4. You’re welcome to attend any or all at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 6:30-8:30 PM, $30 for one, $25 each for two or three; register by Sept. 9 for an additional 10% early bird discount. Cosponsored by the UW Botanic Gardens, the Washington Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and Seattle Public Utilities, the series prepares professionals for the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) requirements, increases technical competency, and discusses best practices to meet the intent of SITES performance metrics. To register, visit our website, mail in a registration form or call Jean Robins at 206-685-8033.

Lisa HannonGraduate student Lisa Hannon presents at Entomological Society annual meeting

National Science Foundation Fellow Lisa Hannon, one of Dr. Sarah Reichard’s graduate students, will present “Effects of elevation and proximity to forest fragments on hymenopteran diversity and production yields in a Costa Rican coffee agro-ecosystem” at the Entomological Society of America's 59th Annual National Meeting in Reno, Nevada, Nov.13-16. The photograph shows Lisa engaged in bee observation during her field work in Costa Rica.

Saturday hours & story programs resume, Library collection grows

The Life and Times of the Apple by Charles MicucciSaturday hours in the Elisabeth C. Miller Library resume Sept. 10, 9:00 AM-3:00 PM. The following Saturday, Sept. 17, families are invited to come and enjoy apple-themed stories for children ages 3 to 8. Story Programs at the Miller Library are free and last from 10:30-11:15 AM.

Among the many new books and papers in the library are Nonnative Invasive Plants of Pacific Coast Forests: A Field Guide for Identification, co-authored by Andrew Gray, Katie Barndt and UW Botanic Gardens Director Sarah Reichard; and recent UW Botanic Gardens graduate student Wendy DesCamp’s thesis, Lamiastrum galeobdolon subsp. argentatum: an invasive plant species in the Pacific Northwest. View a list of theses and student projects conducted at UW Botanic Gardens or produced by graduate students associated with UWBG.

Arboretum wetland kayak tours are selling out!

All but one of this month’s upcoming guided kayak tours through Washington Park Arboretum have sold out, and just a few spaces remain in next Wednesday's 6:00 PM tour. If you’re interested, email or call 206-543-8801 now to reserve your space, $25/person.

Plant Profile: Eucomis bicolor

Eucomis bicolor[by Soest Gardener Riz Reyes] Pineapple lilies are gaining popularity as gardeners are finally giving them a chance! Though somewhat marginally hardy and very tropical in appearance, a handful of species and hybrids do quite well here in the Pacific Northwest as long as they receive excellent drainage (especially during the winter) and regular watering during the growing season. Eucomis bicolor is one of the more common and sought after species as it truly showcases why this genus is known as “pineapple lily.”

Common Name: Pineapple lily

Family: Asparagaceae
Location: Soest Garden Bed 8
Origin: South Africa
Height: 12-15″
Spread: Can form a clump 2-3 feet wide after many years.
Bloom Time:  Late July-August
Bloom Type/Color: Cylindrical raceme on stout stems with cream white florets streaked  in purple and unpleasantly scented observed up close. Green bracts on top create a “pineapple” look.
Exposure/Water/Soil: Full sun/part shade in well-drained soil. Regular irrigation.

View additional photos in the complete plant profile.

twigs . . .

golden rain by Dean ForbesThe uppermost image in UW Botanic Gardens’ new profile picture on Facebook is a beautiful photograph taken in Washington Park Arboretum. Photographer Dean Forbes has generously provided this image for UW Botanic Gardens' use. We are grateful!

Explore the Pacific Connections Gardens and hydrangeas during a free guided tour in Washington Park Arboretum this Sunday, Aug. 21, starting at 11:00 AM. Or be ready for anything during the 1:00 PM tour. The morning tour theme switches to Sorbus and Ash for the Sept. 4 and 18 tours. All walks meet at the Graham Visitors Center.

A recent “garden bloggers’ fling” attracted 70 garden bloggers to Seattle from across the US, Canada and the United Kingdom. One stop was the Center for Urban Horticulture, where Soest Gardener Riz Reyes showed them around the gardens, and the Miller Library was found “drool-worthy.”

Lynden MillerLynden B. Miller (pictured at right) believes that public open spaces with well-designed and maintained plantings can change city life. She has designed gardens for The New York Botanical Garden, The Central Park Zoo, Madison Square Park and many other public places. She'll speak at the 16th Annual Elisabeth C. Miller Memorial Lecture Sept. 15 at 7:00 PM in UW's Meany Hall.

Last month, the Vendor Showcase at the Center for Urban Horticulture featured one glorious presentation after another, exquisitely photographed by Lauren Kahan Photography.

Shorter days means September’s Park in the Dark starts earlier! Join us at the Graham Visitors Center Sept. 11 at 7:00 PM for this program for families with children ages 6-12. Children free; adults $6. Register in advance by email or call 206-543-8801.

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

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Phone: 206.543.8616

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