Magnolias magnolias magnolias! Where to begin?! These harbingers of spring have started to bloom! The Washington Park Arboretum has 250 magnolia tree specimens, with some impressively mature trees dating back to 1940. Lucky for us, the breadth and variety of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens’ collection means we should have a steady supply of magnolia blooms through the summer.
Of the 250 magnolia specimens, there are 38 species, subspecies and varieties (i.e.
This hardy, bright pink Rhododendron lights up the garden in late winter.Read more
Intrepid plant hunters suffered a bit to bring back seeds of this glorious Chinese shrub to grow in the Arboretum.Read more
As we approach winter and the leaves are off the deciduous trees, we have an opportunity to see the forms of trees and their bark. Some tree barks are just gorgeous and really add to a landscape’s appeal.Read more
Having grown up in northern California, I came to the Seattle area with a treasured tree in my heart and could quickly answer the “favorite tree” question commonly asked in horticultural gatherings. Though my neighborhood was a bit inland and to the south of the coast redwood range (and so was surrounded by majestic oaks most of my days) it was the stunning Sequoia sempervirens forests along the northern coast where I hiked and camped which I considered iconically and perhaps spiritually my home.Read more
Ilex verticillata ‘Nana’, typically sold as ‘Red Sprite’ or under the trade name RED SPRITE, is a dwarf winterberry cultivar that is an outstanding choice for late fall and winter landscapes, especially for those with limited space. The bright red berries are produced in abundance and are its outstanding ornamental feature. Unlike most winterberries, which can reach to 5-8’ high and wide or more, ‘Red Sprite’ is only 2’ to 3’ tall and wide at maturity.Read more
Osmanthus x fortunei, commonly known as sweet olive, was first introduced to Holland in 1856 by German botanist, Philipp Franz von Siebold; it is named after Scottish plant hunter, Robert Fortune, who introduced it to England in 1862. It is a hybrid between Osmanthus fragrans and Osmanthus heterophyllus, and is Japanese in origin. The cultivar ‘San Jose’ was introduced in 1941 by W.B.Read more
This showy, small tree deserves space in Northwest gardens.Read more
Grown for their delicate showy flowers rather than pungent leaves, the ornamental oreganos deserve a place in Pacific Northwest gardens.Read more