Summer Interests from the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (July 31, 2017 - August 14, 2017)

1)   Abies concolor                     White Fir

This tall conifer, native to the mountains of western North America, adds an interesting silvery blue backdrop to our Legume collection.
The young trees are valuable in the Christmas tree trade for their ornamental look.
The specimens in grid 16-6E were planted in 1938.

2)   Acer davidii                     David’s Maple

This tree is named in honor of French priest and naturalist Armand David, who first described the species while on mission in central China. 

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August 2017 Plant Profile: Oxydendrum arboreum

Oxydendrum arboreum is a beautiful summer flowering tree with dramatic fall foliage.

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Aug 1, 2017 / Education, Miller Library / Laura Blumhagen

Miller Library supports summer School Age Programs with curated book selections

Summer books

Early in June I received an exciting message from the Arboretum’s School Age Programs Coordinator, Cait McHugh. Cait had a request: she’d like to send us the weekly themes for UW Botanic Gardens summer programs for pre-kindergarten, grades 1-3, and grades 4-6 and have librarians select and send a weekly care package of books to enrich their curriculum. Instructors would borrow the books about a week before the start of a new themed program, giving them time for lesson planning. 

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Our Heralded Hydrangeas

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, (July 17 - 31, 2017)

1)   Hydrangea aspera subsp. robusta

This 10-foot shrub with large fuzzy leaves produces flat, light blue flowers to 12” across on petioles which may reach 14” or more!
Native to the region between the Himalayas, across southern China, to Taiwan.
This 1941 specimen is located in the Camellias, next to Franklin tree along Arboretum Drive.

2)   Hydrangea heteromalla                               Wooly Hydrangea

A tree-like hydrangea native to China and the Himalayas. 

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Selected Cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (July 5 - 18, 2017)

1)   Hydrangea heteromalla
Wooly Hydrangea

Native to China and the Himalayas.
An arborescent shrub growing to an average 10 to 15 feet.
Located in the Pacific Connections China Entry Garden, south of the shelter.

2)   Itea ilicifolia               Holly-leaved Sweet Spire

Native to western China.
Evergreen shrub, growing up to 16 feet tall and 10 feet wide.
Bears fragrant racemes of greenish-white flowers in late summer and fall. 

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July Plant Profile: Hydrangea integrifolia

Originally posted July 1, 2014
An evergreen hydrangea?!!  You betcha!
There are very few evergreen vines for gardeners in the Pacific Northwest, but this gorgeous gem from Asia is  becoming more readily available and it’s simply one of the coolest flowers you’ll ever get to witness opening.
From plump, peony-like buds, they begin to slowly crack open, a froth of fertile flowers begin to form and over the course of a few days, a flat umbel “lacecap” begins to form. 

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Jun 23, 2017 / History, Washington Park Arboretum, Horticulture, News / John A Wott, Director emeritus

Glimpse into the past – an old pond and a new garden in the works

When visiting the Washington Park Arboretum on a regular basis, it is usually not evident that changes occur in both the plants themselves as well as the land forms.  However it is easy to see when you compare the photographs over a period of years.  This is particularly true when there is water movement involved.
This summer, there will be a new garden constructed near the large southern-most pond along Azalea Way.   

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Jun 7, 2017 / What is Growing, Washington Park Arboretum, Plant Profiles, Education, News / Catherine Nelson, Tour Program Assistant

June “Plant” Profile: Discovering Slime Molds

Fuligo septica by Flickr user Scot Nelson

This month, instead of profiling a plant, we’ll be profiling a completely different kind of organism… slime molds!
In the fall of 2015, the Elisabeth C. Miller Library at the Center for Urban Horticulture held an art exhibit about slime molds: Now You See It, the Slime Mold Revelation! I had never head of these organisms and was intrigued by the art display and the amazing enlarged photographs of their fruiting bodies. 

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May Brings Forth Selected Cuttings from the Pacific Connections Garden at the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, May 22, 2017 - June 4, 2017

1)  Aristotelia chilensis                    Macqui

This small evergreen tree is native to the Valdivian temperate rainforest of Chile and Argentina.
This inconspicuous white flower yields a small black fruit, and is sometimes called Macqui or, Chilean Wineberry.
This plant and New Zealand’s Mountain Wineberry (A. fruticosa) can both be found in the Pacific Connections Garden.

2)  Prostanthera cuneata                    Alpine Mint Bush

This evergreen shrub is native to southeastern Australia. 

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May 24, 2017 / History, Center for Urban Horticulture, Horticulture, News / John A. Wott, Director Emeritus UW Botanic Gardens

Glimpse into the past – the Master Gardener Plant Sale

Master Gardener Tent 2017

During the first weekend in May 2017, the Master Gardener Foundation of King County held its annual Spring Plant Sale and Garden Market on the grounds of the Center for Urban Horticulture.  As I browsed the vendors displaying plants and other garden art, I was impressed as to how much has changed as well as how much is still the same. 

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