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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Glimpse into the past - Honoring the Career of Valerie Easton

The long-term success of an institution often resides in the vision, dexterity, intellect, ambition and intuitiveness of an individual. On February 22, 2017, Valerie Easton announced that she was no longer writing her weekly column in the Pacific NW Magazine, bringing her 25 year career there to an end. For me, it seems like Val only recently started as the Library Manager at the Elisabeth C. 

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March 2017 Plant Profile: Corokia cotoneaster

Corokia cotoneaster may not be the first plant that you notice in the landscape, but it might be the plant keeps your attention the longest. This plant’s divaricate branching (having branches of wide angles) and its tiny dark evergreen leaves give it a sparse and angular look which is not a common sight among the green gardens in the Pacific Northwest. 

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Fine (Evergreen) Foliage of Fall

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (October 31, 2016 - November 13, 2016)

1)   Arbutus unedo                    Strawberry Tree Autumn brings bright white bell flowers and deep red-orange fruit, both of which are set off by the deep-green, leathery leaves. Hidden under the foliage are attractive stems with shredding red-brown bark. 2)   Berberis (Mahonia) fortunei              Chinese Mahonia Many evergreen Mahonias have excellent textural foliage, from large and bold to low and delicate. Berberis fortunei can be found growing low to the ground on our Sino-Himalayan hillside. 

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Selected Mid-Autumn Cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum, October 17 - 30, 2016

1)   Araucaria araucana                Monkey Puzzle Native to Chile and Argentina in the south central Andes mountains. This long-lived tree is frequently described as a living fossil. Large cones yield many edible nuts, similar to a pine nut. 2)   Berberis gagnepainii                                 Gagnepain’s Barberry This evergreen shrub is native to China in the Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces. Shrub is protected by many slender three-spined thorns. 

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Autumn Color Arrives at the Washington Park Arboretum

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum (October 3 - 16, 2016)

1)  Sorbus alnifolia                                               (Korean Mountain Ash) Native to central China, Korea and Japan this medium-sized tree boasts showy 2-3 inch umbrella-shaped clusters of 5-petal white flowers in late spring. As summer yields to autumn, clusters of purple-red to orange-red ½ inch showy fruits appear and persist into winter. 2)  Gaultheria mucronata                                      (Prickly Heath) Formerly known as Pernettya, this southern Chilean native spends the fall awash with showy globose berries in shades from deep plum to pink to white. 

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Exploding trees, now showing at your local Arboretum

March did not go out like a lamb, nor did it end with a whimper. No, this lion ended with a grand BANG! A lightning strike from the massive thunderstorm that roared through Seattle yesterday was a direct hit on one of our largest trees in the Washington Park Arboretum.   A Grand Fir located in the Oak grove at the north end of the Arboretum was obliterated with one flash. 

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Fragrance Garden renovation enters phase two

The Fragrance Garden at the Center for Urban Horticulture is being refreshed with help from partner the Seattle Garden Club. The declining stripe bark maple will be removed and new scented plants will be added. Manager of Horticulture David Zuckerman said the Acer capillipes has been declining for years. David explained: “it may have verticillium wilt, but more likely to be causing the decline are symptoms of over exposure (sun, temps) during the course of its life in the entry garden. 

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