In March, my dog and I enjoyed a tour which featured the tour guide’s favorite plants. Not being a botanist and not wanting to take notes, but just enjoy the walk itself—I cannot tell you the names of any of the species that she pointed out. Incidentally, they all seemed to have difficult names to remember, spell, as well as to pronounce.
What I did learn:
* The UW Arboretum is 230 acres. The land is owned by the City of Seattle and the plantings are owned by the UW.
* As a species, magnolias go back 58 million years.
* Beetles existed before bees.
* Cherry blossom tree trunks have horizontal striations to their bark.
* Seattle is not such a great place for cherry blossom tree health because it is so wet and damp.
* Horse and buggy races used to be held on the main thoroughfare—Azalea Way.
* New trails within the arboretum will be created as part of the light rail system sited on the UW’s main campus.
* There are promiscuous flowers in the Winter Flower Garden. (Yes, some difficult to remember name so I can’t include it here, though I do include a photograph of the flowers in the slideshow at the end of this blog post).
As described on the UW Arboretum's website, April through June tour topics include the following:
April is the month to see Rhododendrons in bloom. Arboretum weekend walks will feature some of the over 1,800 Rhododendron species in the UW Botanic Garden collection. The April tour title “Rum Dum Rhodies” honors the Rum Dum Rhodie club who practiced hybridization in a friendly spirit of competition.
May is when most plants are in blossom and so the May tour title is "Flower Power." Arboretum weekend walks will wind among the many flowering plants in the arboretum. Tour guides will discuss some of the flowering plants as well as teach visitors the workings of flowers through fun experiments and discussions about pollination.
June is a perfect month to check out the Pacific Connections Garden with a tour title of the same name. Tour guides will take visitors to see plants used for various display gardens of Chile, China, Australia, New Zealand, and in the northwest. The tour will also include a walk through the newly planted New Zealand forest area to show off new acquisitions and see how the forest is faring.
Information about other events at the arboretum can be found here.
So make some time to visit the wonderful UW Arboretum. Whether with a tour guide or not, it’s the perfect place for ambling, picnicking, or just sitting on a park bench enjoying the arboretum's vast beauty.