Preserving a Northwest Treasure 

2300 Arboretum Drive East Seattle WA 98112
japanese maple
Arbor eNotes July 2012
Road Work Ahead

Lake Washington Boulevard Closed on Sunday and Monday  

lake washington boulevard
LWB closures will coincide with monthly 520 closures.

This summer, Seattle Parks and Recreation, SDOT, UWBG, and Seattle City Light will be working together on a series of enhancement projects in the Arboretum. These include spot paving and streetlight replacement on Lake Washington Boulevard (LWB), as well as crosswalk, signage, and pedestrian improvements. Arboretum users should anticipate several all-day closures of LWB, from Foster Island Drive on the north end to Arboretum Drive on the south end of the park.


Upcoming LWB closures:

  • Sunday, July 15 (3 a.m.) to Monday, July 16 (6 p.m.)
  • Friday, August 10 (7 p.m.) to Monday, August 12 (morning)
  • Saturday, Sept 8 (morning) to Sunday, Sept 9 (evening)

Access to the Japanese Garden parking lot will be available from the south end of LWB during the closures. Visitors will be able to access the Arboretum by car from the north end of LWB East, via Foster Island Drive. For more information on the work projects, contact Andy Sheffer at 206-684-7041 or

Azalea Way Garden Stewards
A New Volunteer Initiative to Help Preserve an Historic Display 
azalea way
Volunteer to care for Azalea Way.
The Arboretum Foundation and Seattle Parks and Recreation, with advisement from UW Botanic Gardens, are launching a new volunteer initiative to help maintain Azalea Way, an historic component of the Arboretum's original Olmstead design. Modeled on the Pacific Connections Garden Stewards, the new Azalea Way Garden (AWG) Stewards program with provide volunteer support to salaried Arboretum staff in caring for Azalea Way. The work will consist primarily of weeding, mulching, edging with hand tools, and some planting of native groundcovers. To join the AWG Stewards, we ask that volunteers have some previous gardening experience and commit to working 24 hours over the period of March to November. To launch the new initiative, we are hosting an Azalea Way work party on Tuesday, August 7, from 9 a.m. to noon. All are welcome to attend. For more information or to sign up, email Rhonda Bush or call her at 206-941-2550. 
A Vision for the Future

An Interview with UWBG Director Sarah Reichard

bulletin cover summer 2012
Cover photo by Riz Reyes.

In the latest issue of the Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin, the legendary Dr. John Wott speaks to UW Botanic Gardens Director Sarah Reichard about her vision for the future of the Arboretum and the Center for Urban Horticulture. "I think what excites me most," says Sarah, "is providing opportunities for students, both grads and undergrads, to get involved with every aspect of what goes on here." Go to full article.



Thanks to Our Sponsors! 

The summer 2012 Bulletin is made possible by: 



Wells Medina Nursery

The Berger Partnership


Summer Bloomers for Sale

Colorful Perennials and More at Plant Donations

Crocosmia 'Lucifer' (photo by Roy Winkleman, FCIP)

The Plant Donations Nursery at the Arboretum has a colorful selection of summer blooming perennials for sun and for shade. These include 3- to 4-foot-tall yellow lilies, Crocosmia 'Lucifer,' and some choice daylilies. The nursery also has a nice array of woody plants, such as Drimys lanceolata (mountain pepper),fragrant Sarcococca (sweet box), small-leaved rhododendrons, and a lovely Cryptomeria japonica 'Sekkan-Sugi'. The nursery is located just south of the Graham Visitors Center and is staffed by volunteers Wednesdays and second Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can browse the nursery any day of the week and purchase plants at the Arboretum Shop (open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Park in the Dark

Enjoy a Nighttime Tour of the Arboretum this Saturday, July 14

Barred owls in the Arboretum.
(Photo by Bob Bamford)

"Park in the Dark" is a popular summer program of night hikes offered to families by the UW Botanic Gardens education department! On these special adventures, kids and grown-ups learn about the adaptations of nocturnal animals that live and hunt in the Arboretum. The tours are designed for families with children ages 6 to 10. On the June 2012 tour, participants encountered three adolescent barred owls and an almond-scented millipede, among other Arboretum residents! This Saturday's tour runs from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. and costs $8 per person. You can register online or by calling 206-685-8033. Upcoming tours are on August 25, September 15, and October 13.

Paddle On!
Tour the Arboretum Wetlands by Kayak This Summer
kayak tour
Boating in the Arboretum.
For the third year in a row, UW Botanic
Gardens is partnering with the Agua Verde Paddle Club to offer guided kayak tours of the wetlands around Foster Island. The 90-minute tours will push off from Duck Bay at the north end of the Arboretum at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on August 29 and 30, as well as September 5, 6, and 7. Guests will learn about the history of the wetlands and have a chance to meet some of its plant and animal residents. The fee is $30 per person. All proceeds go to the Agua Verde Scholarship Fund, which helps provide educational opportunities at UWBG to schools with limited resources. For more information or to register, visit the Agua Verde website or call 206-545-8570 ext. 23.
Save the Date: Friday, September 7
In the summer 2012 issue of GroundWork, our print newsletter, we announced plans to celebrate the 100th birthday of Nancy Davidson Short at the Graham Visitors Center on September 16. The celebration date has since been revised, and we will now host the event on Friday, September 7. Nancy is a legend in regional gardening circles and a beloved advocate of the Arboretum. Our party for her will also be a fundraiser for the Foundation: Tickets will start at $100, in recognition of Nancy's milestone birthday. Look for detailed information about the event in our August e-newletter.
In This Issue
Lake Washington Blvd. Closures
Azalea Way Stewards Initiative
Sarah Reichard Interviewed
Summer Bloomers at the Nursery
Park in the Dark
Kayak Tours of the Arboretum

Quick Links

Our Partners at Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle:


montezuma pine 


July Weekend Walks Focus on Conifers 

The topic of this month's free Weekend Walk tours, hosted by the UWBG-trained garden guides, is the spectacular conifer collection in the Arboretum. Tours depart at 1 p.m. every Sunday from the Graham Visitors Center.




August "Walks & Talks" Tour to Highlight Summer-Bloomers


Our next "Walks & Talks" tour, offered to Arbor Circle, Legacy Circle, and Steward-level members and their guests, is on Thursday, August 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. Entitled "Summer Blooms: Late-Flowering Trees and Shrubs in the Arboretum," the tour will be led by Peter Maurer, a long-time volunteer in the Arboretum's plant records office. To attend, please RSVP to Cynthia Welte by August 1.



sjg lantern 

Third Annual Garden Party at the Japanese Garden

The Japanese Garden Advisory Council invites you to attend its annual fundraiser on Friday, July 20, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event benefits the programs and horticultural needs of the garden. Stroll the grounds, enjoy light dinner and live entertainment, and bid on live and silent auction items. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at