Preserving a Northwest Treasure 

2300 Arboretum Drive East Seattle WA 98112

 chinese witch hazel

Arbor eNotes January 2013
IRA Charitable Rollover

"Fiscal Cliff" Deal Extends Benefit for Donors and Charities

helleborus niger
Helleborus niger 'HGC Josef Lemper' blooming in the Witt Winter Garden.

With all the angst surrounding the "fiscal cliff" deal negotiations in late 2012, something very positive came out of the legislative agreement to avoid the cliff for those 70 and older: the renewal of the IRA Charitable Rollover in the tax code. If you or someone you know has an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and is 70 or older - the age of IRS required minimum distributions - you can benefit from the rollover in several ways. For example, the rollover enables people to give tax-free donations to charity from their Traditional IRA account of any amount up to $100,000 yearly for 2012 and 2013. (Charitable distributions made before February 1, 2013, can count for 2012, if the donor so wishes.) Visit our website for more details. If you would like to consider an IRA Charitable Rollover Gift to the Arboretum Foundation, please contact our development director Richard Bray at 206-325-4510 or

Sister City Relations
bob parker
Christchurch mayor Bob Parker (second from right) with (from left to right) Fred Hoyt, Paige Miller, Sarah Reichard, and Andy Sheffer.
Christchurch Mayor Tours New Zealand Forest Site at Arboretum
On January 8, Bob Parker, the mayor of Christchurch, New Zealand (one of Seattle's sister cities), paid a visit to the Arboretum. He toured the site of the 2.5-acre New Zealand Forest, under construction right now in the Pacific Connections Garden, with representatives from the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Arboretum Foundation. The new forest will be planted in late spring and early summer and officially opened to the public in September.   
hff stump garden
A western red cedar stump being moved into place.
A Stunning Stumpery

Hardy Fern Foundation Creating New Fern Display at GVC

Staff from Botanica Landscape and Design, Inc. spent two days at the Graham Visitors Center last week working with Arboretum gardeners to create a new stumpery - an expansion of the Signature Bed fern garden. The stump garden will create a beautiful setting for a new display of ferns. John Van den Meerendonk, owner of Botanica and board president of Hardy Fern Foundation (HFF), supervised the placement of the large western red cedar stumps and logs, and he generously donated the cost of the materials, the transportation, and the labor. This past Saturday, members of the HFF board met at the Visitors Center to plant the ferns. The HFF folks donated their time - and 150 ferns! See photos of the planted display on our Facebook page.

opening night 2013
Join us on Tuesday, February 19!
Play a Starring Role!
Buy Your Ticket to our Hollywood-Inspired Preview Party and Benefit! 
Tickets to the 24th annual Opening Night Party at the Northwest Flower & Garden ShowFebruary 19 at the Washington State Convetion Center, are now on sale. Enjoy a fabulous evening of delicious food, fine wines, live music, and silent auctions, and the opportunity to view the beautiful display gardens at the Garden Show the day before it opens to the public - all while helping us raise important funds to support Washington Park Arboretum. This year's Garden Show has a Hollywood theme, and we'll be celebrating with a glamorous, Tinseltown-style extravaganza. Tickets range from $75 to $500. You can purchase tickets online or by calling 206-325-4510.
auction wine
Regional wines are always a popular item at the party auction.
Auction Update

Opening Night Auction to Feature Electronic Bidding

The Opening Night Party will again include a silent auction in the South Lobby of the Convention Center, and feature such enticing items as local dining experiences, wine from regional cellars, and unique experience packages. The auction is an important fundraiser for the Arboretum.


A taste of the treasures: Here is a sampling of some of the wonderful items we'll be featuring next month.

  • Mt. Rainier winter getaway
  • One week stay in a beachfront resort in Fiji 
  • Beginner beekeeping class
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle garden tour and wine tasting
  • Seahawks and Sounders tickets
  • Garden consultations, and much more! 

Bid by phone: This year we are introducing electronic bidding for the auction. For the first time, you'll be able to use your cell phone to bid on auction items while enjoying the display gardens in the main exhibit hall - or even if you are unable to attend the party!

Book Reviewbulletin winter 2013
New Books by Northwest Authors   
In part 2 of his annual round-up of
 gardening and nature books by Pacific Northwest writers for the Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin, Miller Library manager Brian Thompson discusses recent titles on chicken gardens, urban agriculture, vegetable gardening, vertical gardening, handmade garden ornaments, and more. Read the full article.

Thanks to our sponsors: The winter 2013 issue was made possible by the following.

Molbak's Garden and Home
Wells Medina Nursery
Northwest Flower & Garden Show
The Berger Partnership 
Pre-schoolers in the Arboretum.
Pre-School Program
New Winter Classes Added to Meet the Demand
Classes for the winter session of UWBG's new Fiddleheads Forest School have been filling up so quickly that a host of new dates have been added to the schedule to meet the demand. The classes - designed to connect pre-schoolers with nature through themed activities and outdoor play at the Arboretum - meet the first and third weeks of each month, January through March. Spaces are available in the Tuesday morning (10 a.m. to noon) and Wednesday afternoon (1 to 3 p.m.) classes and include such topics as "Nature Through Our Noses" (January 29 and 30) and "Rain & Water" (February 12 and 13). The classes cost $16 each for one adult and child (or $12 each if you register for all 6 classes).
Photo Exhibit: "Grafted"
Multiple Exposure Images of Nature at the Miller Library This Month
mcgarry graphic
A multiple exposure photograph of ginkgo, spruce, and clouds, by Brendan McGarry.
Now through January 31, the Miller Library is hosting a photography exhibit by Seattle-based photographer and naturalist Brendan McGarry. Entitled "Grafted," the exhibit features a series of multiple exposure and digital composite photos of the botanical world. McGarry layers together multiple images of plants and other natural elements to draw in the viewer and inspire them to appreciate the beauty of nature.
For more information about "Grafted," call 206-543-0415 or visit
BANNER PHOTO: Chinese witch-hazel (Hamamelis mollis) blooming in the Witt Winter Garden
In This Issue
2012-13 IRA Charitable Rollover
A Mayoral Visit
A New Fern Display
Tickets for Opening Night
Auction Update
Book Review
Fiddleheads Forest School
Miller Library Exhibit

Quick Links

Our Partners at Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle:
Free Sunday Tours to Showcase
Ancient Trees

UWBG-trained garden guides lead free tours of the Arboretum from 1 to 2:30 p.m. every Sunday. The January tours will highlight tree
species in the collection that are considered to be "living fossils," such as the gingko and the Japanese umbrella pine. Meet at the Graham Visitors Center.
japanese garden lantern 
Become a Japanese Garden Tour Guide
The Seattle Japanese Garden is still looking for new volunteer guides. Training starts in mid-March; the deadline to apply is now February 1. To apply or find out more, download a volunteer application form the Seattle Parks And Recreation website.
mckeehen brugmansia 
Botanical Drawing Classes at CUH
Learn how to create beautiful botanical pencil renderings this winter at the Center for Urban Horticulture, with instructor Kathy McKeehen. The 7-part class takes place on Tuesdays, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., starting January 22. Find out more or register on the UWBG website.