Our Spring Plant Sale is quickly approaching (April 26-27th & May 3-4, 9am-3pm) and we have been getting many requests for plant list. We know that planning the garden is half of the fun, especially this time of year on those rainy days, so here are the preliminary lists of annuals and edibles (click links to download the pdf). I've included slideshows with some pictures from previous years to help get the imagination going.
If you had looked behind the scenes of the Northwest Flower & Garden Show this year you would have found Environmental Horticulture students and alumni from Lake Washington Institute of Technology everywhere teaming with companies, individuals and industry organizations to install twenty three top notch display gardens that span over six acres inside the Washington State Convention Center.
Our students spend as much time outside of the classroom learning as they do inside the classroom. I like to call it education without walls. This week all students were in force helping out at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show.
Here's a little peek into what they were up to.
Video of Horticulture students planting out a remediation project at Water District #119 last month. The day turned out just perfect for planting, with the sun peaking out and temperatures mild we couldn't have asked for more. We even had the chance to see salmon in the nearby stream as we worked.
It's fall and as we prepare to welcome a new group of students to our classroom next week, we also find ourselves reflecting back to past students and the not so distant days of sending them off into the world with their newly defined skills and knowledge gained from their time spent here in the LWIT Horticulture Department.
Claire Hardwick, Lake Washington Institute
of Technology Environmental Horticulture Alumni and 2010 graduate is one of those past students currently on our minds. As we prepare the classrooms, she is getting ready
to leave for Scotland to attend the Scottish Agriculture College
(SAC) to earn a degree in Environmental Studies at the University of
Edinburgh. SAC is Scotland's land-based higher education institution, offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses that focus on the rural economy and environment, including subjects such as agriculture, business, animal science, environment, green technology, conservation, and horticulture. We are thrilled that Claire has decided to continue to pursue her interest in Environmental Horticulture that was initially fostered here in our greenhouse and classrooms.
How did this all come about? Claire began researching different institutions wanting to continue her education in Environmental Horticulture after graduating with an Associate Degree from LWIT in 2011. She was particulary interested in focusing on a science based curriculum in Environmental Horticulture but one that could also continue to foster her interest in herbal medicines. Last November following much research and finding many of the educational institutions in the United States were heavily agriculturally based, she took a trip to Scotland to visit the SAC. After visiting the college and receiving a private tour of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh by one of the program’s instructors Claire was convinced that SAC was the next step for her. Her desire to attend did not however guarantee her entrance into the school. She went through a rigorous application process and in the end was one of only twenty five students accepted into the competitive program.
Claire will be entering this fall as a second year student having received credit for some of her coursework completed here at LWIT. She will be taught by a team of staff including lecturers, researchers, advisers, and consultants and is eager to take classes focusing on plant classification, botany and herbal medicine. Many of the horticulture courses she will be enrolled in are offered jointly with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). Claire’s most looking forward to benefitting from the strong industry partnerships that the college engages in such as its partnership with the RBGE. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) was founded in the 17th century as a physic garden and is the second oldest botanic garden in Britain. It now extends over four Gardens boasting a rich living collection of plants, and is a world-renowned centre for plant science and education. Approximately, one half of Claire's coursework will occur in this unique classroom setting.
We of course asked Claire, what role if any did the LWIT horticulture program play in her decision to attend SAC. She responded by saying that it was her learning in the LWIT Environmental Horticulture program that inspired her to look beyond her
initial interest in floral design and created a hunger for more of the science aspects of horticulture. She after graduating from the program returned to us and designed her own special project propagating fuchsia starts. She credits this experience as one among many here that encouraged her to step beyond her comfort zone and pursue her passion further.
We wish Claire happy travels and well wishes. We have no doubt that she is headed for an exciting career in horticulture and look forward to hearing about her future successes and endeavors.
The Horticulture Program here at Lake Washington has, over the years, developed a strong community of friends and supporters. Volunteers, garden clubs, alumni, industry professionals and businesses have helped in many ways to make the student experience a richer more fulfilling one. This support comes in the form of scholarships, help running the plant sales, mentoring students, being guest lecturers and so much more.
Pine Lake Garden Club is part of our community of supporters and has been for over 19 years. For years they have donated scholarships for horticulture students but this is the first year they have ever opened their private gardens for a tour. Proceeds from this tour will be donated to the Horticulture Program. We are very grateful for their continued support and completely excited for the garden tour. I've heard wonderful things about the gardens and can't wait to be inspired.
Details from the Pine Lake Garden Club website:
"Please join us for this delightful self-drive tour. Ten members of the club are opening their personal gardens.
Each garden is very different from the next and each profiles the taste and talent of the homeowner. Some of the gardeners are quilters and their work will be on display. Others are artists and their creations will surprise and delight you.
The gardener's ages range from a spry 85-years to a creative, modern 25-year old and the garden sizes from about two acres to quite small, proof that gardening really is for everyone.
The tour is on Saturday, July 28 between 10 AM and 4 PM. Tickets are $10 per
person, available for purchase the day of the tour in front of John L. Scott Realty, 718 228th Ave NE, Sammamish WA 98074. Maps and directions will be provided.
All proceeds will be donated to the Lake Washington Institute of Technology,
Environmental Horticulture Program.
Click here or email email@example.com for more information.
Please note: No strollers. Children 12 and under are free. No smoking.
Never step into flowerbeds. Do not touch plants or objects in the garden.
Please ask the owner if you have any questions. No dogs."
Today Laura Wildfong from NW Nurseries came to announce the summer quarter Horticulture Scholarships.
Two scholarships were awarded this quarter: Jim Colman Memorial Scholarship and the Pine Lake Garden Club Scholarship.
Congratulations to Steven & Adora! Both are fourth quarter horticulture students getting ready to graduate in August. They have been a joy to have in class and we couldn't be happier for them.
With the support of the Foundation at Lake Washington Institute of Technology the Horticulture program awards over $8,000 in scholarships every year. This doesn't include the numerous scholarships available through local trade associations and community organizations. (Check out our scholarships page for details on other scholarships available to horticulture students at Lake Washington.)
We would like to thank Laura Wildfong, NW Nurseries, the Pine Lake Garden Club and the Foundation for their continued support of our program and the horticulture students.
Yesterday morning, Lake Washington Horticulture students loaded
up into vans to visit the Elisabeth C.
Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle. The Miller Garden is a gem of a garden
that contains an exceptional collection of rare and unusual trees and shrubs in
addition to being an excellent example of thoughtful design and outstanding
We arrived at the garden and were immediately welcomed by curator Richie Steffen, head gardener Holly Zipp and Roffi Petrossian, LWIT Horticulture alumni and current Miller Garden Intern. Being in the middle of our landscape design class, instructors Don Marshall and Chris Smith thought this to be an optimal time to visit the garden and incorporate it into part of our landscape design studies.
While examples of well thought out design and plant picks abound in the
Seattle area, there is hardly a better example than the Miller Garden.
The garden did not disappoint! In fact, it surpassed our expectations.
As we toured the garden with Holly and Richie each planting provided interest that went well beyond contrasts of color offering structural and textural interest as well giving us delight after delight.
The complex plantings and extraordinary plant selections along with Richie and Holly’s
sharing of “Betty” stories gave us insight into Mrs. Miller, her love for plants
and her competitive nature which lives on with the garden’s tradition of
acquiring new rare and unusual plants. With each story told, garden path traversed, and planting viewed, the late Mrs. Elizabeth C. Miller influenced the students, instructors and me in how we view a garden. The plantings encouraged us to look beyond the ordinary and to challenge ourselves as gardener designers.
Mrs. Miller was not only known for her gardening skills, but also for her community involvement. She was well respected for her generous contributions of time and financial support to public horticulture and the community at large. One only
has to count the Deodar Cedars along I-5 leaving Seattle to feel her impact.
Thank you Holly and Richie for sharing this Seattle treasure with us. For more information regarding the Elizabeth C. Miller garden visit...
Horticulture students apply for a variety of scholarships to help fund their education as they work towards completion of their certificate and/or associaties in Horticulture. The scholarships available in any given quarter are offered by local garden clubs, memorial foundations associated with the Horticulture Program and Professional Organization like that of the Washington State Nurseryman and Landscape Association (WSNLA).
This quarter we are proud to announce seven Lake Washingington Institute of Technology Horticulture Students were awarded scholarships.
Jim Coleman Scholarship
Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association Scholarship
Lake Washington Institute of Technology Horticulture Scholarship
Many thanks to the Lake Washington College Foundation for their support and management of the LWIT Horticulture and Jim Coleman Funds.
This past weekend approximately 150 high school students from around the state arrived on campus to take part in the "FFA" state competition. Staff and students alike in the Horticulture program assisted "FFA" by providing volunteers and facilities for the competition.
Although the letters "FFA" stand for Future Farmers of America, the official name of the organization was changed from "Future Farmers of America" to the "The National FFA Organization" in 1988 to reflect the growing diversity of agriculture and a focus on leadership skills. When founded originally in 1928 by a group of young farmers, their mission was to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. They taught young farmers that agriculture was more complex than just planting and harvesting, it was a science, a business and an art.
While at LWIT, the students competed in scenarios involving floral design, nursery repotting, plant identification, bidding and estimating, merchandising and sales amongst other categories. Students competed as individuals and as teams and were graded not only on the outcomes of their assigned scenarios but teamwork with one another. They were engaged, inquisitive and respectful young adults. We look forward to hearing about their future accomplishments as they continue to peruse their interests in horticulture.
Late winter and early spring is a great time to do a lot of pruning around the yard. But what do you prune and how?
We'll start by talking about hydrangeas since they seem to be in just about every yard around here. Before you can prune a hydrangea you will need to determine what kind you have.
What you are really trying to determine is when they bloom; off of wood from last years growth or off of growth from the current year. If you have a hydrangea that blooms on growth from last year and you cut it to the ground now...you've lost your blooms for this year. Whereas if you do the same with one that blooms on new wood...you will still get blooms if you where to prune hard now.
Here's a list of some of the most common Hydrangea species grown around the PNW:
-Hydrangea macrophylla, Mophead or lacecap hydrangeas
-Hydrangea quercifolia, Oakleaf hydrangeas
-Hydrangea paniculata 'Grandiflora' - Pee Gee hydrangea
Here are a few quick pruning tips for each type of Hydrangea:
Mophead & Lacecap Hydranges: These hydrangeas bloom earlier on growth from last season.
~Spring pruning: The rule of thirds is key at this time of the year to ensure good blooms and a healthy full plant. The key to keeping your flowers is to cut back to where you can see some nice healthy green buds.
-Remove 1/3 of oldest stems all the way to the ground
-Cut 1/3 of stems in half, cut to a healthy bud
-Remove tips of remaining 1/3 of branches, cut to a healthy bud
~Summer pruning: Pruning late in the summer will promote more new growth that may be more susceptible to freeze damage in the coming winter. Because of this it may be best to avoid hard pruning at this time. It is however, a great time to cut back stems with blooms on them to enjoy inside.
-Oakleaf & Pee Gee Hydrangeas: These hydrangeas bloom later on new growth from the current year.
~Spring Pruning: Spring is the time to do most routine and restorative pruning. If you need to reduce the size of the plant or just thin out the weaker or oldest stems now is a great time.
~Summer/Fall Pruning: Avoid pruning in summer before it flowers as this will cut off the flower buds. The best bet, should you need to prune, is to wait till just after it flowers so you don't miss the floral display.
This is a very quick overview of Hydrangea pruning. To get more details and diagrams on how to prune check out one of the great references below.
Great pruning references to check out:
'The Pruners Bible" by Steven Bradley. A great book for people learning how to prune. References many of the most common shrubs, vines and trees in our region.
"American Horticultural Society Pruning & Training" by David Joyce. This is a more indepth book on pruning. A great reference if you have a diverse garden or if you're really into pruning.
The Plant Amnesty website. You'll find great info on pruning techniques and references to horticulture professionals who can do it for you. They also offer great pruning classes.