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The Mighty Gunnera

By Bellevue Botanical Garden, Botany, Gardening, History, Nature One Comment

The Mighty Gunnera By Cecilia Ayres   The Bellevue Botanical Garden is home to several Gunnera tinctoria plants. With their giant, serrated green leaves, thick, spiky stalks, and vibrant red flower spikes, they are easy to spot. The leaves can grow to be four feet across and stand at eight feet tall in the right conditions. These unique features are not only stunning, but characteristics that date back to the Cretaceous Period—yes, gunneras were around in the time of dinosaurs!…

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Meet the Garden d’Lights Build & Install Team!

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The Garden d’Lights Build & Install Team By Lucy Braginski Carl is one of two repair people on the Garden d’Lights volunteer team. He’s been volunteering for 27 years- since the beginning of Garden d’Lights. His co-repair volunteer is Monica Privat. As repair volunteers, Carl and Monica work with broken lights, flowers, and anything part of the event flora that isn’t working. Carl says they can spend hours on a broken piece, and having “two mindsets… [is] pretty efficient.” Carl got…

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The Oldest Tree in My Neighborhood

By Bellevue Botanical Garden, History, Nature One Comment

By guest writer McKenzie Toomey I sat down in the shade of the towering White Oak, and I watched the branches sway above me. The leaves rustled against each other in the wind, almost whispering to me. I rested my hands on the outcropping roots that grew nearly six feet out from the tree’s base, and I felt the energy that flowed through the tree, the energy that had created this mammoth of nature, the energy that sustained this ancient…

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Plant Awareness Disparity & Our Snap-It Challenge!

By Bellevue Botanical Garden, Botany, Nature, Youth Education No Comments

By Kate Sorensen What is “Plant Awareness Disparity”? Plant Awareness Disparity (PAD) is a term proposed by Kathryn Parsley to replace an older term: “plant blindness.” To summarize her proposal, there is a disparity between how Euro-centric people notice plants in their environment versus how they notice animals. This disparity is based on attention, attitude, knowledge, and relative interest towards plants. She wrote: “The disparity between how often people notice plants compared to how often people notice animals is what…

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2021 Online Educational Activities for Kids and Families

By Resources, Youth Education No Comments

City Nature Challenge City Nature Challenge is an international four-day bioblitz that encourages folks to get outside, take as many pictures of plants and animals they find in the wild, and upload them to their iNaturalist app. This event is ordinarily a friendly challenge between cities, but this year the organizers want to embrace the healing power of nature and encourage the collaborative aspect of the City Nature Challenge. The Challenge takes place in 2 parts: For 2021, April 30-May…

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Intro to Botanical Names Part Two: Pronunciation

By Adult Education, Botany, Nature, Resources No Comments

Intro to Botanical Names Part Two: Pronunciation By Cynthia Welte  In the first blog article on botanical names, we looked at how plant names are constructed. Now … time to get brave and say them out loud!  A note on my phonetic spellings: the Æ or æ symbol is an “a” as it is pronounced in cat or Seattle. Accented syllables are in all caps. This isn’t in any way official but is how it makes sense to me. Plant…

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Intro to Botanical Names Part One: Understanding Names

By Adult Education, Botany, Nature, Resources No Comments

Intro to Botanical Names Part One: Understanding Names By Cynthia Welte  Those of us who work closely with plants are frequently asked why we use the long, hard-to-remember scientific names instead of simpler common names. To illustrate why, what comes to mind when I ask you to picture a cedar tree? You might be thinking of any of a dozen conifers. But if I’m talking about Thuja plicata, there is only plant I could mean: the Western red cedar (also…

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Putting Your Garden to Bed for Winter

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Putting Your Garden to Bed for Winter By Cynthia Welte Is your garden ready for winter? Work you do now will lay groundwork for your garden next year. Much like returning from vacation to a clean home, starting spring in a prepped garden gives you energy and makes the work more pleasant. (Plus, it’s nice to look out at a tidy garden over the gray winter months.) There are a few simple tasks that you can do now to protect…

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Leaf Diamonds

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Leaf Diamonds By Barb Williams You may have noticed that here in the Pacific Northwest it rains often, which is one reason we have such a variety of healthy plants in the Bellevue Botanical Garden. When it rains, or when watery dew drops collect on the leaves, you may notice the sparkle of water droplets shimmering like diamonds on surfaces. Or they may be precariously hanging from “drip tips” at the leaf’s end. Many leaves end in a sharp point….

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Plant Heroes

By Nature, Resources, Youth Education No Comments

Are you curious about plants and animals? Are you always asking questions about the natural world? Do you like being outdoors and having fun? Then check out the American Public Garden Association’s “Plant Heroes” website. On the website you will find: Videos to learn more about moths, beetles, and fungi and explore each species like a scientist! Read comics about insects and plants Activity books with word puzzles, coloring pages, and other activities related to the comic books Lesson plans…

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