Arboretum Display Garden
Northwest Flower and Garden Festival
February 26 to March 1, 2020
Washington State Convention Center
Each year the Arboretum Foundation, with support from its City and University partners at the Arboretum, presents a horticultural display at the Northwest Flower & Garden Festival.
Washington Park Arboretum: Gateway to a Greener Earth (2020)
In honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary of Earth Day (April 2020), our globe-shaped garden will represent the diversity of plants from around the world found in Washington Park Arboretum. A mix of native and non-native trees will form the backdrop to the circular garden, while species rhododendrons and other understory plants will make up the foreground. A curving, stone pathway will bisect the display, connecting an arbor-like wattle “gateway” near the front of the garden to a wooden bench at the back.
Specimen trees and shrubs will highlight the important contributions to conservation made by the Arboretum and other botanic gardens. These include: the stately dawn redwood, nearly extinct in its homeland of China, but now preserved in public gardens worldwide; the wonderfully symmetrical monkey puzzle tree, endangered in its native Chile and Argentina, but a cultivation success story in the Arboretum and Seattle at large; and the mysterious, beautifully flowered Franklin tree, extinct in its eastern U.S. range, but providing four-season interest in multiple garden sites all over the world.
Our display garden will focus on how the Arboretum—through its collection of 40,000 plants from six continents—allows visitors to both experience the diversity of life first-hand and understand how gardens (public and private) can be sanctuaries for its preservation. Gardens can protect sensitive, threatened, and endangered species through “ex-situ” (or “off-site”) conservation, acting as genetic repositories for plants in trouble in their homelands.
The plant collection at Washington Park Arboretum contains hundreds of specimens of conservation concern. It’s a “gene bank” for potential future restoration/reintroduction efforts and also a vibrant, living classroom for engaging and educating the public on the topic of conservation.
For the 11th year in a row, renowned local plantsman Bob Lilly and award-winning designer Phil Wood created our display garden, in collaboration with Seattle architect Roger Williams.
Design committee (in addition to the designers): Barbara BonJour, Alyssa Henry, Joanna Long, Jane Stonecipher.
If you’d like to help with our display garden build or take down, or if you’d like to act as a docent, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-325-4510.
Photos of Past Arboretum Displays