The outdoor eating space next to By George is a little more attractive these days, thanks to a partnership between the UW Information and Visitors Center and UW Botanic Gardens, with a little help from Odegaard Undergraduate Library. Last week eight planters were installed near the picnic tables with plants from the botanic gardens.
“I wanted to improve that area because it’s so public,” said Linda Hanlon, director of the visitors center. “The campus community, visiting families, K-12 school groups and other off-campus people use this area.”
Hanlon enlisted the aid of Jill McKinstry, director of Odegaard library, to help the botanic gardens cover the cost of the AW Pottery containers. The gardens donated plants, materials, design and the labor to install them.
The plants from the botanic gardens in the containers now are Japanese maples with a variety of amenity companion ornamentals and perennials. There are also plans to showcase different types of attractive vines to grow over the existing arbor. While the planters are a permanent display feature, the plants growing in them will change from time to time.
“We see this partnership not only as a way to enliven the patio, but also as a means of promoting the botanic gardens’ plant collection,” said David Zuckerman, the gardens’ horticulturist.