Iris, Pacific Coast Hybrid

It looks like a week of ‘June Gloom’ coming at us, but I won’t begrudge the rain. It has been too dry for my liking this spring. I can remember previous ‘gloom’ events that were much worse, so I’m not going to grouse about this one. The garden is looking lush and flush with the new growth setting in. Keeping up with the daily changes is not easy. Iris season is winding down, and this spat of rain probably finished off your bearded beauties. It has been a banner year for Pacific Coast Hybrid irises at the garden, and I bet we have some lingering blooms for another week, even if the peak peaked.

Angie Vineyard and Hillary Ethe, Interns from Edmonds College

Big progress around the bug motels took place in the last couple of weeks. Interns Hillary and Angie knocked out the first wave of plantings, and already it looks better. This project started as a daydream of mine. I spend an inordinate amount of time imagining ways to enhance the garden, wondering what it would look like and how it will be received.

Rissa Sanchez and Brian Branagan

Insect Motel – Lower Garden Kruckeberg Botanic Garden

Dierama hybrid from Far Reaches Farm

Insect Motel – Lower Garden Kruckeberg Botanic Garden

Usually, that’s as far as it goes, that is until last fall when someone from Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center reached out to me about their friend and colleague, Carissa Sanchez. We know her as Rissa, our current board member, and treasurer. Rissa retired from Fred Hutch this year after 27 years as a researcher, and they asked what they could do to recognize her years of service. They knew of her love for the Garden and wanted to know what we could do. Between the co-workers and Rissa’s husband, Brian Branagan, we constructed and purchased plants for a new creation. Like many things at the Garden, everything takes longer, and so will this project, as there are other enhancements yet to come. I want to give a round of thanks to some key people who helped make this happen. Hillary Ethe, Edmonds College Intern, was there from the beginning, literally from the ground up. Thank you for all your hard work and commitment to the Garden! To Dean Weller, quite possibly the hardest working volunteer at the garden. Sorry, Nathan. Dean is someone that figures things out and shows up ready to go. Thank you, Dean, for everything you do for the garden. You and your family are a boon to the Kruckeberg. To Carolyn Rubenkonig and Angie Vineyard, thanks for the final push of effort to get us to this point. Having this built with all of you makes this all the more special. I hope you will continue to build and grow with us.

Of course, none of this would have happened without the folks at Fred Hutch:

Patricia Blount

Patricia Galipeau

Marnix Jansen

Amber Karnofski

Douglas Levine

George Luebeck

Katti Neshat

Stig Ramel

Brian and Cynthia Reid

Jesse Salk

Kylie Smith

Terri Watson

and Luna Yu

Thank you!

Thank you to Brian Branagan for matching their contributions.