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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Verdant Roof

The green roof is actually looking green!  Thanks to extra rain this month and a bit extra irrigation, the roof is living up to its name.  Nice to see it looking happy.  The roof remodel starts next month!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Purple Pleasures

The Berry Prairie continues to bloom this summer, blissfully unaware of the changes about to come.  If it knew, I'm sure it'd be as excited as the rest of us!  We received one bid for the green roof remodel, and we're now talking with that contractor to figure out what we will and won't do in that process.  Once the contract is signed, you will get ALL SORTS of news about it!  But: no putting the cart before the horse.

Anyway, the flowers on the green roof right now are exclusively purple.  And oh so lovely in the morning sunlight.  Here are a few photos to tantalize, dazzle and awe:

In this Smooth Penstemon (Penstemon glaber v. alpine; below),  a pollen wasp sleeps until the sun hits it and warms it up enough to fly.

Written by Brenna Marsicek, UW Biodiversity Institute

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Indian Paintbrush Garden

Last summer our garden intern, Jenna Ramunno, started a project that looked at propagating Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja spp.) with four different types of host plants to see which host plant best serves the paintbrush.  In case you haven't read, Indian Paintbrush are hemi-parasites, meaning they attach their roots the the roots of another plant to siphon off some water and maybe nutrients.  Without a host plant, paintbrush would be able to survive, but likely not bloom.  It doesn't hurt the host plant, but gives the paintbrush some extra blooming power!

This spring, the paintbrush came back beautifully!  And even attracting some unwanted biodiversity...

Here's triumphant Jenna, one year after starting the experiment.


We'll be keeping track of the progress this summer, so stay tuned for updates!

Written by Brenna Marsicek, UW Biodiversity Institute

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bloomin' Report

We have two white beauties blooming on the green roof right now:

Fleabane (Erigeron compositus)

as well as the ever reliable

Devil's Gate Twinpod (Physaria eburniflora)

And to switch up the color palette a little bit, there is a penstemon in bloom as well!

Blue Mist Penstemon (Penstemon virens)

Thanks to the 1.58" of rain we received in May (that's a lot of rain for Laramie!), our green roof is in fact greening up! Can you tell?  Really, I swear it is looking greenish!

Stay in touch for more updates on current plants and activities, as well as progress on our remodel!

Written by Brenna Marsicek, UW Biodiversity Institute