Trees, Grounds, Landscaping

A Category Archive

2030: A (Jeff Hughes) Space Odyssey

Guest Blog by Jeff Hughes, Grounds & Sustainability Manager at Seattle Children’s

I have so many hopes for this campus! Twenty years from now, when our Building Hope expansion is complete, I’m hoping that:

a.) I’ll be retired,

b.) we’ll have the greenest, most sustainable hospital in the U.S.

Here are just a few favorites from my wish list … it’s a big list, but I’m hoping we can shoot for it: Read full post »

Careful Camouflage Offered by the Yew Plant

Guest blog by:  Jeff Hughes, Grounds & Sustainability Manager at Seattle Children’s

As you walk along the perimeter of the hospital grounds, you will notice lovely Yew (Taxus baccata) hedges that create a smooth green wall and careful camouflage, masking the current hospital construction site. This evergreen hedge is hardy in shade or sun, and is being strategically placed along Sand Point Way to provide some plant interest as the project continues. This planting is part of the hospital’s commitment to the neighborhood to minimize the visual impact of the construction effort for those who live in the surrounding area, and will become part of the finished landscape once construction has subsided.

Watch the video with Jeff Hughes, Grounds and Sustainability Manager at Seattle Children’s:

Floral Fragrance Helps Create a Healing Environment

Seattle Children’s is committed to providing a healing environment for patients and visitors, including awakening the senses through the cultivation of a lush landscape across the hospital grounds. During winter, the grounds team relies on the wintersweet plant (Chimonanthus praecox), known for its subtle and pleasing fragrance, near hospital entry ways to captivate a visitor’s sense of smell. The team believes that small touches, such as a wonderful scent or cheering flower in winter, all add up to a positive experience in one’s day to day encounters at the hospital. In the colder months of December through Mid-March, when most plants fade, the wintersweet provides the benefit of both a flowering bloom and fragrance. This translucent light yellow flower with purple inner petals is thriving and on display now at the hospital for all to see.

Watch this video with Jeff Hughes, Grounds & Sustainability Manager at Seattle Children’s:

Planting a Year-Round Garden – Winter Grass

Guest blog by:  Jeff Hughes, Grounds & Sustainability Manager at Seattle Children’s

Winter Grass is one plant that can add color, texture and interest to support a year-round garden. When you think about planting your perennial garden in this northwest climate, consider plants like the Winter Grass, so that whatever the season, your garden can dazzle the observer. One of the winter interest grasses we use is Calamagrostis acutiflorum “Overdam”. It in fact is useful in all four seasons, giving you more benefit for your dollars. Read full post »

Remaining Poplars Are Coming Down

All remaining poplar trees along the plaza walkway will be coming down on the Seattle Children’s Hospital construction site during the week of March 8. The poplar trees are being sent to a company that will recycle the wood for a variety of purposes. Their removal should not impact traffic but there may be some noise related to this activity during the day. The crew will fall the trees away from the hospital’s Train building toward the job site. The construction team will then remove the wood with trucks during normal working hours.

If you have questions  you can call 206-987-6197.  If you have an emergency you can call our 24-hour hotline at 206-987-7744 or you can e-mail us at

White Blooms Add Interest to Dreary Winter Days

Guest post by:  Jeff Hughes, Grounds & Sustainability Manager at Seattle Children’s

A plant with delicate white blooms, called Snowdrop, (Galanthus nivalis) can be seen prominently on Seattle Children’s Hospital campus along Penny Drive. These curved, graceful flowers can survive the harshness of winter and will sprout their green shoots up through the snow. This bulbous perennial blooms in late winter into early spring and was intentionally placed by the grounds team to spark visual interest for the gardens during the dark winter months.

Read full post »

The Red Maple Tree has a Successful Move

Yesterday a giant 60-year-old maple tree (approximately 50 ft tall and 122,000 lbs), was moved from the Seattle Children’s construction site via crane and replanted in the park-like greenbelt along the campus perimeter that serves as an amenity to the surrounding community.  In preparation of transferring such a large, heavy and yet delicate tree, the hospital grounds team worked with seasoned arborists and experts to ensure the move went smoothly. Children’s Grounds and Sustainability Manger, Jeff Hughes talks us through the move in this video.

This move is part of a major effort orchestrated by Children’s transplant  thousands of plants from the construction site to areas throughout the existing campus—a majority of which will be replanted back on the site when construction is complete. Trees that cannot be salvaged will be locally milled and reused. This significant effort to conserve and enhance the campus landscape has a broad range of benefits for both people and the environment. A natural campus environment sets a healing tone for patient and family experience, serves as a therapeutic amenity and provides positive distractions.

Giant Maple Tree is Moving

Seattle Children’s will move a giant maple tree from the hospital construction site this week, with plans to preserve and replant it. The tree is 50 feet tall, weighs 123,000 pounds (that’s more than 61 tons), is around 60 years old and is one of the largest trees the hospital plans to conserve in this process.

This is no ordinary move. It is tricky to transfer such a large, heavy and yet delicate tree. That’s why the hospital grounds team is working with arborists and experts who have years of experience to ensure the move goes well.

Read full post »

Poplar Tree Removal Postponed Until March

The removal of the remainder of the poplar trees that run along the west side of the hospital has been delayed until all electrical utility relocation has been completed. The poplars will stay in place until at least March 2011 when we can safely remove them. This allows us to continue construction site preparation on Laurelon Terrace as planned and remove the trees when more space is available on the site. If you have questions please contact our 24-hour message hotline at 206-987-7744 or e-mail

Site Preparation and Salvage Activity Schedule for Laurelon Terrace

Tree ready for moving day

Removal of Hazardous Materials and Saving Materials to Re-use
Removal of hazardous materials from Laurelon Terrace has been in progress since late October and should be completed by Dec. 20.   During this time a contractor has been removing all potentially hazardous materials from the existing Laurelon Terrace Condominiums including, but not limited to, asbestos, pipe insulation and fittings, flooring, window putty, boiler insulation and contaminated soils. Read full post »