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Perhaps the most beautiful part of Humanities is the W-shaped flower bed along its south side. This particular piece of landscaping serves as not only a campus harbinger of spring but also a brilliant backdrop for spring graduation photos. From what we can tell, the spirited flower bed has been on campus for about as long as the Humanities building itself. The exact flower count depends on the variety planted, which is switched up every few years to help with disease control. For the past two growing seasons, the W was filled with begonias — 380 red and 920 white, to be exact — which took four gardeners a half day to plant. These flowers, along with most of campus’s annual plants, are all grown in the greenhouses behind King Hall. As to when the flowers go in, that’s dictated by weather and soil temperature, but the grounds team tries to have them in for graduation each year. For the first time, thanks to the spring uncertainty provided by COVID, UW gardeners planted tulip bulbs this year.

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