Salvia regla 'Jame'
JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update - September 2015
Director's Note
Mark Weathington, Director

As I write this, I just spent a great day hosting with all the JCRA staff, our friends from the other major botanical gardens in the area. We call this semi-regular event the TAG (Triangle Area Gardens) Luncheon. It is a rare opportunity for us to get together with colleagues from the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, North Carolina Botanical Garden, and Juniper Level Botanic Garden for food and fellowship.
Most Triangle residents don't realize how lucky they are to have four world-class botanical institutions right here in their backyards. While there is sometimes a bit of good-natured ribbing (we didn't even seat Johnny Randall, NCBG's head of conservation, under the variegated kudzu on our terrace this year), we are all big fans of the work done at the respective gardens and appreciate how well we all complement each other. Spending time together gives us all a chance to celebrate each others' successes, pick each others' brains, and help solve our shared challenges.
Speaking of successes, the JCRA hit a significant milestone in August. We surpassed the total number of new memberships so far in 2015 over the entire year of 2014 with four more months to go. Members are our source of volunteers, participants for programs, and financial supporters. We simply couldn't exist without them. If you aren't a member, consider joining our family and if you already are a member, invite a friend to come visit the JCRA.
Members also get some special perks like our Member's Only Plant Sale which will be open later this month for your orders. Keep an eye out for the plant list and order form which will be sent out soon.
Paeonia 'Cora Louise'

Plant of the Month
By Mark Weathington, Director

Paeonia 'Cora Louise' - Intersectional Peony 
Few plants are hotter than the incredible intersectional peonies - hybrids between herbaceous and tree peonies. The first that hit the market, 'Bartzella', has proven to be such a phenomenal plant that no well-appointed garden is fully dressed without at least one to show off.
The intersectional peonies are also known as Itoh peonies in recognition of Toichi Itoh the first person to cross the herbaceous and tree peonies opening the door for more of these great garden plants. The Itoh hybrids make exceptionally tough garden specimens with stiff stems, huge flowers, and few garden pests. Most grow to about 30" tall and wide and can have upwards of 50 flowers on a single plant.
'Cora Louise' has large, semi-double white flowers with contrasting deep purple flares. Unlike many of the intersectional peonies, 'Cora Louise' has a quite pleasant, if not overwhelming, fragrance and is among the heaviest bloomers in the group. In full sun, expect a lush, beautiful foliaged plant with a reliable spring flower show.
Itoh peonies are slow to produce and most purchased plants are typically rather small and expensive. We will be offering 'Cora Louise' during our Member's Only Plant Sale in large, landscape size containers for immediate impact. Keep an eye out for your opportunity to get your own specimen, numbers will be limited.
Brie and David Arthur's garden
Garden Conservancy Open Days Visits "The Sandy Side of Raleigh"
By Arlene Calhoun, Volunteer and Membership Coordinator

Saturday, October 3, 2015 - 9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Sunday, October 4, 2015 - 12:00 PM-5:00 PM

Visiting private gardens is at the top of the list for most gardeners I know. The personal invitations to appreciate the vision, the beauty, and the hard work of fellow partners in soil are ones we cherish. The Garden Conservancy's Open Days is just that, the gates are open for two days in October to see some of the most inspiring and beautiful gardens in Wake County.

For those who don't know the Garden Conservancy's mission is to share America's outstanding gardens for generations to come. The Arboretum is proud to support their mission and help to sponsor Open Days in Raleigh. Since 1989, the Garden Conservancy has helped 100 American gardens survive and prosper. To find out more about their mission and the wonderful gardens who open their gates across the nation for Open Days visit Garden Conservancy's Web site.

For more details on the gardens on tour this fall in our area, visit Open Days in Raleigh:
  • The Arthur Garden (Brie and David Arthur)
  • Lamm Oasis (Jack Lamm and Dan Gant)
  • Southern Secrets (Sandra Simpson)
  • The Bristol Brier (Jeremy Schmidt)
  • Weston Farms and Lakeview Daylily Farm (Noel Weston and Erin Weston)
You don't want to miss this limited opportunity to see these wonderful local gardens. Admission is $7.00 per garden. Ticket books (six tickets) are available at the JC Raulston Arboretum through October 2 for $35.00. Individual tickets and ticket books will be available at each garden during the event. No reservations required. Please contact Faye Koonce at (919) 513-7457 or for more details or ticket information.
child looking at Color Trials

Upcoming Children's Programs
By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Programs Coordinator

Take a Child Outside Week

Join us from September 24 to September 30 for the annual Take a Child Outside week. This week is set aside each year to raise awareness and encourage families to connect with the outdoor environment they live in. Each day will bring new activities to enjoy outside in the Arboretum for children of all ages. We hope that you will come explore the gardens with us!
  • Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 10:00 AM-11:30 AM - Stick Painting (free)
  • Friday, September 25, 2015 - 10:30 AM - Nature Walk Crowns ($5 per child, registration required)
  • Saturday, September 26, 2015 - 1:00 PM-3:30 PM - Brownie Girl Scout Bug-out (register through the Girl Scouts NC Coastal Pines)
  • Sunday, September 27, 2015 - 2:00 PM -3:30 PM - Color Scavenger Hunt (free)
  • Monday, September 28, 2015 - 10:00 AM-11:30 AM - Nature Looms ($2 per child)
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2015 - 10:30 AM - Nature Friends ($5 per child, registration required)
  • Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 10:00 AM-11:30 AM - Nature Placemats ($3 per child)
School's Out

Already? Didn't the students just start? Well, the first teacher workday is Wednesday, September 23. Don't let those students just sit at home and complain that they miss school. Bring them to the Arboretum to join us in a "Seedy Adventure." It'll be a day full of seeds - searching for them, creating with them, planting them, and even playing with them.

The cost is $55.00 per student for members and $70.00 for nonmembers. Registration is required. Please use our online registration system to reserve your spot!
Annual Plant Distribution

Friends of the Arboretum Annual Plant Distribution
By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Saturday, October 3, 2015 - 9:00 AM


Fall is in the air at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Daytime highs are cooler than just a few weeks ago, there are hints of fall color here and there, and the JC Rauslton Arboretum's Annual Plant Distribution is only a month away. The timing couldn't be any better since fall is an ideal time to plant many of our favorite plants including the thousands we're giving away on October 3 to our members.

JCRA volunteers, interns, and staff spend months propagating and growing plants specifically for this event and our other distribution programs. Approximately 100 taxa (different kinds of plants) will be lined up at numbered stakes. We'll post the plant lists for these plants online the week of the event. Between the stake rows will be many surprises.

If you're a new member or if you've never attended before, you may want to watch a video of one of our past giveaways (2010 and 2011).

Traveling from out of town? Be sure to come a little early and spend the evening at the JC Raulston Arboretum the night before the giveaway enjoying the tales of three plantsmen during An Evening with the Plant Breeders on October 2.
Denny Werner surrounded by baptisia hybrids
An Evening with the Plant Breeders
By Christine Ramsey, Volunteer

A Rare Opportunity to Discover Where New Plants Come From


Friday, October 2, 2015 - 5:30 PM-10:00 PM


Go behind the scenes with nationally recognized plant breeders who create, promote, and grow the hottest new ornamental varieties. Enjoy their stories and discover the criteria and methods they're using to introduce beautiful, noninvasive, stress-tolerant, pest-tolerant, and adaptable plants. One of the nation's top plant promoters and growers will also be there making this a perfect evening for any plant lover or collector to learn what new plants could be coming soon to a nursery near you and how they got there. Enjoy hors d'oeuvres, wine, beer and more including a auction featuring many rare plants.


For more information or to register, please call Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005. Space is limited. 


Mulch Like Us
By Arlene Calhoun, Volunteer and Membership Coordinator

We're excited to finally offer the Friends of the Arboretum access to the source of our mulch. A big thank you to the folks at NC State's Horticultural Field Lab (HFL) for their role and support in making this happen. This is destine to become another Arboretum member favorite.

The proceeds from mulch sales will be supporting both the JCRA and the HFL. And, a portion will go directly to our internship funds. We all love and appreciate our interns.

The dirty details:
  • When: 2nd Thursday of each month (starting September 10)
  • Time: 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
  • Where: Outside the back gate to the HFL via Ligon Street, see map
  • Cost: $16 per cubic yard
  • Payment: Cash or checks only (checks made payable to NCSU/JCRA)
  • Loading: Open beds only, member to bring covering and tie-downs
  • Service: If someone isn't at the mulch pile when you arrive, please honk or phone the number on the sign for service.
We use a blend of 80% wood chips and 20% leaves and find it doesn't mat, allows water to penetrate, and nurtures the soil as it breaks down.

If all goes as planned and the response is good, we hope to offer a weekend or evening option. Let me know what you think by sending me a note at 
Upcoming Events

Plantsmen's Tour
"Amber Waves"
Mark Weathington, Director
Tuesday, September 1
9:00 AM and 6:00 PM

Introduction to Plant Identification: The Path to Successful Gardening
Registration Closed
Bryce Lane, NC State University
Tuesdays, September 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 and October 6
6:00 pm
Saturday, October 17
9:00 AM

Arboretum Guided Tour
Sunday, September 6
2:00 PM

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture
"Show and Tell"
Thursday, September 10
7:30 PM

Arboretum Guided Tour
Sunday, September 13
2:00 PM

Drawing in Nature III: Botanical Illustration with Watercolor
Preston Montague, Landscape Designer and Botanical Illustrator
Saturdays, September 19 and 26
9:00 AM

North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture
Sponsored by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society in Cooperation with the JC Raulston Arboretum
"Deep-rooted Wisdom: Stories from Generations of Gardeners"
Jenks Farmer
Saturday, September 19
10:00 AM

Landscape Potential III: Designing for Songbirds with Shrubs and Trees
Preston Montague, Landscape Designer and Botanical Illustrator
Saturday, September 19
Sunday, September 20
2:00 PM

School's Out!
A Seedy Adventure
Wednesday, September 23
9:00 AM

Take a Child Outside Week

Stick Painting
Thursday, September 24
10:00 AM

Take a Child Outside Week
Nature Walk Crowns
Friday, September 25
10:30 AM

Pi Alpha Xi Plant Sale

Saturday, September 26
8:00 AM-4:00 PM 

Sunday, September 27
10:00 AM-3:00 PM

Girl Scout Program
Brownies: Bug-out
Saturday, September 26
1:00 PM

Arboretum Guided Tour

Sunday, September 27
2:00 PM

Take a Child Outside Week
Color Scavenger Hunt
Sunday, September 27
2:00 PM

Take a Child Outside Week
Nature Looms
Monday, September 28
10:00 AM-11:30 AM

Take a Child Outside Week
Nature Friends
Tuesday, September 29
10:30 AM
Take a Child Outside Week
Nature Placemats
Wednesday, September 30
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
Denotes a children's program.

Many programs require advance registration. Please register early to reserve your spot.

Lath House

Coming Attractions
By Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

Echinacea 'Secret Glow'
Echinacea 'Secret Glow'
gold coneflower

Pyracantha 'Cadange'
Pyracantha 'Cadange'
Saphyr Orange™ firethorn

Titanotrichum oldhamii
Titanotrichum oldhamiig
gold false foxglove

Rhodophiala bifida
Rhodophiala bifida

Hedychium 'Elizabeth'
Hedychium 'Elizabeth'
hardy ginger-lily

Cortaderia selloana 'Sunningdale Silver'
Cortaderia selloana 'Sunningdale Silver'
Pampas grass

Gaillardia aestivalis var. winkleri 'Grape Sensation'
Gaillardia aestivalis var. winkleri 'Grape Sensation'
purple Texas firewheel

×Amarcrinum memoria-corsii 'Howardii'
×Amarcrinum memoria-corsii 'Howardii'

YouTube Channel Update
By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

No new videos were recorded in August, but there are more than 60 videos to watch in our YouTube Channel. We'll post more videos in September so subscribe to our channel to receive alerts when new videos are posted. 

Your Membership Makes a Difference

Please Join or Renew Today!

The JC Raulston Arboretum is free to the public, but it is not free to operate. Memberships keep the gates open and the gardens in top shape. Membership gifts are the primary support for the Arboretum's daily operations and vital for its success. Thank you for your support and advocacy of the JC Raulston Arboretum through the membership program. It's fast and easy to become a Friend of the Arboretum, and there are many great benefits for you and your family. Join or renew now using our secure Web site, or contact Arlene Calhoun, Volunteer and Membership Coordinator.

Christopher Todd Glenn
Programs and Education Coordinator
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
(919) 513-7005

You're receiving this e-mail because you're a member of the JC Raulston Arboretum. JCRA e-Updates are published electronically every month. If you are a member and need to update your contact information or wish to be removed from this mailing, please contact Arlene Calhoun at (919) 513-7004 or Please do not use the links below to update your e-mail address or to unsubscribe.

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JC Raulston Arboretum | NC State University | Campus Box 7522 | Raleigh | NC | 27695-7522