JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update
March 2019
Your Monthly News and Updates
Director's Note

By Mark Weathington, Director

Uncle! Enough with the rain already. We've been gardening in scuba gear this year and while the late winter flowers are doing their thing, it's been hard to get out and really enjoy them. One nice thing about all this rain is that it makes planting easier and reduces the need for a hose. We've still got about six weeks to be out of danger of a frost but if you like to live dangerously, you can start planting a bit—although I wouldn't tempt fate by putting out tomatoes just yet. Hardy perennials and flowering shrubs should be just fine though.

If you're in the market for plants, make sure to mark your calendars for Raulston Blooms!  On Friday, April 5, we'll have our members-only plant sale from 4:00 PM–7:00 PM followed on Saturday by a full day of plants, family activities, education sessions, birdhouses, food trucks, and more. It's a great day to get your garden on.

See you in the garden.
Free Afternoon Tours Start March 3

By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

Sunday Afternoons at 2:00 PM
March through October

Want to learn more about the garden and our collections? Our free public tours begin this Sunday, March 3. Meet one of our volunteer tour guides at the Bobby G Wilder Visitor Center at 2:00 PM each Sunday March through October. These 10.5 acres have a lot of stories to tell and our guides are happy to share them with you. The garden is always changing and worth a weekly stroll.

You don't have to be a member to join these tours. They're free and open to the public. They're a great place to bring out-of-town guests who are interested in plants or beautiful gardens.

We hope you'll join us. Tours are rain or shine, unless it is icy or there is lightning.
Save the Date: Upcoming Horticulture Events

By Haleigh Swenfurth, Programs and Education Assistant

Renewal Pruning: A Definition
Saturday, March 9 – 9:00 AM–11:30 AM

Want to maximize the production of flowers and fruits from your shrubs? Renewal pruning is the way to do it. This simple technique works with the natural cycle of replacing old stems with new. This class will start with classroom explanations of the nature of shrubs, the reason for and the techniques of renewal pruning, the tools of the trade as well as demonstrations of this technique. This will be followed by an actual demonstration of the technique on shrubs in the Arboretum with some hands-on experience for class participants. Bring your questions (and your pruners)!
Day Tripping to Rockcliff Farm
March 28 – 9:00 AM–12:30 PM

Rockcliff Farm is an ideal setting for the study of plants and animals in their natural habitats, as well as the ecological relationships of biological elements, including humans, with the physical environment. Exemplifying B. W. Wells's philosophy of man living in harmony with nature through understanding the natural environment, the farm is a living memorial to him.
Photography Walk
"Pro Tips for Strong Photographic Compositions in the Garden"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursday, March 28 – 10:00 AM–12:00 PM

To make a great photograph, composition is just as important as knowing your way around a camera. Whatever your level of experience, you'll learn how to make more dynamic images of your garden subjects by utilizing five easy to remember compositional guidelines. You will have plenty of time to hone these skills around the Arboretum. All levels of experience welcome! The equipment you bring can vary from DSLR and mirrorless, to point-and-shoot, and smartphones.

For more information about these programs, please visit the links above or contact Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005 or chris_glenn@ncsu.edu. Registration is required for these events. Space is limited so register today to reserve your spot.
Raulston Blooms!

By Allyson Meade, Provost’s Professional Experience Program Student

Spring is just around the corner and that means it's time for our favorite event of the year, Raulston Blooms! Save the date and plan to join us on Saturday, April 6 from 10:00 AM 4:00 PM for family, fun, food, and flowers.

The festivities will kick off with the Members-only Preview Plant Sale on Friday. Plants will be available from the Arboretum, Mr. Maple, Pine Knot Farms, Superior Plants, and more! You will find a bigger and better selection than ever before. Can't make it on Friday? No worries! The plant sale continues on Saturday and JCRA members receive a 10% discount on all plants purchased from JCRA.

Members-only Preview Plant Sale
Friday, April 5 4:00 PM 7:00 PM

Raulston Blooms!
Saturday, April 6 10:00 AM 4:00 PM

The excitement continues on Saturday with the 19th Annual Birdhouse Competition and other festival favorites. Enjoy gardening talks from Mark Weathington, Frank Hyman, and Matt and Tim Nichols. Bring the family out for lunch at a local food truck, shop from local artists, vote on your favorite birdhouse, climb our large willow oaks (registration required), and learn about everything our gardens have to offer. Did we mention we’ll have Howling Cow ice cream as well? Mark your calendars so you don’t miss out on the fun.
40 Days and 40 Nights

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

I've lost count. Has it been 40 days and 40 nights yet? Are these extended wet spells our "new normal"? I don't know.

Perhaps this is the new challenge facing gardeners and farmers: dealing with water-logged soils. Perhaps this is a new role for a public garden like the JC Raulston Arboretum; to demonstrate strategies for dealing with excess rain.

There are two main ways to go: modify the growing conditions so wet sites become well-drained sites or select plants that tolerate periodically saturated soils. Both have their place. The raised beds of the Lath House are always well drained, despite the amount of rain. If I am going to keep my collection of pre-1950 bearded iris from rotting or succeed in keeping spinach alive through a wet winter I am going to have to build some raised beds in my garden at home.

Luckily, there is an abundance of plants that tolerate wet. Think of it: wet-sites in the wild are not barren locations but are chock full of plants. Ecologists use two terms, obligate and facultative to describe the degree to which a plant needs a wet site. Obligate (as in obligated) wet-site plants must have continual wet, while facultative wet-site plants will tolerate wet, but continue to survive through dry spells. Most flood-plain plants are in this second class and are excellent candidates for sites which are periodically water logged.

We've lost sight of the fact that many common landscape plants are facultative wet-site plants, because they don't have to grow in a wet-site to thrive. Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum , and river birch, Betula nigra , are obvious ones. But also our native deciduous hollies, Ilex verticillata, I. decidua and others; Virginia sweet spire, Itea virginica ; sweet pepperbush, Clethra alnifolia ; white cedar, Chamaecyparis thyoides ; eastern arborvitae, Thuja occidentalis; ironwood, Carpinus caroliniana; sweet bay magnolias, Magnolia virginiana ; and southern magnolia, M. grandiflora .

It is not my intention that all of the above plants are native. It is likely that many plants from other parts of the world tolerate wide swings in soil moisture. Though familiar with the plants I am ignorant of their native habitats.

We do not have to look solely to plants that occur in flood plains because many prairie plants also tolerate extreme swings from wet to dry. Think of the south-central Midwest prairies that can go many weeks without rain and then get many inches of rain over a short period of time. I once worked under an individual who ran the irrigation every other day on red clay. Quickly plants were sorted into those that tolerated wet and those that did not. The latter group is commonly known as dead plants. Some plants flourished in the wet. Some surprises were wand flower, Gaura lindheimeri ; Stokes's aster, Stokesia laevis; and blazing star, Liatris spicata . In this situation, it is important to be specific. Iris are a perfect example. Some species such as Louisiana iris will grow in standing water, but many irises native to the Middle East must not have a single drop of water all summer. Which reminds me, there's no telling what the weather might be like by the time you are reading this. It might be so dry that we are turning to those water-phobic irises.
NC State University's Day of Giving

By Alycia Thornton, Director of Development, and Lisa Meares, Development Project Manager

Join us in making an impact for the JCRA! NC State is hosting its first-ever Day of Giving on March 27. For 24 hours, the university will encourage supporters, friends, and alumni to make a donation to support the work of the university, including the JCRA! Day of Giving will include special challenges that encourage philanthropy for NC State and its affiliated organizations.

Mark your calendars for March 27! Day of Giving offers Arboretum members and supporters a chance to come together to show the strength of our passion for the JCRA and further secure its place as a prominent and beloved institution in the local community. By spreading the word about this giving opportunity, supporters can also raise awareness about the Arboretum's larger vision and the goals it has to achieve that vision.

If you are interested in learning more about this event, please visit the Day of Giving Web page. More information will follow with instructions on how to give directly to the JCRA on March 27.
Tweet, Tweet, Tweet, Check out This Returning Raulston Blooms! Treat

By Sarah Alford, Former Programs and Education Assistant

The JC Raulston Arboretum's Annual Birdhouse Competition is one of this spring's most colorful and fun garden events. Adult competitors wield their creative or technical prowess by entering in either Flight of Fancy or Serious categories. Some ambitious competitors choose to attempt both since there is no limit on the number of birdhouses an individual can enter! Youth competitors enter categories based on their ages (4 16). Ultimately, the event's goal is to raise awareness about birds and their habitats here in the Southeast, while simultaneously raising awareness about the JCRA's goal to teach and inspire garden enthusiasts.

The competition is open to all ages and free to enter. Birdhouse builders will also receive a free ticket to attend Raulston Blooms! Birdhouse entries will be received on Friday, April 6 from 10:00 AM until 6:00 PM, with judging starting at 6:30 PM. Please inquire about dropping off entries earlier. The competition will be open for public viewing and voting on Saturday, April 7 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM during Raulston Blooms!, with the enviable Visitors' Choice Award going out after viewing closes.

For more information about how to enter a birdhouse or choose a competition category or age group, please visit the JCRA's Web site .
Send a Child to Camp

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

Summer camps are almost full, but there are six spots being held for six special campers. These campers will be children from our community that community organizations and local schools nominate for scholarships to our camps.

These campers will get to participate in one of three camps. In the Garden Chefs camp, campers learn how to tend their own vegetable garden and cook up delicious recipes with fresh produce. The popular Nature Detectives camp will tell stories of the Mixed-up Gardener creating silly havoc in the garden for the campers to learn about. Middle schoolers will travel across the area learning about local farms, nurseries, and agrobusinesses during the Cultivating Science camp.

It sounds exciting, right? You can be part of the JCRA's summer camps even if you don't have a camper. Be part of camp by contributing to the scholarship fund and helping one of these great campers have an amazing experience this summer!

Scholarships include a family membership for each camper's family to enjoy during the coming year. Scholarships range from $310 to $375 depending on the camp week. Any contribution for partial or full scholarships is greatly appreciated. Donations can be made by noting it as "2019 camp scholarship" or by contacting Kathy Field at (919) 513-0264 or kathy_field@ncsu.edu.
Yappy Hour and Cat Canapes Social at NC State's Vet School

By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director
There’s still time to register if you’re interested in this unique NC State Cultural Experience offered only to the Friends of the JCRA, Gregg Museum, NCSU Library, and College of Veterinary Medicine supporters.

Enjoy drinks, heavy hors d'oeuvres and tours of the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center.

As you explore the hospital, discover why the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the top places in the country to have your pet treated by veterinary specialists. Meet some of our amazing faculty and learn more about how their research is pushing the boundaries of innovation in not only animal medicine, but human medicine as well.

Thursday, March 14
6:00 PM 8:00 PM
College of Veterinary Medicine Main Lobby
$30.00 per ticket
$45.00 for two tickets
Space is limited
Registration Ends March 10
Upcoming Events

Friday, March 1 – 10:30 AM

Volunteer Tour Docent
Sunday, March 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31 – 2:00 PM

Spring Is Budding
Tuesday, March 5 – 10:00 AM

"Magnolias and Other Late Winter Bloomers"
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Tuesday, March 5 – 1:00 PM

Feathered Friends
Friday, March 8 – 10:30 AM

Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Saturday, March 9 – 9:00 AM

Sunday, March 10 – 2:30 PM

"In Search of Great Plants—The Journey to Hunting Wales"
Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden
Thursday, March 14 – 7:30 PM

How Clean is that Water?
Saturday, March 16 – 9:00 AM

Cohosted by the JC Raulston Arboretum and the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society
"Trillium Hunting in the Southeast"
Jeremy Schmidt, Plant Delights Nursery
Saturday, March 16 – 10:00 AM

Badge Workshop for Junior Girl Scouts
Saturday, March 23 – 10:30 AM

"Pro Tips for Strong Photographic Compositions in the Garden"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursday, March 28 – 10:00 AM

Thursday, March 28 – 9:00 AM

✽Denotes a children's program.

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

Save the Dates

Thursday, February 14 – 9:00 AM–3:00 PM

A Garden Festival for All Ages
Saturday, April 6 10:00 AM –4:00 PM
Sunday, May 5
Coming Attractions
By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Tulipa 'Tinka'
Magnolia 'Raspberry Ice'
Gresham hybrid magnolia
Cercis chinensis 'Kay's Early Hope'
Chinese redbud
Viburnum ×burkwoodii 'Conoy'
Egolf hybrid viburnum
Loropetalum chinense 'Tokyo Weeping'
weeping Chinese fringe-flower
Stachyurus 'Carolina Parakeet'
variegated spike-tail
Prunus incisa 'Yamadei'
Fuji cherry
Anemone blanda 'Blue Shades'
Narcissus 'Hawera'
miniature daffodil
Daphne genkwa
lilac daphne
Lamprocapnos spectabilis 'Valentine'
bleeding heart
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Eight new videos were recorded in February and posted to our YouTube Channel . Look for them on our channel or click the graphics below.

Receive announcements about our latest additions by subscribing to our YouTube Channel .
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 Kathryn Wall, membership and volunteer coordinator, at kbwall@ncsu.edu or (919) 513-7004.
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 Kathryn Wall at (919) 513-7004 or kbwall@ncsu.edu. Please do not use the links below to update your e-mail address or to unsubscribe.