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

By Mark Weathington, Director

April really kicks the garden season into high gear although it seems we never even slowed down this winter—there's just so many exciting things happening!  Raulston Blooms! is right around the corner and we have secured some truly top-notch plants for your garden with a strong focus on great new perennials and reliable performing flowering shrubs. 

We are expecting the Birdhouse Competition to be especially full this year and we hope some of you will consider creating a house this year as well. I just got a wood lathe myself and my goal for the coming year is to use it (and retain all 10 fingers while I learn how) to make a birdhouse for next year's competition.

I love the idea of birdhouses because it helps remind me that our gardens are living spaces—not just for plants but also for the birds, insects, and other critters that come to live in the garden or visit on occasion. We are all connected and we should try to grow and nurture and appreciate those links when we garden.

See you in the garden.
Tips for Making the Members-only Preview Plant Sale an Unbe- leaf -able Experience

By Holly Keepers, Membership and Volunteer Assistant

Members Shop Early 4:00 PM 7:00 PM, Friday, April 5

  1. Check the plant availability list often. We will add new plants until the sale starts at 4:00 PM on Friday.
  2. Preorder from Mr. Maple and get free shipping for your orders placed on their Web site on or before Wednesday, April 3. Enter JCRAPICKUP (all capital letters) as the discount code and hit the apply button to waive the shipping fee and for plants to be picked up at the JC Raulston Arboretum Plant Sale on April 5 or 6.
  3. Out of fairness to all JCRA members, shoppers will not be able to enter the sale site until 4:00 PM. Please honor this request. There will not be any perusing the plants on sale or setting aside plants you want to buy until 4:00 PM.
  4. Save time by bringing your JCRA membership card with you. Snap a photograph of it on your smartphone and you'll have it always. We will have a list if you can't find it—and we'll make a note to send you a replacement. Members save 10% on all JCRA plants.
  5. Bring your own cart or wagon, but once again we will have some plant shuttlers available with carts to help you get purchases out to the brick parking circle loading area.
  6. Can't make it to the pre-sale event on Friday? The plant sale continues on Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at Raulston Blooms! Members get in free.
Save the Date

By Emily A. Bonner, Development Assistant

On the first Sunday in May, with spring in full bloom, the JC Raulston Arboretum's annual Gala in the Garden is getting a refresh. Mark your calendars for May 5 when we will be celebrating with the JC Raulston Arboretum Garden Party and Rare Plant Auction . We're upping the fun with a live band, craft beer, and a fun-filled auction with Ben Farrell. If you've never experienced one of Ben's auctions, you are in for a treat.

Save the Date
Sunday, May 5
Garden Party and Rare Plant Auction

For those of you who have been attending for years, don't worry. We'll still have an amazing silent auction filled with rare and choice plants, fabulous travel opportunities, fine dining, and exclusive experiences. We think you're going to love the updated experience. Registration will be opening soon and tickets are limited for this fun event so mark your calendars and be on the lookout for registration information.

Events like the Garden Party and Rare Plant Auction are possible only through the thoughtfulness and generosity of our sponsors. JCRA sponsorships support both community events and the remarkable educational programming, from summer camps and internships to informative lectures and workshops, we are able to offer throughout the year. Sponsorships not only have a direct and visible impact on the Arboretum, but they also ensure that we can have a lasting impact for many years to come.

Become a first-time sponsor or renew your current sponsorship by making your sponsorship donations online . R eview the benefits associated with each level of sponsorship online as well.
Spring into April: Educational and Recreational Programs at the JCRA

By Haleigh Swenfurth, Programs and Educational Assistant

Start off spring by participating in one or more upcoming educational or recreational program at the JCRA! We are offering Creating and Caring for Sustainable Home Landscapes with Bryce Lane, Recreational Tree Climbing with Patrick Brandt, Landscape Potential I presented by Preston Montague, and a Photography Walk by Mary Louise Ravese!

Creating and Caring for Sustainable Home Landscapes
Mondays, April 1 through May 20 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

This eight-week course is for folks who are interested in gardening in a more sustainable way. We will define, and discuss the concept of sustainability as it relates to all our home horticultural practices. Come learn more about gardening techniques that save energy, conserve water, reduce inputs, restore ecosystems, and much more!

Recreational Tree Climbing at the JCRA
Saturday, April 6 – 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM, 4:30 PM, and 5:30 PM

Recreational tree climbing is back at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh! Climb with your friends and family into the canopy of one of our majestic oak trees and experience the JCRA like few have been able to. Before you know it you'll be 40' to 50' high in the canopy having experiencing a view that few humans ever enjoy. This event is open to youth and adult guest. Entry to Raulston Blooms is also included with tree climbing registration!

Landscape Potential I: Approaches to Design
Saturday, April 13 – 9:00 AM–11:00 AM

Consider the performance of your home landscape. Would you describe it as a fit, functional work of art that reflects your lifestyle and encourages outdoor activity? If not, join Raleigh-based landscape designer Preston Montague at the JCRA for a design course series that will help you revise and reboot your outdoor space . One-on-one design practicum sessions (photograph above) with Preston are available on Saturday, April 13 following the class and on Sunday, April 14.

Photography Walk
"Creativity Outside the Box: Creating Abstract Photographs in the Garden"
Thursday, April 25 – 10:00 AM–12:00 PM

In this session, we'll learn about creative camera techniques like long exposure camera movements and multiple exposures. Then we'll practice these new techniques using the colorful flowers and trees in the Arboretum.

For more information, please contact Chris Glenn at chris_glenn@ncsu.edu or (919) 513-7005. Registration is limited for each of these programs so register today to reserve your spot.
Counting Callerys and Splitting Pairs

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

Last week we planted two Bradford pears at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Okay, the previous statement is not entirely accurate. In every day usage, 'Bradford' is used as the common name for Callery pear, Pyrus calleryana , but 'Bradford' is just one cultivar of this species. The first sentence might not have elicited the same shrieks of disdain and disbelief if the true common name, Callery pear, was used, and you might not still be reading this.

What we planted were two plants of a brand-new cultivar, one bred by NC State plant breeder extraordinaire, Tom Ranney, Ph.D. Its cultivar name is 'NCPX2' and its trademarked name is Chastity. By far, its most notable feature is that it is highly infertile so few to no viable seeds should be produced. According to Tom: "Fertility has been reduced by over 99%." This is a very valuable feature where Callery pears are becoming an invasive exotic, seeding into wild woodlands and roadsides.

How was this infertility achieved? Chastity is a triploid hybrid which are typically sterile. Triploids are created by crossing a diploid parent (two sets of chromosomes) with an tetraploid parent (four sets of chromosomes). The specific details are that a tetraploid Callery pear was crossed with a diploid hybrid pear,  Pyrus  ‘Silver Ball’. This hybrid has been given the new scientific name of  Pyrus  × triploida  Ranney. 'NCPX2' is a cultivar of  Pyrus  × triploida .

So why breed this plant? Callery pear, and more specifically the cultivar 'Bradford' is a very popular plant and has made the nursery industry a great deal of money. Its popularity comes from its multiple seasons of ornamental interest, most notably its spring flowers and excellent fall foliage color as well as its ease of culture. Callery pear is fast becoming a serious invasive exotic. Chastity provides an alternative that greatly, perhaps even entirely, reduces the risk of it seeding.

Chastity has also been bred to be more structurally sound than 'Bradford'. Its growth habit is described as broadly pyramidal. On the other hand, 'Bradford' has very narrow angled crotches and breaks up readily during wind and ice events. It can also suffer from the effects of gravity.

So why plant this new pear in the Arboretum? It is the JCRA's main goal to evaluate plants and this is exactly what we will be doing over the years that this cultivar grows in the Arboretum. They also afford the opportunity to educate the green industry and the public that if they are going to plant an ornamental pear then go with this new highly infertile cultivar. Hopefully, after all of this, you no longer think we've completely lost our minds.

Other plants have been planted recently including Denny Werner's new redbud, Cercis canadensis 'Golden Falls', the first yellow leafed weeping redbud. We must find a prominent location for his other new redbud 'Flamethrower' which is a gorgeous blend of orange, scarlet, and yellow.
Gregg Museum of Art & Design Open House The Next Signature Event in the Cultural Passport Series

By Holly Keepers, Membership and Volunteer Assistant
We are thrilled to wrap up the first year of our Cultural Passport series with our final event at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design. Hopefully, you have enjoyed one or more of the offerings from the NCSU Libraries, the College of Veterinary Medicine, or our very own arboretum.

All four of the Gregg's galleries will be filled with exhibitions to showcase the breadth and depth of the collection and docents will be on hand to answer any questions you might have about the art, artists, or the museum itself. Their registrar team has cooked up something special to highlight their role in maintaining the collection and to give attendees a behind-the-scenes sneak peek to what their positions entail. Information on the Gregg's sustainable pollinator garden will also be available for those getting ready to plant their own spring gardens!

To learn more about what is currently on display at the Gregg Museum, please visit https://gregg.arts.ncsu.edu/exhibitions/ .

We hope you can join us to enjoy this unique visit to the museum, complete with hors d'oeuvres, beer, and wine! Please RSVP today as spots are limited and sign ups are filling up fast.

Gregg Museum of Art & Design Open House
Wednesday, April 24
6:30 PM-8:30 PM
Free, RSVP required
There will be heavy hors d'oeuvres, beer, and wine served!
Upcoming Events

"Spring Plant Sale Preview"
Mark Weathington, Director
Tuesday, April 2 – 1:00 PM
Part of Raulston Blooms!
Friday, April 5 - 10:00 AM – Entries Accepted
Saturday, April 6 – 10:00 AM – Show
Register (only needed for competition participants)
Part of Raulston Blooms!
Friday, April 5 - 4:00 PM–7:00 PM - Members-only Preview Sale
Saturday, April 6 – 10:00 AM–4:00 PM 
A Garden Festival for All Ages
Saturday, April 6 – 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
Tickets Available at the Gate 
Open to Youths and Adults
Patrick Brandt, Piedmont Tree Climbing
Saturday, April 6 – 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM, 4:30 PM, and 5:30 PM
Volunteer Tour Docent
Sunday, April 7, 14, 21, and 28 – 2:00 PM 
"Worming Your Way to Healthy Soils and Plants"
Rhonda Sherman, Extension Specialist, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Thursday, April 11 – 7:30 PM 
Preston Montague, Landscape Designer and Botanical Illustrator
Saturday, April 13 – 9:00 AM
"Prepping Houseplants for the Outdoors-Avoid the Big Shock"
Ron Perry, Wake County Extension Master Gardener
Monday, April 22 – 10:00 AM
"Creativity Outside the Box: Creating Abstract Photographs in the Garden"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursday, April 25 – 10:00 AM
Cohosted by the JC Raulston Arboretum and the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society
"Bulbs in Their Habitats"
Jane McGary, Past Editor, NARGS Rock Garden Quarterly
Saturday, April 27 – 10:00 AM 

✽Denotes a children's program.

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

Save the Dates

Sunday, May 5

Hosted by the JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Garden
Friday and Saturday, June 7 and 8 

Presented by NC State's Department of Horticultural Science and the JC Raulston Arboretum
Wednesday, June 26 9:00 AM 4:30 PM
Coming Attractions
By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Vernicia fordii
tung oil tree
Rhododendron 'Tyler Morris'
Southgate Radiance rhododendron
Bignonia capreolata 'Jekyll'
Chionanthus virginicus 'White Knight'
fringe tree
Dianthus (ex. 'Blue Hill')
hybrid pink
Deutzia ×hybrida 'Tourbillon Rouge'
pink duetzia
Helwingia japonica
Japanese helwingia
Iris 'Marris'
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Three new videos were recorded in March 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 . Click on the bell icon to adjust your frequency settings from occasional notifications to all notifications and vice versa.
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.