JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update
March 2020
Your Monthly News and Updates
Director's Note

By Mark Weathington, Director

Mark your calendar for NC State University's Day of Giving on March 25.  We were tremendously successful last year with gifts and pledges totaling over $140,000! We appreciate all those gifts from the student who gave $10 to the long-time supporter who signed a planned gift agreement and everyone in-between. 
This year, we'd like to make the university see just how broad our support is and how much we mean to all of you. I'm hoping we can triple the number of supporters who donate on Day of Giving at any level. You tell us all the time how important we are to you and the community—this is the opportunity to make that clear to everyone at NC State. With over 3,000 members, we can definitely make a big statement!

See you in the garden.
Raulston Blooms! Save the Date

A Plant Sale Is Coming
By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director
Spring is just around the corner and with that comes the amazing plant sale at Raulston Blooms! This sale is specifically designed to give access to exceptional, unusual, or hard to find plants to our members and other plant lovers.

Friday, April 3 4:00 PM 7:00 PM
In addition to the many plants hand-selected and propagated under the direction of our amazing horticultural staff, you'll find exceptional selections available from our invited specialty nurseries Mr. Maple , Pine Knot Farms , Superior Plants , and Wood Thrush Native Plant Nursery .
If you love plants you don't want to miss this sale. Arboretum members get first access at the preview sale the Friday evening before the sale opens to the public on Saturday at Raulston Blooms! and an added opportunity to preorder from two of our invited nurseries. See the details below:
Preorder details for Mr. Maple and Wood Thrush Native Plant Nursery:
  • Orders must be placed online on or before Monday, March 30.
  • Preorders plants must be picked up at the JC Raulston Arboretum Plant Sale on Friday, April 3 (Members-only Preview Sale), between 4:00 PM–7:00 PM or Saturday, April 4 during Raulston Blooms!, 10:00 AM– 4:00 PM.
Mr. Maple – East Flat Rock, North Carolina

Enter and apply JCRAPICKUP (all capital letters) as the discount code to waive your shipping fee.
Wood Thrush Native Plant Nursery – Floyd, Virginia

Enter your name and address in the shipping information section, select "In-store pick-up Only," and enter "JCRA Pickup" in the shipping-pickup notes section.
Members also receive a 10% discount on plants purchased from the JCRA on Friday or Saturday, April 3 or 4.
Rauslton Blooms! is a garden festival for all ages. Bring your family and friends to enjoy the 20th Annual Birdhouses and Beyond Competition and other festival favorites—gardening talks, lunch at a local food truck, shop from local artists, vote on your favorite birdhouse, and learn about birds, bees, bugs and so much more.
Saturday, April 4 10:00 AM 4:00 PM
Our 20th Annual Birdhouse and Beyond Competition Is Almost Here

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant

Welcome spring with fellow artists and art enthusiasts alike with the 20th anniversary of our classic seasonal celebration! We've had long-running participants make the Birdhouse Competition a shared tradition with us. Join us and make it yours, too!

Inspired by our newly installed Air Bee and Bee bee hotel, we've decided to expand the competition this year to include all animal habitats. Birds aren't our only animal allies in the garden. Whether you've made your own bee hotels ready for check-in, homes for bats, butterflies, and hedgehogs, or even abodes for your garden's toads, this is your chance to put them on display.

Adult competitors are able to enter in either the Serious category for more functional creations or the Flights of Fancy category for decorative entries. As always, youth competitors (ages 4 to 16) will be put into four categories based on their age.  This event is a part of Raulston Blooms! and will be held on April 4 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The cost to enter the competition is free, and entrants will receive a free Raulston Blooms! ticket for their entire family for participating!

For more information about the 20th Annual Birdhouses and Beyond Competition, please contact Chris Glenn at chris_glenn@ncsu.edu or (919) 513-7005 or click the button below.

Photograph: Jonathan and Sara June Giacomini's bee hotel on NC State's Centennial Campus, photograph taken by Carla Davis
March and April Educational Programs

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant

The start of spring is without a doubt the most exciting time of the year for gardeners. The Arboretum has tons of great events to get you outside in the sunshine and boost your garden knowledge. Flourish with the season by learning something new with us!


Photography Walk
"Using Black and White Photography to Emphasize Line and Texture"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Friday, March 13 – 10:30 AM
With spring's coming bloom, trees and flowers will soon be bursting with life all around us. Before that life comes, however, nature is giving us a unique view of these plants dictated by texture, line, and structure. While the majesty of this is often overlooked, black and white photography offers us a great chance to capture this beauty for ourselves. Mary Louise will explain how to use your camera to capture black and white photos as well as what the best subjects for black and white photography is. Participants will get to practice digital black and white photography in various locations in the garden, so bring your favorite type of camera and come join us!
Front Yard Foraging
Frank Hyman, Cottage Garden Landscaping
Saturday, March 14 – 9:30 AM
Did you know about the treasure trove of delicious edibles that are growing right outside your front door? Add some excitement to weeding by learning how to harvest edible weeds like purslane, dayflower, chickweed, and more. There are even edible ornamental plants awaiting you in your garden, including hibiscus and daylily! Frank Hyman will cover a year's worth of mouthwatering edibles that are thriving in your garden, with tons of sample plants to pass around.
Tomato Growing Secrets Revealed
Frank Hyman, Cottage Garden Landscaping
Saturday, March 14 – 1:00 PM
Looking to take your tomatoes to the next level ? Learn all about tomatoes in this class! You'll learn the difference between determinate and indeterminate tomatoes and how to trellis for both, how to battle the insects and ills that attack your tomatoes, and some of the best heirloom and hybrid tomato varieties. Plus, learn some tips for post-harvest including some easy preserving methods and making a sauce!
What's the Forecast? Understanding Climate Patterns and What They Mean for Our Weather
Rebecca Ward, Assistant State Climatologist
Saturday, March 28 – 9:00 AM
Every gardener knows that there is nothing more important than keeping an eye on the weather. Learn the vital ins and outs of the global climate patterns that change North Carolina's own weather patterns during both short-time periods and seasonal-time periods. We will be doing tons of interactive activities to get us familiar with understanding and applying resources for weather forecasts and seasonal climate outlooks.

Outstanding Plants for the Home Landscape
Bryce Lane, NC State University
Mondays, March 30 through May 18 6:30 PM

With the extraordinary diversity of plants available to us for our home landscaping efforts, choosing the right ones can seem overwhelming. Taught by Bryce Lane, this eight-week course will focus on the different groups of plants that thrive and amplify our landscapes including details on their needs in the garden. Come enhance your expertise in plants and learn how to transform your home landscape into a masterpiece!


Recreational Tree Climbing at the JCRA
Open to Youths and Adults
Patrick Brandt, Piedmont Tree Climbing
Saturday, April 11 10:00 AM

See the Arboretum from a new angle! Piedmont Tree Climbing is back at the Arboretum ! Tree climbing is a great way to get outside in a safe and exciting way with friends and familyeven if you don't have any experience. Climbers must be six years or older, and 50-minute climbing slots can be shared by six climbers. Come get a taste of the excitement yourself, and bring your family and friends! Can't make it out? No worries. We're hosting this event again on May 9 .

Photography Walk
"Photograph Composition—Key Guidelines for Strong Photograph Design in the Garden"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursday, April 16 10:00 AM

Composition is key! The best way to improve any picture is by utilizing strategies involving composing your shots. Mary Louise Ravese will go over five compositional rules that are guaranteed to give you more dynamic garden shots. After learning these rules , we'll go out into the Arboretum to get first-hand practice with our cameras. All cameras are welcome.

For more information about these programs, please contact Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005 or chris_glenn@ncsu.edu. To register online, please use the links below
Send a Child to Summer Camp at the JCRA (Even If You Don't Have One)

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator
Summer camp registration is almost done! We only have three spots left in our Garden Creations camp as I write this article. If you have a rising 4th 6th grader that needs some summer fun sign them up now! I'm excited for this new camp which will explore the importance of plants in our lives. Each day we will explore how plants are used in one aspect of our lives from the clothes we wear to the structures that we live in to the food we eat. It'll be a week full of creating, exploring, and enjoying the gardens.

If you don't have children at home in the summer camp age range but still want to support the summer camp program, consider sending a child to camp by donating to the camp scholarship program. A wonderful team of volunteers works with community partners to identify children that would enjoy and benefit from our camp experience but might not be able to afford it. Two scholarships are available in three of our camps: Nature Detectives, Garden Chefs, and Cultivating Science. The scholarship covers camp registration and a Family/Dual membership to the Arboretum for families to continue enjoying the programming throughout the year.

To donate to the 2020 Camp Scholarship program, make your check out to the NC Agricultural Foundation with the note " 2020 Camp Scholarship" and send to our mailing address (JCRA, NC State University, Campus Box 7522, Raleigh NC 27695-7522). You can also bring donations to or call Kathy Field at (919) 513-0264. Any contribution for partial or full scholarship is greatly appreciated!
NC State’s Day of Giving Is Fast Approaching

By Emily Bonner, Development Assistant

As many of you know, last year, NC State University held its first annual Day of Giving, a 24 hour fund-raising event that encourages alumni, friends, and supporters of the university to come together to support the programs and institutions that they care about the most. 

Last year, the JCRA community did a phenomenal job of showing how passionate they are about the Arboretum. As a result, the JCRA will be included on the online leaderboard this year, which means we have the chance to make an even greater impact. Being on the leaderboard gives us greater visibility on Day of Giving and lets all of our friends and supporters know how much we've raised throughout the day. 

Not only is Day of Giving an important opportunity to raise money for essential JCRA programs, projects, and events, but it also offers the chance to share our mission and passion. If you've been waiting for an opportunity to give to the JCRA, please consider doing so on Day of Giving. Every gift has a lasting impact and helps to show how meaningful the Arboretum is to the entire NC State community on a local, national, and global scale. 

You can visit the Day of Giving Web site to save the date on your calendar and to access the JCRA leaderboard during the event. Be sure to follow the JCRA on social media to stay up to date on the Day of Giving excitement. Contact Alycia Thornton, director of development, at alycia_thornton@ncsu.edu if you have any questions or want to learn how to be involved!
Paradise Lost

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

The Paradise Garden is no more. It had been a part of the JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University since it was completed in 1995. It was originally designed for and installed at the 1994 Raleigh Home and Garden Show and then rebuilt at the JCRA.

The best route for the drive around the Great Lawn took out half of the Paradise Garden. It was time to either move forward without this garden or totally replace its wooden structures and mosaic tiles. Twenty five years had taken its toll. The Paradise Garden and other adjacent themed Model Gardens were never meant to be permanent. Originally designed by NC State University Department of Horticultural Science design classes, they were supposed to be periodically designed anew.

Many plants have been transplanted from the Paradise Garden. Others, like the figs ( Ficus carica ) were propagated rather than transplanted. There are now about 100 to 150 cuttings of each fig cultivar happily rooting in one of the JCRA nursery areas. They will be distributed in a number of ways. You could possibly go home with a piece of paradise.

The view of the Arboretum from the Lath House side of the Great Lawn is much improved without the Paradise Garden stopping one's view. One now has a sense of the bigger picture.

Also happening at this time is the expansion of existing rain gardens and the addition of others. This is so the JCRA can better manage runoff from heavy rains and cut back on the erosion that it causes. (A not uncommon event was the 4" of rain from one storm in February). Directing runoff to these rain gardens should result in drier garden paths which will be better for visitors and those working in the garden.

A rain garden does not represent a loss of planting space but rather an opportunity to exhibit those plants that will tolerate great swings in soil moisture. The spirit of experimentation typical of the JCRA will guide our plant choices.

Many projects are underway at the JCRA and some of those are in mid-construction stages so things might look startling. But before too long these projects will be done, the Arboretum will be much improved, and there will be numerous new plantings. Join me on my June 2 Plantsmen's Tours for a discussion about our new plantings.
Our Guides Share the Stories of the Arboretum
By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator
Our public Sunday tours are starting up again on March 1! When it comes to our garden tours, a volunteer tour guide never knows what to expect. How many people will show up? While our tours average out to around 8 15 people, on flawless days we can see up to 50. What are they looking to learn? While the crowd is sure to have some plant enthusiasts, others are just looking for something to do on a Sunday afternoon. Whatever the number or reason, we're delighted to have them here. 
Tour guides give the insider's view of the Arboretum. These 10.5 acres have a lot of stories to tell and our guides are happy to share them. You're likely to have a different guide to lead you through the garden each week from March to October. Both the garden and perspectives are ever-changing. 
We will soon offer a training class for new tour guides to join our growing team. We're looking for friendly guides with helpful attitudes; reliable individuals that can communicate well with groups. Please contact me at kbwall@ncsu.edu or (919) 513-7004 if you would like to receive more information on our tour guide training or other volunteer opportunities. Alternatively, feel free to swing on by and join one of our free Sunday tours! 
Free Public Tours Start March 1
Sunday Afternoons at 2:00 PM
Meet at the Bobby G Wilder Visitor Center
March through October
A Spanking New Mulch Sale

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

The JC Raulston Arboretum mulch sale will no longer occur once a month on a set day. There will now be two ways to go home with some black gold. Mulch and leaves will be available to buy on Saturday April 18 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM and on Saturday October 24 also from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Mulch and leaves will also be available for purchase throughout the year by making prior arrangement with the Horticultural Field Lab superintendent Bradley Holland by e-mail at bthollan@ncsu.edu.

Wood mulch is $16.00 per cubic yard. In the Arboretum, we find that it lasts at least one year.

The leaves or leaf mulch is ground leaves. It costs $5.00 per cubic yard. It is what the JCRA uses as a mulch through most of the Arboretum. It lasts about six months as a mulch. It is also an excellent soil amendment.
Mulch sales are through the back entrance of the HFL off of Ligon Street. Be sure to ask Bradley (or myself at douglas_ruhren@ncsu.edu) for a map.

Your purchase of these products help support the JC Raulston Arboretum. We thank you in advance!
Upcoming Events
Volunteer Tour Docents
Sundays, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29 – 2:00 PM

Spring Is Budding
Tuesday, March 3 – 10:00 AM

"Spring Peeks"
Mark Weathington, Director
Tuesday, March 3 – 1:00 PM

Friday, March 6 – 10:30 AM

Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Saturday, March 7 – 9:00 AM

"Gardening with a Bunch of Pricks—Hardy Cactus for North Carolina Gardens"
Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden
Thursday, March 12 – 7:30 PM

"Using Black and White Photography to Emphasize Line and Texture"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Friday, March 13 – 10:30 AM

Frank Hyman, Cottage Garden Landscaping
Saturday, March 14 – 9:30 AM

Frank Hyman, Cottage Garden Landscaping
Saturday, March 14 – 1:00 PM

Sunday, March 15 – 2:00 PM

"Abstract Macro Photography"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursday, March 19 – 10:00 AM

Cohosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"Spring Alpines of the Spanish Pyrenees"
Todd Boland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, NARGS Traveling Speaker
Saturday, March 21 – 10:00 AM

"The Dirt on Mulch and Soils"
Cynthia Sollod, Wake County Extension Master Gardener
Monday, March 23 – 10:00 AM

Rebecca Ward, Assistant State Climatologist
Saturday, March 28 – 9:00 AM

Badge Workshop for Junior Girl Scouts
Saturday, March 28 – 10:30 AM

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, March 30 through May 18 – 6:30 PM

✽Denotes a children's program.
Many programs require advance registration. Please register early to reserve your spot.
Save the Date

A Garden Festival for All Ages
Saturday, April 4 10:00 AM 4:00 PM
Coming Attractions

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Ipheion uniflorum 'Jessie'
spring starflower
Magnolia 'Elizabeth'
yellow magnolia
Prunus persica 'Bonfire'
purple-leaf peach
Camellia japonica var. rusticana 'Ai-no-izumi'
snow camellia
Exochorda 'Blizzard'
Cercis chinensis 'Kay's Early Hope'
Chinese redbud
Daphne genkwa
lilac daphne
Rhodoleia henryi
evergreen rose hazel
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

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

There are over 150 videos of past Friends of the Arboretum Lectures, North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lectures, Gardening Adventures with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers presentations, Plantsmen's Tours, and other miscellaneous videos in our YouTube Channel .

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.