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

By Mark Weathington, Director

It is great to see that the country is moving in the right direction as almost everyone has worked to flatten the curve. We're beginning to see some opening up including here in North Carolina. We've been getting the question about opening up the JCRA quite a bit as a consequence. NC State University has wisely taken the stance that we need to do all we can to make sure everyone stays safe and healthy and so we are taking things slowly.
We hope to bring in our horticulture interns soon to help get the gardens back up to snuff in preparation for opening. We are thinking through ways to keep groups spaced apart especially in some of the tighter areas of the Arboretum, including one-way paths potentially in some areas and limitations on how many people can be in some of our garden spaces. We appreciate how much you all want to be back in the JCRA and will be opening once we feel we can do so safely. Please be patient with us.
On a more positive note, you all responded enthusiastically to our first ever online spring plant sale. So well in fact that we are planning a little surprise for you later this month. Keep your eyes peeled! We also hated to lose out on the momentum we had gained with our wildly successful Southeastern Plant Symposium last year so we've revamped and rethought it. This year's Southeastern Plant Symposium at Home features a truly world class lineup of speakers. I really think the JC Raulston Arboretum/Juniper Level Botanic Garden team has knocked it out of the park.
See you (sometime?) in the garden.
Southeastern Plant Symposium at Home

By Emily Bonner, Development Assistant

The JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Garden invite you to participate in some truly remarkable educational opportunities at this year's Southeastern Plant Symposium at Home . Although we aren't able to hold this joint conference in person this year, we are so excited to still be able to bring these valuable experiences to you on a virtual platform. 

Join us online on June 12 for a day full of lectures from some of the world's foremost horticulturists. Speakers include Dan Hinkley of Gardens of Windcliff and Heronswood, Tony Avent of Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery, and John Cho of the University of Hawaii, Jimmy Turner of the Red Butte Garden, Kelly Dodson and Sue Milliken of the Far Reaches Farm and Far Reaches Botanical Conservancy, and Nick Macer of Pan-global Plants . The program will also include a virtual walk through the Arboretum and an online auction featuring a variety of rare, one-of-a-kind plants.

Early registration for this special virtual Symposium is just $50.00. You can register online via the JCRA registration e-store . As a pair of institutions dedicated to horticultural outreach and creating unique and meaningful educational experiences, both the JCRA and JLBG hope that you will be able to participate in our first-ever online symposium.  

Thank you to all of our incredible supporters who continue to make all of our meaningful educational opportunities a possibility! One of the best ways to ensure that we can continue to feature great horticultural speakers at the Arboretum for years to come is to support the August A. De Hertogh Educational Endowment , which directly supports adult education and lectures at the JCRA.
Fagus grandifolia 'White Lightning'

By Mark Weathington, Director

New plants come from all different sources but over the years there has been few that have found their way to the JCRA in a more unusual way than Fagus grandifolia 'White Lightning' . In 2011, we were shown a picture of what was purported to be a dwarf American beech. I had serious doubts about the photo which was as grainy as bigfoot's glamour shots. While there are literally hundreds of European beech selections, there are basically none of our native. With those doubts in mind, I headed to Ruffin, N.C.
I drove up to Raynay Alpaca Farm certain that I must be in the wrong place but was met by the owners of the farm, Ray and Candy McMahan, and their neighbor, Linda Vaughn, who had first seen the plant. We jumped in Ray's ATV and sped off to see the plant in the back 40. Imagine my surprise when I saw a lovely, dwarf, weeping American beech looking in the winter sunlight like a silver-barked Japanese maple in habit. After seeing my reaction which I am not inclined to share (although the term hortgasm has been used in similar situations), Ray insisted I take the plant with me. He was afraid it might get trampled or run over on his property.
Once the plant was safely dug and moved to the JCRA, the easy part could begin, propagating the plant to share. We dubbed the tree 'White Lightning' in recognition of the zigzagging silver-white winter stems and sent scion wood off to some of the best grafters we knew. After two years of trying to graft it, one plant was successful and all the grafters threw in the towel (or trowel). That first plant had been promised to the owners of the alpaca farm in thanks for the plant and for introducing me to alpaca socks.
Finally, Arboretum friend Bill Barnes managed to graft two plants which have grown off very strong. We will be parting with one of these rare and very choice plants—only the 3rd in existence—at the Southeastern Plant Symposium at Home online auction. We wish this could be widely available but until we figure out how to produce it, it is destined to be among the rarest of all landscape plants.
Southeastern Plant Symposium at Home Auction

Opens Tuesday, June 9 at 10:00 AM
Open to Everyone and Conducted Entirely Online
Closes Friday, June 12 at 3:00 PM

The link to participate in the auction will be sent out via e-mail and posted to our social media outlets when the auction begins.

All plants will be available at the JCRA for pickup at a later date and plants in one gallon or smaller containers can be shipped for an additional charge.
Meet the Symposium Speakers
By Cheryl Kearns, JCRA Volunteer and Board Member, Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator, and the Symposium Speakers

The show must go on!
Although the Arboretum is closed to visitors and events are canceled indefinitely, the Southeastern Plant Symposium , hosted by the JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper level Botanic Garden, will be made available via Zoom in a shortened, at home version this year on June 12. Listen, enjoy, and learn from the presentations by enthusiastic, world-class speakers discussing their favorite plants and experiences. You will be eager to add to your own collection after this day of diverse speakers and plants!

This is a fabulous opportunity to learn from the following internationally recognized speakers:

Tony Avent, Contrarian Plantsman, Writer, and Founder of Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Tony Avent is the owner of Plant Delights Nursery and Juniper Level Botanical Gardens in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tony is an international plant explorer and has visited Argentina, China, Crete, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Texas (five expeditions), and Thailand and Vietnam and has explored the Southeast 43 times. He's a freelance garden writer and lecturer (over 640 lectures since 1990) and a 1978 graduate from the Department of Horticultural Science at NC State University.

John Cho, Ph.D.
Researcher Emeritus, Kula Research Station, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Hawaii, Kahului, Hawaii

John Cho, Ph.D., is known as the plant breeder of the Royal Hawaiian Collection of ornamental elephant ears, having patented the cultivars 'Maui Gold' and 'Hawaiian Punch', 'Black Coral' and 'Hilo Magic', among many. Although many of us think of Colocasia as an ornamental plant, taro ( Colocasia esculenta ) is a critical source of food and a staple in many parts of the world, including the Pacific Islands. John, a plant pathologist at the College of Tropical and Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, was one of a team partnering with county officials and taro farmers to breed a more disease resistant taro in the Kauai region in the 1990s. From that breeding program came two that do well in Hawaii and in Puerto Rico, providing crops for both regions' farmers.

Kelly Dodson and Sue Milliken
Proprietors, Far Reaches Farm and Far Reaches Botanical Conservancy

Kelly Dodson and Sue Milliken met as members of a seed collecting expedition to Yunnan in 1997. This shared passion for plants that are important botanically and of merit to collectors and niche gardening led to them combining their life efforts on six acres in Port Townsend, Washington, in 2000 and the rare plant nursery Far Reaches Farm came into fruition shortly thereafter. They have participated in a number of overseas plant hunting expeditions in collaboration with the Rhododendron Species Botanic Garden thanks to a continued connection from Kelly's years there as propagation and nursery manager. Their lifetime embodiment of plant knowledge and a long history of cultivating and conserving rare plants led them to the formation of the nonprofit, Far Reaches Botanical Conservancy , an organization dedicated to plant introduction and conservation.

Dan Hinckley
Plantsman, Gardens of Windcliff and Founder of Heronswood, Kingston, Washington

In 1987, while teaching horticulture at Edmonds Community College north of Seattle, Dan Hinkley and his partner, Robert L. Jones, began Heronswood Nursery, near Kingston, Washington. Devoted to introducing rare and unusual plants to gardeners of North America, this endeavor led Dan into the wilds of China, South and Central America, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Nepal, Vietnam, Taiwan, Sikkim, Bhutan, Tasmania, and Canada numerous on numerous occasions. Heronswood Nursery previously listed nearly 3,000 plant species, and shipped across the world. When W. A. Burpee closed the garden and nursery in May of 2006, Dan independently focused his attentions on continued plant hunting, writing, and speaking. Dan Hinkley currently resides in Indianola, Washington, where he is in the process of realizing his latest endeavor, the Gardens of Windcliff, on a south-facing bluff overlooking Puget Sound; and writing his third book for Timber Press in the Explorer's Garden series.

Nick Macer
Owner, Pan-global Plants, Gloucestershire, England

Nick trained as an arborist originally, but went straight into horticulture after college and after a couple of years running a large garden in the Cotswolds, U.K., opened Pan-global Plants , a nursery specializing in the rare and desirable. Twenty-three years later the nursery has an international reputation and an enviable clientele, selling to the greatest gardens in the United Kingdom and Europe, both public and private. Nick has traveled the world over the last twenty years, botanising the wild places, and continues to do so, usually twice a year. He speaks regularly in the U.K. and sometimes internationally.

Jimmy Turner
Executive Director, Red Butte Garden, University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Jimmy Turner is a self-proclaimed obsessive plant geek, garden writer, and lover of all things horticultural. Recently appointed as executive director of the Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah. The largest botanical garden in the Intermountain West and together with the University of Utah, is a state arboretum. From 2013 to 2019, Jimmy was the director of horticulture operations for the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah, the Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, Centennial Parklands and Moore Park. Previously, Jimmy enjoyed over a decade as the senior director of gardens at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Dallas, Texas, where he honed his skills in horticultural displays. Whilst there, he created the largest and one of the most successful plant trial programs in North America.
Bringing the JCRA to You

By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator
While the garden has been closed, the Arboretum staff has worked collaboratively in creative ways to bring the garden to you. We asked you back in March and April to follow us on social media, and you responded in great numbers. Here are a few highlights:

YouTube We've added three to five new videos a week and the number of YouTube subscribers has doubled over 2019. The most popular video continues to be "Vermicompost for Healthier Plants" with Rhonda Sherman, NC State University, with 52,209 views.

Twitter We joined in with other public gardens for #floweryourfeed and #ourgardenyourhome campaigns.

Facebook In March and April, we posted a #mysteryplant each week, posted video tours of the flowering lawn, and Lath House with Mark, and plant sale videos with Tim Alderton.

Instagram After a month of voting on our Spring Madness bracket in our Instagram and Facebook Stories, a winner was crowned: Cornus florida ‘Suwanee Squat.” 

Jigsaw puzzles Something just for fun! Online jigsaw puzzles featuring scenes in the Arboretum.

As we prepare to reopen, one way you can help support the Arboretum is to follow us and share posts with your friends and family.
Summer Garden Camps at Home

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

Back in April, we had a crushing blow due to COVID-19, the university made the decision to cancel all in-person camps associated with the university. The camp teachers and the children's program staff were all so disappointed that summer would not be what we had envisioned in our minds.

Fast forward to now (and many webinars later) and our new summer visionSummer Garden Camps at Home! Ashley Thompson, our camp instructor for the past many years, and I have been putting our heads together to come up with a fantastic alternative for this summer. We are bringing three of our summer camps into your homes:

Nature Detectives at Home June 22 26 (rising 1st 3rd graders)
Artists in (Your) Garden July 13 17 (rising 1st 5th graders)
Garden Chefs at Home July 27 31 (rising 4th 6th graders)

Camp days will consist of two to three hours of activities for campers to do at their own pace in the comfort of their own homes and yards and then an hour-long, live, virtual-camp gathering for campers to share what they did that morning, talk about the information they are exploring in the camp activities, and get more ideas of how to keep the camp fun going into the afternoon. The live meetings with campers will be lead by Ms. Ashley and myself. Camp content will be available through a camp Web site that will be made available only to registered campers.

Even though it is not our ideal summer plan, we wanted to try our best to keep your families connected with gardens and bring some summer camp fun to your families. We're opening registration to those campers who registered for the in-person camps first. After they have had a chance, registration will open to all.

Thanks so much for your support and love of our children’s programming. We truly appreciate all your patience and encouragement as we switch gears and put our creative (and technical) skills into high gear to be with you this summer!
Gardens from Around the World: English Speaking Version

By Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University

Mondays, June 1 through June 29 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

Bored? Tired? Need an exciting staycation? Come with Bryce on a virtual tour of some of the most beautiful public gardens located all over the world. Get inspired and learn about the history of these special gardens from one of the most enthusiastic horticulturalist we know. You can't ask for a better tour guide. We'll be focusing on gardens in English speaking countries including, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. JCRA director, Mark Weathington, will be a guest speaker the third week during the class, where he will talk about his visits to South Africa and New Zealand.

Register today and enjoy access to private gardens you may never have the opportunity to see in person.
Slowly Forward

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Progress continues at the JC Raulston Arboretum despite the profound shortage of labor, most significantly that of volunteers and summer interns.

We managed to plant and mulch the Color Trials and the plants are looking great. Keeping it weeded will probably be a challenge without the Tuesday Rovers volunteer group weeding it each Tuesday. But we will do our best.

We have managed to keep the most recent permanent plantings alive through the weeks of dry weather. Thank goodness for the recent rains. A good rain is almost as good as having a day off from work … nope, it's better.

The last major permanent planting before shutdown was a few hours of work from another volunteer group, Cyndy's Loppers. It was of the recently expanded rain garden. We've even got part of it mulched when there were two partially emptied trailers of mulch leftover from mulching the Color Trials. I'm sure the Loppers would be pleased to see how things have grown.

And we are very pleased to report that the rain garden is functioning as planned. It is preventing the erosion of the gravel drive past the Finley-Nottingham Rose Garden into the Color Trials. This is a tremendous labor saving now that gravel doesn't have to be returned to where it should be after each downpour. The previous rain garden was too small and as such made a bad situation worse. After capturing runoff and exceeding its capacity, the overflow was now one big concentrated torrent, instead of a widely dispersed one. The new rain garden handled both the 3.5" of rain from Arthur, the recent tropical system that fell over several days last week, as well as the 1.5" that fell in about 20 minutes on Sunday May 24 in a torrential thunderstorm.

Though only a few volunteer groups have been mentioned in this brief piece, it is as the saying goes that: "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." We have come to appreciate the JCRA volunteers even more now that you are not here so thank you for all that you do.

A profound thanks is also due to all JCRA members who supported the JCRA through purchasing plants from our online plant sale. Most of the plants sold were propagated and grown here at the Arboretum with much of the work done by yet more volunteers. Without the onsite spring plant sale of Raulston Blooms! and with no sales from the plant buggy, the Arboretum nursery areas were overflowing with plants. It's wonderful to once again have space in the nursery for newly produced plants. And it's great to disperse so many good plants to gardens far and wide. Thank You!
Upcoming Events

While many of our June events and educational programs have been canceled due to COVID-19, the JCRA has many educational opportunities throughout June to offer.

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, June 1 through June 29 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

"Bridge Plants"
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Tuesday, June 2 – 11:00 AM

"Deer Resistant(ish) Plants"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, June 3 – 3:00 PM

Various Topics
Fridays, June 5, 12, 19, and 26 – 10:00 AM

"A Peek at My Garden"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, June 10 – 3:00 PM

Hosted by the JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Garden
Friday, June 12 – 10:00 AM–3:00 PM

"Terrestrial Orchids, Sacred Lilies, and Other Choice Shade Garden Perennials"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, June 17 – 3:00 PM

"A Legacy of Elm Improvement"
Kim Shearer, Tree and Shrub Breeder and Manager New Plant Development Program, The Morton Arboretum
Thursday, June 18 – 6:30 PM

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Saturday, June 20– 9:00 AM

"Living on the Edge—Plants That Are Almost Hardy"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, June 24 – 3:00 PM

Monday, June 22 through Friday, June 26 – 9:00 AM–1:00 PM
Registration opens soon

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

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Dahlia 'Gallery Cobra'
garden dahlia
Acca sellowiana 'Kawatiri'
pineapple guava
Cornus hongkongensis 'Gekkou'
moonshine evergreen dogwood
Alstroemeria 'Freedom'
red Peruvian lily
Crinum 'Pink Flamingo'
hybrid crinum lily
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Rei 05'
Forever & Ever Together bigleaf hydrangea
Curcuma 'Pink Plush'
hidden cone ginger
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Three new Midweek with Mark videos were recorded in May and posted to our YouTube Channel . Future Midweek with Mark presentations premiere on YouTube on Mondays.
Coming Soon
Premieres on Monday, June 1 at 10:00 AM
The Children's Program recently launched a new Virtual Garden Storytime series. These videos premiere on YouTube on Fridays.
Premieres on Friday, May 28 at 10:00 AM
We also recorded several Plantsmen's Tour Shorts before the Arboretum closed in March. Four videos were posted in May. New ones premiere every Tuesday.
Additionally, we have posted four excerpts from Almanac Gardener featuring J. C. Raulston. New videos featuring J. C. Rauslton premiere on Wednesdays.
We've also gone through our archives and pulled some of our favorites from 2012 and 2011 and uploaded them to YouTube. New videos from the archives premiere on YouTube on Thursdays.
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.
Christopher Todd Glenn
Programs and Education Coordinator
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
(919) 513-7005

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