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

By Mark Weathington, Director

As much as I had hoped we would be announcing news about re-opening by now, the recent spike of coronavirus cases in North Carolina has once again pushed our plans back. In good news for the Arboretum, our student interns have started in the garden working with Doug and Tim to bring the grounds up to their pre-covid state. All of us here at the JCRA feel strongly that it is incumbent on all of us to stick with the measures which helped us flatten the curve in the first place.
Coronavirus isn't the only issue we are all grappling with now as social justice concerns have gripped the nation. The JCRA was built on the concept of diversity. J. C.'s mission as he created the Arboretum was to "diversify the American landscape." Just as we welcome diversity in our plantings, the JCRA welcomes and cherishes the diversity of all our visitors.
NC State University has demonstrated a deep and ongoing commitment to working with and supporting all people including ongoing staff training in diversity and creating inclusive environments. We are proud to be a part of this forward-looking community and strive to uphold their principles as we welcome everyone to enjoy the beauty of our gardens, participate in our programs, and work with us as partners.
If you have any concerns, questions, or suggestions for improving diversity at the JC Raulston Arboretum, please contact me directly at mark_weathington@ncsu.edu .

See all of you in the garden sometime.
Status of the JC Raulston Arboretum

By Mark Weathington, Director

The state of North Carolina operates with a fiscal year that runs from July to June so we have just ended fiscal year 2019–2020. I have been asked recently about the JCRA's financial status and how we are managing now that we are entering our 4th month with closed gates. As we start a new financial year, it seems appropriate to report to all our members exactly where we are.
The good news is that the first three quarters of the past fiscal year were record-breaking and had put us in a very positive place when the coronavirus hit. Once we closed our gates and rentals and onsite programs like Raulston Blooms! stopped, we certainly were concerned and staff rallied to provide other engagement opportunities to keep us connected with our members. Thanks to your support, memberships have continued to grow with May and June being a record-breaking month. Our plant sales, auctions, and programming have all been very successful as well.
As we enter a new year with very uncertain prospects, the JCRA staff and board of advisors are brainstorming new and innovative ways to continue our mission, connect with our members, and generate the approximately $1 million in operating revenue we need. Be on the lookout for new programs, plant sales, and other fun ways to access some very interesting plant material. The entire JCRA team is looking at the coming year as an opportunity to think big.
I am energized by the enthusiasm of my colleagues here at the JCRA and think we will be a new and better organization by the time this is all over. In the meantime, your continued support means more than you can imagine. We have already seen members upgrading their memberships to higher levels, topping off their memberships or plant purchases with an extra donation, and increasing their gifts. Even when we open our gates back up, many of our traditional revenue sources will be blocked but we know we can always count on you. From everyone at the JCRA, thank you.
A Message from Development

By Emily Bonner, Development Assistant

This summer is pretty different from the ones the Arboretum has shared with our supporters in the past. We greatly miss seeing our members, volunteers, and visitors in the garden.

Although we are unable to interact with our community face-to-face at this time, we are still striving to make sure that we realize our mission of outreach and create opportunities for you to engage with the world of horticulture. We hope that you have been able to tune into a few of the online resources we've been creating, such as our weekly Midweek with Mark lectures or our Virtual Garden Storytimes. If you'd like to explore all of our virtual learning opportunities, check out the JCRA events calendar .

It takes a remarkable team of incredibly dedicated staff to not only create and share these resources with you, but also to continue our critical horticultural research efforts and to make sure that the gardens stay healthy and thriving. 

If you would like to support the JCRA staff, please consider giving to the General Fund. By supporting our hardworking team, you are supporting the realization of the Arboretum mission and helping to ensure that we can continue to create amazing experiences for you, no matter what each season may bring.
JCRA Plant Sale Buggy: An Experiment

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

Plant sales through the JCRA Plant Sale Buggy have been an important way to get great plants from the Arboretum to our members and visitors as we strive to diversify the American landscape. It also brings in income which helps to support staff. Additionally, it gives our interns valuable experience in propagating plants.

With the COVID shutdown, sales have been zero so we are going to try a little experiment and put the cart outside the Arboretum's pedestrian gate on Beryl Road. We will start with sales on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM starting on Thursday, July 2. Expect the occasional social media post highlighting some of the plants on the cart.

Income from sales will help support the Arboretum at this time when so many income streams such as rentals have been eliminated. Thank you in advance for your support.

Most plants on the Plant Sale Buggy are $5.00 or $10.00. Availability changes frequently and is limited. Payments can be made using cash or checks. The cart sales are self serve since it isn't staffed.
2020 JCRA Summer Interns: At Last

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

Our four 2020 JCRA interns have finally been able to come on board. It's indescribably valuable to have four more people to work with Tim and myself in the Arboretum and nursery, especially at this time when our beloved hard-working volunteers are not allowed to work. Here, in their own words, is a little insight into these four lovely, enthusiastic, and very capable individuals:

Tanya Towery: "I started off in the service industry and when I was finally convinced to give horticulture a try, I quickly realized it was my passion and I ran with it. I earned my associate degree in horticulture technology and cannot wait to learn more and grow everything I can."

John Banask: "My name is John Banask and I was born and raised in Raleigh. I'm a horticultural science student at NC State University and I've been working in the field of horticulture for almost eight years. I'm excited to be working with JCRA and can't wait to learn more about plants!"

Brian Evans: "Hey, my name is Brian Evans and I am a biology major at Winston Salem State University. I'm excited about this internship because of the methods and skills that will elevate my botanical knowledge in pursuit of a career in plant sciences. The Arboretum is a beautiful place to learn and I look forward to the experience.'

Locke Rosser: "I am a Raleigh native that grew up exploring local flora and developing a passion for learning about the environment. I am studying horticulture and landscape design at NC State and I look forward to designing gardens with a focus on attracting pollinators and managing rainwater runoff. I can't help but smell and touch every flower I see.
Great Gardens of the United States and Canada

Learning about Great Gardening Principles, Techniques, and Plants!
Mondays, July 6 through August 24 (No Class on July 27)

By Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
North America houses some of the most beautiful, unique, and interesting gardens in the world. They are also a wonderful resource of ideas for us gardeners. In this class, I'll be featuring gardens that I have visited and enjoyed, and then we will also talk about some of the many gardening ideas and principles I observed at each garden. Perhaps it was a new plant, or a new way a plant was used, either alone, or in combination, or a new gardening idea is observed. Then I'll tell you about how I tried it in my own home garden and how that went! For example, I saw a unique garden arch built out of rebar that was adorned with vines marking the transition from one garden area to another. I photographed it, and built a similar arch in my own garden. Find out how that went! Turns out, many of the garden features, techniques, and design elements I use in my own garden have been "borrowed" from many of the gardens that will be featured in this class.
So join me as I share my observations, perspectives, new gardening attempts, successes, and failures.
Tentative garden visitations (not all-inclusive):

  • Missouri Botanical Garden, Missouri
  • Coastal Maine Botanical Garden, Maine
  • Chanticleer, Pennsylvania
  • Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania
  • Mount Auburn Cemetery, Massachusetts
  • Butchart Gardens, Victoria, Canada
  • Chicago Botanic Garden, Illinois
  • Morton Arboretum, Illinois
  • Morris Arboretum, Pennsylvania
  • Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia
  • Gibbs Gardens, Georgia
  • Moore Farms Botanical Garden, South Carolina
  • Brookgreen Gardens, South Carolina
  • Filoli, California
  • Huntington Botanical Gardens, California
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, Virginia
  • Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Virginia
  • Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon
  • U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC
  • North Carolina Arboretum, North Carolina
  • Biltmore, North Carolina

For more information, please visit the JCRA's Web site or write Chris Glenn at chris_glenn@ncsu.edu. Class starts soon so register today.
Planning and Planting a Fall Vegetable Garden

By Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener

Garden Greetings from Fuquay-Varina! I hope you are all staying healthy and having a great growing season. Hard to believe autumn will soon be approaching, but it's time to start planning for your fall veggie garden! I am excited to be sharing expert advice on exactly how to cultivate cool season bounty this August in a four-part webinar series in collaboration with the JC Raulston Arboretum. Focusing on best practices for home gardeners living in zones 6 to 8, we will discuss everything you need to know to plan, plant, and harvest all year round. For more information about the class, check out the link below and plan to join us on Tuesday evenings, through the month of August for lively and practical gardening advice.

Thank you for your support and interest! Wishing you all the best, Brie.

For more information, please visit the JCRA's Web site or write Chris Glenn at chris_glenn@ncsu.edu. Class starts soon so register today.
On the Roof

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

"Don't fight the site" might be the single best bit of advice in planting a garden. Perhaps only equaled by knowing how big a plant gets. This is especially true of the JC Raulston Arboretum's A. E. Finley Rooftop Terrace, the first green roof at NC State University. It is hot and dry except during wet spells.

Rain fell more days than not during the summer of 2018, and it seemed possible to grow mesic plants, those middle of the road plants that want neither a wet site (hydric) or a dry site (xeric). Possible that is, until rainless periods of a week or more, at which point it was clear that these plants would not survive without supplemental watering. Supplemental watering represents additional labor and the needless waste of a priceless resource, water.

It soon became clear that the plants selected for the green roof should be those that have evolved to deal with hot and dry and conversely the occasional wet spell. Not plants that must have a dry rest period but those that will make use of moisture whenever it is available and hunker down when they must go without. So plants from arid, temperate regions around the world are featured on the rooftop.

The flora of the arid parts of the Southwest and Mexico are very well represented on the green roof. Several donations of cactus by Juniper Level Botanic Garden and others tremendously increased the number of rooftop cactus species. A Web search for cold hardy cactus will turn up a number of nurseries specializing in cactus hardy in zones 4, 5, 6, and 7! Many of these have spectacular flowers and not all are ferociously armored. Indeed, spines are often more for sun protection than body armor, think: personal lath house.

Also well represented are what are known as "woody lilies," a name dating from a time when the lily family (Liliaceae) encompassed most of creation. The term "woody lilies" might no longer be in use now that the lily family has been divided into a dozen or more families. Regardless, these plants are the yuccas, agaves, aloes, dasylirions, hesperaloes, etc. This plants are super fun to design with, if not bump into, because of their bold architectural forms. They really make a statement in the landscape.

There are a few woody plants on the roof as well. The Texas persimmon ( Diospyros texana ) is a gorgeous small tree with a pale-barked, sinuous trunk and small glossy leaves. The fruit are blueberry sized and black skinned. Many other shrubs are Mediterranean sub-shrubs, such as lavender, rosemary, and thyme.

JCRA director Mark Weathington had the super fun idea of planting weeping redbuds ( Cercis ) on the roof so their foliage cascades over the wall and is visible from below. Cercis canadensis var. texensis 'Traveler' and Denny Werner's introduction Cercis canadensis 'Ruby Falls' survived their first summer and are now growing strongly in their second summer. A small plant of Denny's's 2019 introduction, Cercis canadensis 'NC2015-12' (Golden Falls) was planted this spring. So far it seems happy in its slightly sheltered location. This idea has engendered more ideas of what might be planted to cascade down from the rooftop garden.

In places, herbaceous plants form a matrix around the larger plants. Two little yellow daisies flower most of the year. Seed of one of them, Chrysactinia mexicana , must have blown up from the Scree Garden below. Its common name is damianita. The other is the little Angelita daisy or four-nerve daisy, Tetraneuris acaulis. It is native to most of the western half of the United States.

All summer, the very slight, little Phemeranthus calycinus (formerly Talinum calycinum) opens its ¾" wide fuchsia-purple flowers late every afternoon. It too is a native, occurring from Missouri and Arkansas to Mexico. A surprising number of seed-grown wild dianthus species thrive on the roof. More than a few tiny wild tulips species thrive in the arid growing conditions and these are ones that are usually a total failure in native soils. The soil on the roof varies from bed to bed but is primarily Stalite's Permatil and sand. That it is sharply drained is an understatement.

Perhaps it should be added that sedums were the go-to plant when green roofs were first being promoted, and they did thrive in Britain and Northern Europe, but they are not desert plants and have largely been abandoned as green roof plants in hot climates. There are sedums on the JCRA green roof but they persist usually only where they have a little shade during the heat of the day, such as under another plant.

Many new plants have been added to the rooftop in recent years, including 2020 and many of them, the cactus and woody lilies and others, grow slowly so it will be a few years before they make full impact. It has been much easier going now that we are not "fighting the site" but are planting plants suitable to the existing growing conditions. So keep that in mind: don't fight the site and do your research and know how big a plant gets before you decide where to plant it.
Upcoming Events

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

"Why Wild Collections Matter"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, July 1 – 3:00 PM

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, July 6 through August 31 with the Exception of July 27 – 6:30 PM

"Monocot Madness"
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Tuesday, July 7 – 9:00 AM

"Underused and Unknown Hollies"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, July 8 – 3:00 PM

Friday, July 10 – 8:00 AM– 5:00 PM
Saturday, July 11 – 8:00 AM– 5:00 PM
Sunday, July 12 – 1:00 PM– 5:00 PM
Friday, July 17 – 8:00 AM– 5:00 PM
Saturday, July 18 – 8:00 AM– 5:00 PM
Sunday, July 19 – 1:00 PM– 5:00 PM

Monday, July 13 through Friday, July 17 – 9:00 AM

"Rethinking the Invasive Conundrum"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, July 15 – 3:00 PM

"Evergreen Maples and Oaks"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, July 22 – 3:00 PM

Monday, July 27, 2020 through Friday, July 31 – 9:00 AM

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

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Eucomis 'Reuben'
pineapple lily
Canna 'African Sunset'
canna lily
Allium 'Millennium'
ornamental onion
Lilium formosanum
Formosa lily
Adina rubella 'Purple Flower'
purple Chinese buttonbush
Lilium lancifolium 'Flore Pleno'
double tiger lily
Abelia 'X10-9002-23'
Chilopsis linearis 'Bubba'
desert willow
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

A Plantsmen's Tour and an FOA Lecture video and three new Midweek with Mark videos were recorded in June and posted to our YouTube Channel . Future Midweek with Mark presentations premiere on YouTube on Mondays.
The Children's Program recently launched a new Virtual Garden Storytime series. Four new videos premiered on YouTube on Fridays throughout the month.
We also recorded several Plantsmen's Tour Shorts. Three of these videos were posted in June. New ones premiere on Tuesdays.
Additionally, we have posted four excerpts from Almanac Gardener featuring J. C. Raulston. We have one final video featuring J. C. to post.
We've also gone through our archives and pulled three 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

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.