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

By Mark Weathington, Director

Once again, we start the month like we have since April with gates closed but optimistic about re-opening soon. Almost across the board, our members have been disappointed they cannot visit but supportive of our decision to put the health and safety of our JCRA team and visitors first. While from outside the fence it likely looks like very little is changing, rest assured that we are working to get our gates open as soon as we possibly can.

Like many people working from home right now, the JCRA is looking a little shaggy. We have recently brought in select garden volunteer groups to help get the JCRA back in shape. We are acquiring sanitizer stations, and refining plans to safely welcome visitors again. We hope, despite the outbreaks on campus, that Governor Cooper will lift the phase 2 restrictions this month. Absent a change by the Governor, we will continue to work with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences administration to safely re-open as soon as possible.

Large gatherings will still not be feasible once we’ve swung the gates back open unfortunately and may not be safe for quite some time. JCRA staff continue to produce amazing projects to bring the Arboretum to you through remote classes and symposia, virtual but still hands-on workshops, kid’s subscription boxes, and of course access to a lot of great plants. The actual gardens are just a part of what we do and who we are. The spirit of the JCRA is the sharing of our passion (and plants) and whether we are onsite or not, that is precisely what we will continue to do.
Gardening in the South

Sponsored by Leaf & Limb

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant

Gardening in the South is back for new and experienced gardeners alike! Join us for a series of presentations on Saturday, September 19 that are guaranteed to expand your horizons. This year's lineup includes speakers Basil Camu, Bryce Lane, and Mark Weathington.

Everyone knows that trees are vital to the health of our planet, but how do we properly care for them? Basil Camu, a treecologist and ISA board certified master arborist, will be answering that exact question during his presentation "Top 12 Tips for Healthy, Happy Trees." Learn everything about tending to your trees, from avoiding common pitfalls to taking care of soil, pests, and pruning.

In "Ten Tips to Better Gardening: Southern Style," distinguished undergraduate instructor Bryce Lane will teach us how to master gardening in the Southeast. What are the major advantages and disadvantages of gardening in a southern region? What about the classic issues we face as gardeners, like plant selection, pruning, and fall gardening? Bryce will answer all of these questions and more.

We've all had our own experiences with killing plants. In "Plants to Turn Your Black Thumb Green," JC Raulston Arboretum's director Mark Weathington will cover the most resilient plants to add to your garden. Everything from perennials, shrubs, and trees will be covered!

Our symposium is sure to be an informative and inspiring one, so make sure you don't miss out! Register today to reserve your spot for this free symposium.
September Educational Programs

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant
September means that autumn is right on our doorstep. Wanting to hone your photography skills or polish up your knowledge of propagation? Looking to start a vegetable garden for the coming season? The Arboretum has just the right events to get you started.

Digital Photography Essentials Workshops for Canon and Nikon Photographers
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Tuesdays, September 1 through September 15 – Canon Photographers
Wednesdays, September 2 through September 16 – Nikon Photographers

Ready to get started with your Canon or Nikon digital camera? In these beginner classes, you will learn all the camera essentials to get you started on taking photos beyond the automatic/program nodes. You will also learn how to interpret your images to make the next shots even better! While all concepts and features discussed will be relevant to all types of digital cameras, please register for the correct class depending upon the maker of your digital camera.
Home Plant Propagation
Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, September 7 through October 26 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

Every gardener knows that propagation is one of the most vital parts of creating a beautiful garden. So how do we make the most out of propagation in our own home garden? Join us in this eight-week class to learn about the science of plant reproduction and how we can apply this to seed and vegetative propagation. Get an insider's look into the tips and tricks that Bryce has mastered from his own experience propagating plants at home! 
Planning and Planting a Fall Vegetable Garden in the Southeast
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Tuesdays, September 8 , through September 29 – 6:30 PM–8:00 PM
In this four-session webinar series, learn how to plan, plant, and harvest the rewards of your own fall vegetable garden! Gardening expert Brie Arthur will lead us through every step of the process, from site prep and seed starting to container combinations and harvesting tips. This class is designed for all gardeners, even if you're looking to garden in containers or flower beds. Ready to start your perfect fall harvest?

For more information about these programs, please refer to their announcements linked above of contact Chris Glenn at chris_glenn@ncsu.edu for more information.
FOA Annual Plant Distribution—Here's How to Get Your Free Plants

By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

Two thousand and twenty has changed, but not canceled the Friends of the Arboretum Annual Plant Distribution. We will continue J. C.'s tradition of giving away a "bag of treasures." Each plant grab bag will have a comparable mixture of plants—some old favorites and some rather uncommon. We need to know how many bags to prepare, so here's how the process will work:
  1. If you wish to participate, please sign up by September 15. (Your membership must be current on October 3, 2020. We will contact you if it expires before then.)
  2. Once you've signed up, we will send you pickup and time details by e-mail. We are limiting contact by providing curbside pickup along Beryl Road.
  3. You (or a designated representative) must pick up the plants on Saturday, October 3 at a time to be determined. We will not hold bags of plants or ship plants.
  4. We hope you will enjoy your plant surprises, and if they can't find a home in your garden, that you will pass them along to friends and family.
What Is Different?

You can sleep in. No jockeying for parking, rushing to check in, and waiting for the rounds to begin. You don't have to strategize on where to stand and which plants you are aiming to select. (We will not be providing a list ahead of time.) We acknowledge the loss of the camaraderie of the unique plant giveaway experience, but we can look forward to continuing this annual tradition.
What Is Staying the Same?

Thousands of free plants for members on the first Saturday of October! New JCRA members will be given an opportunity to participate as long as they join by October 2 (it's a great time to give a gift membership!). You may head home with some new plants that you are unfamiliar with, but that you may grow to love!
"Falling for Color" at the JC Raulston Arboretum

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant

Fall is finally at our doorstep, and our long-awaited Fall Symposium is also almost here! This year, we have a great cast of speakers that are sure to reinforce and develop your knowledge and love for gardening.

Dan Benarcik is a horticulturist at Chanticleer specializing in tropical, sub-tropical and tender perennials for seasonal display in the Courtyard Gardens. Dan is also a public speaker and a regional director for the Garden Writers Association. Dan is passionate about plants and the relationship between plants and people.

Eileen Boyle is the director of conservation and research at Mt. Cuba Center. Eileen has always been interested in the relationship between plants and wildlife! During her 15-year tenure at MCC, she also acted as their director of education and created their Ecological Gardening Certificate.

Jim Harbage is the director of floriculture and conservatories at Longwood Gardens. He is responsible for acquiring and producing seasonal plants as well as managing Longwood's conservatories. He and his team are responsible for all things floriculture; production, display, and more.

Jim Sutton is the associate director of display design at Longwood Gardens. Once a Peace Corps volunteer, Jim oversees themes and ideas for world-class horticulture displays. On top of this, he also presents lectures and is a judge for the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Jamaica Kincaid is the professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She is best known for being a significant voice in contemporary literature. Jamaica is both a gardener and gardening writer and has written extensively on the subject.

Jason Reeves is the research horticulturist at the University of Tennessee Gardens. He is known for his colorful plant combinations and unique garden art, especially his elaborate fall pumpkin and gourd display. Jason also acts as an editor for the Fine Gardening magazine.

With such an impressive line-up of speakers, we know you are just as excited as we are for this year's Fall Symposium! Be sure to register before its too late!
Sow Hardy Annuals Now

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

September is the best month to sow seeds of hardy annuals. What are hardy annuals? You might think that annuals are strictly summer plants. Well, no, there are annuals which grow through the year's second growing season, the one that starts after frost and continue through the months when frosts are likely. The term "hardy annual" is shorthand for "winter (or frost) hardy annuals." They are true annuals that germinate in late summer to early fall and live or even grow through the winter months to bloom, set seed and, being true annuals, die in spring having completed their lifecycle. You probably know a few hardy annuals better than you care to, such as chickweed (Stellaria media), henbit (Lamium amplexicaule), annual bluegrass (Poa annua) and bedstraw (Galium verum). But you probably would not want to encourage any of these, except perhaps chickweed, which is a delicacy.
Anyhow, the hardy annuals you might want to try are larkspur (Consolida ajacis), love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena), English daisies (Bellis perennis), bachelor's buttons (Centaurea cyanea), California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), various true poppies (Papaver spp.), such as Shirley or corn poppies (P. rhoeas) and Icelandic poppies (P. nudicaule), wall flowers (Erysimum spp. and Cheiranthes spp.), annual phlox (Phlox drummondii), and forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvestris). They can be sown where they are to flower as any highway-side planting of poppies and larkspur shows. Yet, most of these annuals do not tolerate being dug up and transplanted if they come up where they are not wanted, so my preference is to sow them in cell-packs and then plant them exactly where I want them to be. A few dollars for a packet of seed should produce a flat or more of seedlings and each packet should have adequate directions guaranteeing success.

These hardy annuals are more than worthwhile growing on their own merits but are additionally valuable because most flower in the down time between early spring's full glory and early summer. They also make for a much more interesting display when used with that most dependable winter to spring bloomer; the pansy and viola.

The JCRA often receives seed or plants of hardy annuals in spring for that summer's color trials and they perform very poorly started at that time of year. They flower almost as soon as they are planted. Most would have made a superb display had they been sown and planted in the fall. Sown then, the plants grow all winter so come bloom time they are large and robust enough to produce a full display.

My hope is to encourage not only the home gardener to embrace these hardy annuals but also commercial growers so gardeners and landscapers can buy ready-to-plant flats of these hardy annuals when shopping for the indispensable pansy and flowering kale. These are largely unimproved plants, that is ones that are close to their wild types, and as such not only add a great deal of floral color to the late spring garden but provide a great deal of pollinator support. And most are great cut flowers. Perhaps some gardeners will discover the magic of starting plants from seed, a practice that seems so rare now-a-day.
Electric Leaf Blower Request

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

The garden doctor delivered the news that after many years of flawless service —it no longer made sense to repair the JC Raulston Arboretum's leaf blower. And so we are hoping that there are some angels out there who would buy a new one for the Arboretum. We've done some research and the following is what we believe will best meet our needs.

We are going electric because two-cycle gasoline powered engines are polluting. Other area public gardens have already gone electric. And we must report that the JCRA's battery powered chainsaw and string trimmer have exceeded our wildest expectations. I might even go so far to say that we love the chainsaw. It was love from the moment that a mere flip of the "on" button instantly started it. It's also very much lighter and quieter and produces no fumes.

We also wanted a backpack blower and not a handheld one because we often need to run for an hour or so. There are far fewer options for battery powered backpack blowers than hand-held ones.

What we decided on is a commercial grade (not available from retail outlets) Greenworks GBB700 (82V690CFM) Backpack Blower. It's 82 volts and moves up to 690 cubic feet of air per minute. The blower, charger, and batteries are all sold separately.

In order for the JCRA to purchase the blower and batteries, we kindly request a donation of $975.00. If an individual or group of individuals would prefer to purchase the blower to donate or make a monetary donation, please contact Doug Ruhren at (919) 998-8076. A tax-deductible donation can be made using online using our giving site.

We thank you all in advance for supporting the JC Raulston Arboretum, for supporting a greener world, and for supporting cleaner paths for your greater enjoyment.
2020 T-shirts to Launch Our Virtual Fall Fundraiser

By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director

Our 2020 T-shirt design celebrates the buttonbushes, sweet gums, and the Malayan aspens. Their flowers and fruit serve as reminders of the intricate beauty of nature and all it has to offer, botanically speaking….

This is a very limited edition printing with a slight nod to the challenges beyond our control. In an effort to control the ones we can, it is only available as mail order. I hear the resounding, "Finally!," from those of you who don't live close to the Arboretum or have a hard time getting to the Arboretum while our offices are open. Now is your chance to load up on JCRA apparel. We will be offering caps and a few other things, too.

The 2020 T-shirt sale launches our Virtual Fall Fundraiser, and we are excited. The fundraiser will run from early September through early December. It will include many of your fall favorites—apparel sales, Gardening in the South, Members-only Preorder Plant Sale, and an inspiring Fall Symposium.  

Shortly, we will be sharing a link to our Virtual Fall Fundraiser Web site, hosted by ClickBid. We will be using this same Web site for the various facets of our fundraiser, making it easy for you to buy your 2020 apparel, order from our plant sale, or bid on your favorite plants in another fabulous Arboretum plant auction in November.

In the beginning, the site will only have apparel and such for sale. Other things will be added along the way. You will need to register yourself through this ClickBid Web site to order what is available. We don't expect you to remember all the details. We'll guide you along the way making sure you are registered for the programs you want to attend or understand how to participate in the Members-only Preorder Plant Sale or Fall Symposium auction.

We hope our 2020 T-shirts make you smile during this challenging time and our virtual programming inspires you to get outside and garden.
Growing Young Minds with the Grow Box

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

In July, Liz Driscoll,4-H Youth Specialist for NC State University's Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, Entomology and Plant Pathology, and Horticultural Science, and I received an exciting e-mail that we received funding from the 2020 NC Cooperative Extension Service Innovation Grant.

Back in the spring, we pitched the idea of an activity box program for families across North Carolina. Using 4-H and Arboretum resources, families will receive a box packed full of fun activities engaging families in different aspects of agriculture and horticulture. With COVID-19 keeping many families isolated, the Grow Box aims to connect those families with the Arboretum gardens and their local county Cooperative Extension's programs like 4-H.

The inaugural Grow Box is coming this month! The September/October Grow Box will focus on fall vegetable gardening. Each box will be filled with fall vegetable transplants as well as seeds, gardening tools, art supplies, journal for observations, and an activity guide packed full of ideas and things to get families outside in their gardens.

Be among the first to experience the Grow Box program and order your box today!

Boxes will be announced every two months as the topics and activities will change with the seasons. Watch for announcements in e-Updates and our Web site and share them with your neighbors and friends.
Upcoming Events

While some of our traditionally scheduled September events and educational programs aren't taking place due to COVID-19, the JCRA has many educational opportunities throughout September to offer.

"It's Still Summer: What's Still Going Strong
Tuesday, September 1 – 9:00 AM

Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Tuesdays, September 1 through September 15 – 7:00 PM

"Small Trees for Urban Landscapes"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, September 2 – 3:00 PM

Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Wednesdays, September 2 through September 16 – 7:00 PM

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, September 7 through October 26 – 6:30 PM

Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Tuesdays, September 8, 2020, through September 29 – 6:30 PM

"New Plants for Exceptional Landscapes"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, September 9 – 3:00 PM

"How Trees Can Save the World—And What You Can do to Help"
Basil Camu, Leaf & Limb
Thursday, September 10 – 7:30 PM

"Promising New Asian Collections"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, September 16 – 3:00 PM

Friday, September 18 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Saturday, September 19 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Sunday, September 20 – 1:00 AM–5:00 PM
Friday, September 25 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Saturday, September 26 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Sunday, September 27 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM

Basil Camu, Leaf and Limb; Bryce Lane, NC State University, and Mark Weathington, JC Raulston Arboretum
Saturday, September 19 – 9:00 AM

"Urukepe From Ecuador—Living with the Chachi"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, September 23 – 3:00 PM

Cohosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"NARGS Fall-bulbs of Greece Tour"
Cyndy Cromwell, Nancy Doubrava, and David White, Piedmont Chapter Members
Saturday, September 26 – 10:00 AM

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

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Begonia grandis 'Pink Teardrops'
hardy begonia
Rhodophiala bifida var. spathacea
pink oxblood-lily
Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Little Henry'
sweet coneflower
Hibiscus syriacus 'Gandini Santiago'
Purple Pilla) upright rose-of-Sharon
Erythrina ×bidwillii
coralbean hybrid
Clerodendrum paniculatum 'Starshine'
pagoda flower
Cyclamen graecum
Greek cyclamen
Osmanthus fragrans f. aurantiacus 'Apricot Gold'
golden sweet-olive
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Four new Midweek with Mark videos were recorded in August and three have been posted to our YouTube Channel. The newest Midweek with Mark video premieres on Monday, August 31. Additionally, the video of the Landscape Color and Professional Field Day was posted. Future Midweek with Mark presentations premiere on YouTube on Mondays.
"Some Like It Hot—Plants That Can Take the Heat" premieres on Monday, August 31.
The Children's Program recently launched a new Virtual Garden Storytime series. Two new videos premiered on YouTube on select Fridays throughout the August.
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.