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

By Mark Weathington, Director

Welcome to fall! What a very strange growing season it has been and not one I hope to repeat. The gardens are well on their way to being ready to open and I hope my next e-Update message will be welcoming you back into the garden. The incredible staff here has used the opportunity to move us in some very interesting new ways forward.

Online programming has been hot. Our free Gardening in the South program had over 500 registrants and our November, "Falling for Color" symposium is filling fast. We've been able to reach even our furthest flung members and welcomed many more as new friends who we will continue to serve as we begin the re-opening process.

One of the real bright spots for this new way of operating has been the Children's Program. Elizabeth and team are developing curricula and activities to send into classrooms to support teachers whether they are teaching remotely or in person. The pilot session is in the review phase with teachers now and new sessions are in process now. This remote education makes use of our gardens, collections, and knowledgeable staff to reach students throughout North Carolina including in some of the most remote counties. Another pilot project that has just been kicked off is the Grow Box subscription service in partnership with NC 4-H. Every two months a new box with plants, tools, activities, and a magazine are sent to subscribers across the state. The initial response was overwhelming and necessitated doubling our planned recipients.

There is an obvious need and desire well beyond Wake and the neighboring counties. Our efforts to reach across the state and beyond has been a challenge and has been where we have concentrated our endeavors over the summer. The dividends are paying off now and will continue well into the future.

Now to get out in the garden and pull some weeds.…

See you in the garden (soon, I promise).
Members-only Preorder Plant Sale

By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

We're hearing from members that they have been spending more time in their home gardens and finding more peace and relaxation in gardening. Just in time for fall planting, we're offering the annual Members-only Preorder Plant Sale. One of the many benefits of being a member of the Arboretum is access to cool plants you didn't know you needed in your life. 
Members-only Preorder Plant Sale

Saturday, October 3 through Monday, October 12

The sale will be managed through our virtual Fall Fundraiser, located in our ClickBid e-store.
After your order is placed, you will receive an e-mail confirmation and link to schedule your pickup time. Plants may be picked up at the Arboretum by appointment only on October 2931.
There is an online only sale and payments are made online. No shipping is available.

You must be a member of the Arboretum to participate in the sale. If your friends or family want to shop, they can become a member when they place their order.

Photograph: Euscaphis japonica – sweetheart tree
"Falling for Color" at the JC Raulston Arboretum

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant
The turn of the seasons means that JC Raulston Arboretum's favorite event is finally here: the Fall Symposium! This year, we have plenty of presentations that will have you inspired and excited.

At the end of the day, every gardener wants more plants, choices, and options to make the most out of our gardening season. During "Gardening in OvertimeGetting the Most out of Your Late-season Display," Dan Benarcik will teach us how to prolong both the gardening season for both Fall and Spring! Learn new techniques, get plant suggestions and polish your design skills with helpful tips to get the most out of your garden this year.

Plants aren't just about their visual appeal. In "More than a Colorful Plant: Trials at Mt. Cuba Center," Eileen D. Boyle will teach us how the Mt. Cuba Center conducts trials to determine the ecological and horticultural value of native plants. Eileen will go over Mt. Cuba Center's winners such as baptisia and phlox, as well as how flowers affect the behavior of our local pollinators. Eileen will introduce us to a rainbow of plants that will convince you to fill your gardens with more than just ornamentals.

Jim Harbage and Jim Sutton of Longwood Gardens will talk to us about their experiences with chrysanthemums in "Falling for Color by Raising Chrysanthemums." Learn how the team at Longwood raised their levels of chrysanthemum culture and training to get the most out of these iconic fall flowers and bring new levels of color, design and tradition to the Longwood Garden displays. They will discuss everything from the choreography involved during the design process of these remarkable flowers to the management of their remarkable inventory of are cultivars, and even the Japanese and Chinese training techniques they employ. Learn what makes their annual Chrysanthemum Festival (photograph above) so great!

Based on "The Disturbances of the Garden" published recently in The New Yorker, Harvard professor Jamaica Kincaid will provide insight on her relationship with gardening and how gardening and plants act as the center of the world and our lives as we understand them. 

How does Jason Reeves from the University of Tennessee Gardens bring whimsy and creativity into the gardens at Jackson while working with limited funds? In "Cast Away: Turning Trash into Treasure," Jason Reeves will go into all the unconventional and wonderful ways you can use nontraditional items to decorate your gardens with imaginative art. He will discuss the various wonderful and wacky features at the Tennessee Gardens, including the 44' wall of suspended bottles that draws thousands of visitors each year.

There is a treasure trove of knowledge to be found at this year's Fall Symposium, so be sure you don't miss out!
Fall Educational Programs

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant

The fall season is finally in full swing! Join us as we move from learning about some of the world's most remarkable gardens to getting hands-on and propagating our own ferns. We have plenty of events for you this season to make this fall an forgettable one for you and your garden at home. Join us before it's too late! 
Exploring the Diversity of Camellias
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Saturday, October 31
9:00 AM–12:00 PM

Brie Arthur, propagator, grower, and camellia enthusiast will spend this morning teaching us about camellias! Brie will go over how to cultivate camellias in zones 7–9 for high impact-interest all the way through fall, winter and spring. The first and second hour will be devoted to covering fall-blooming and winter-blooming variations of the camellia, and then Brie will spend the following hour going over the specifics of site selection, propagation, pruning and more. Ready to become a camellia expert?
Gardens of the World Part Two: Western European Wonders
Bryce Lane, NC State University
Mondays, November 2 through December 14 (except November 23)
6:30 PM–8:30 PM

Gardens of the World is a six-week installment covering distinguished professor and gardener Bryce Lane’s favorite gardens from around the world! Travel the world with us as we visit gardens from France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Locations will include Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny France, breathtaking island villa gardens in Northern Italy, and even more remarkable places. As we tour, Bryce will teach us gardening lessons along the way and how to apply them to our own gardens!
Digital Photography Essentials Workshops
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Mondays, November 30 through December 14 – Canon Photographers
Tuesdays, December 1 through December 15 – Nikon Photographers
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

Ready to get started with your Canon or Nikon digital camera? Learn all the camera essentials to get you started on taking photos beyond the automatic/program nodes in these beginner-friendly classes. You’ll even learn how to improve outside of the classroom when we learn how to interpret our images to make the following 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.
Fern Propagation Workshop
Bob Payne, Wake County Extension Master Gardener
Saturday, December 5
9:00 AM–12:00 PM

Ferns are a lovely addition to any home garden, bringing variety to your landscape in every possible way. Learn how to propagate your very own ferns from spores in this hands-on workshop! We’ll go over the reproductive cycle of ferns as well as learn new terms such as gametophytes and sporophytes, and then clean and sow your own spores. Participants will be able to take home a variety of ferns in all stages of development! Workshop supplies will be available for pickup at the JC Raulston Arboretum or available for shipment with an additional fee.
The FOA Annual Plant Distribution's Plants

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

It’s October 1. The Friends of the Arboretum Annual Plant Distribution is on October 2 and 3. I have truly woken up several mornings way too early (3:30 AM one morning) worrying about how we are going to get almost six thousand plants into about one thousand bags and into the hands of about seven hundred JCRA members. Thank goodness I work with an amazing team of co-workers here at the Arboretum who are handling many different parts of this event.

What I really want to write about is that I hope you like the plants that you get. Some plants are in extremely small numbers so only a few of you will receive them. Others are in large numbers, 80, 100, or more of one plant, so many of you will receive a fig or a conifer, or a daylily. Please note that we will work hard so what you get is a mix of plants, not a bag solely of multiple plants of Welwitschia mirabilis and nothing else.

Many of you will receive a conifer. Tim Alderton is a wiz at rooting them, but most don't sell well on the JCRA's plant cart. I wish I knew why. I love conifers. And I'll let you in on a little secret: conifers do not need to be grown in a conifer garden any more than roses need to be grown in a rose garden. Indeed, I think they are more interesting combined with other types of plants. Many conifers have very distinct shapes and can act as sculptures in the garden. And if your garden is small there are many dwarf selections.

There's a good chance you will receive a plant of Ficus carica, the common fig. Even more than summer tomatoes, fig perfection is best achieved by growing your own, for an individual fruit is at its best for an extremely short time. They are best plucked from the plant and popped in your mouth or that of someone you love very dearly. Figs are extremely easy to grow, provided you can provide a sunny location. Since the main crop is borne on new wood, a summer crop will follow even after hard pruning in late winter.

And there is a very good chance you will receive bulbs of the summer snowflake, Leucojum aestivum. It is as easy and reliable as the best of the daffodils. It will even tolerate damp, poorly drained soil. It will increase every year forever. Like the larger daffodils, its great volume of foliage takes several months to mature and fade away so place it where you won't have to look at this foliage, such as behind big summer herbaceous perennials which were dormant when the Leucojum flowered in late winter.

There are a very small number of non-winter hardy plants in the giveaway. And these are primarily agaves and mangaves. These are very forgiving houseplants because they will tolerate many weeks without water and, though intolerant of hard freezes, will tolerate very cool conditions.

Beyond these few highlights are nearly 300 other types of plants in the giveaway, so expect surprises.

In a perfect world, you would be tickled pink by every plant you receive. But if not, pass them on to someone who would be. Though we do produce many plants specifically for the giveaway, and a number of generous nurseries donate plants, it is (and always has been) a chance for the Arboretum to get plants out of the nursery that do not need to be there anymore. So thank you for your support of the JCRA and your understanding during what I hope will remain an unique FOA Annual Plant Distribution.
Bonus for Members

By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

Ordering fall bulbs? Brent and Becky’s Bulbs will donate 25% of orders placed on our behalf. You can support the JC Raulston Arboretum by following these simple steps.

  1. Visit the Bloomin’ Bucks Web site (Note: Due to high order volume, they've suspended new orders until October 6, 2020).
  2. You will be reminded that no other discounts apply. Click "yes" and continue to the Bloomin' Bucks site.
  3. Click on Fall Planted to order your bulbs.
  4. If asked for a customer number at checkout, click "never received catalog."
  5. At checkout, make sure JC Raulston Arboretum is shown under your total.
  6. Bulbs will be shipped to your home.

When you follow these steps, 25% of your purchases will support the JCRA. Thanks to Brent and Becky's Bulbs for supporting the Arboretum!

Photograph: Sternbergia sicula
Bonus for Members

Free one year’s subscription courtesy of the American Public Gardens Association.
Upcoming Events, Programs, and Sales

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

Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout October – 8:00 AM–4:00 PM

Wednesdays throughout the month at 3:00 PM.

Friday, October 2 and Saturday, October 3
Pickup time reservations required (see Kathryn Wall's e-mail)

Saturday, October 3 through Monday, October 12
Look for Kathryn Wall's e-mail about the sale in your inbox in early October 

"October Glory: The Peak of Fall Bloom"
Tuesday, October 6 – 1:00 PM

Cohosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"Confessions of a Plant Nerd"
Joseph Tychonievich, Horticulturist, Writer, Speaker, and Plant Breeder
Saturday, October 24 – 10:00 AM

Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Saturday, October 31 – 9:00 AM

Save the Dates

Rare Plant Auction
November 6 through Saturday, November 14
Look for more information on the JCRA's home page in early November.

"Falling for Color"
Featuring Dan Benarcik, Chanticleer; Eileen D. Boyle, Mt. Cuba Center; Jim Harbage, Ph.D., and Jim Sutton, Longwood Gardens; Jamaica Kincaid, Harvard University; and Jason Reeves, University of Tennessee Gardens
Saturday, November 14 – 9:00 AM

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

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Acer saccharum 'Flax Mill Majesty'
sugar maple
Helianthus simulans
swamp sunflower
Dryopteris erythrosora
autumn fern
Rhododendron 'Conlef'
Autumn Cheer Encore azalea
Crocus niveus (late blooming form)
autumn-flowering crocus
Crocus sativus
saffron crocus
Malus micromalus
Kaido crab apple
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Many new videos were recorded in September and posted to our YouTube Channel. In addition to a Plantsmen's Tour, an FOA Lecture, and a NARGS (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture, five new Midweek with Mark presentations were uploaded.
All three Gardening in the South presentations and the concluding questions and answers were recorded. They're premiering on YouTube one video at a time on Saturdays throughout October (note dates below).
Premieres Saturday, October 3
Premieres Saturday, October 10
Premieres Saturday, October 17
Premieres Saturday, October 17
The Children's Program posted two new Virtual Garden Storytimes in September.
We've also gone through our archives and pulled four 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.