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

By Mark Weathington, Director

The JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University's mission is "to introduce, display, distribute, and promote plants that diversify the American landscape, benefiting our communities economically, environmentally, and aesthetically, and to provide educational experiences for the general public, students, and the green industry." Traditionally, much of that mission is accomplished on-site through events and programming. Daily visitation offers the opportunity for the public to see new plants, be inspired, and to learn through interpretive signage and interaction with staff and volunteers.

During the JCRA's closure since mid-March, the Arboretum's staff has done a heroic job of continuing our mission through other channels. Already this year more plants have been distributed than in any recent year through plant sales, germplasm exchanges with researchers and breeders, distributions to nurserymen, and giveaways including over 6,000 plants given away free to our members. In addition, Green Industry professionals from small one-person nurseries to some of the largest U.S. nursery operations have been able to access the JCRA collections by appointment and following safety protocols.
The education mission has continued unabated switching mostly seamlessly from in-person to virtual with weekly free programming, in-depth multi-session offerings, hands-on workshops, symposia, professional trainings, and tours. An unforeseen but added benefit of offering these programs virtually means that most are recorded and available on the JCRA's YouTube Channel for consumption that fits any viewers schedule. These virtual offerings have also widened our membership base as we bring our mission well beyond central North Carolina. NC State classes that use the JCRA as a living laboratory as well as faculty whose research relies on our collections continue to have access to the grounds.

Necessity being the mother of invention, the JCRA Children's Program has teamed up with NC 4-H to develop subscription Grow Boxes which contain tools, plants, experiments, and activities delivered right to a child's door. This program's initial sold-out mailing reached children in 32 N.C. counties bringing a bit of the Arboretum to even the most remote parts of the state. Free classroom content is also being developed and recorded to help supplement the amazing work N.C. elementary school teachers are doing under such difficult circumstances.

The JCRA staff would very much like to see the return of the public to our gardens but we also have a responsibility to be a safe space for our visitors, our staff, our volunteers, and our collections. To properly and safely re-open will require taking focus away from our mission delivery rather than adding to it. With that in mind I, with the support of the Department of Horticultural Science and College administration, have made the decision to remain closed through the end of the year. We will continue to re-evaluate our opening date which will take place in 2021.

We understand that a garden is a visceral experience and not a virtual one. However, this year has shown us that the garden is only a part of what makes the JCRA so meaningful. When we do re-open our gates, rest assured that we will be a stronger organization even more capable of continuing to deliver impactful results throughout North Carolina and across the country.

Thank you for your continuous support of the JC Raulston Arboretum.
Grow a Gardener with the Grow Box

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

Our inaugural Grow Box received rave reviews from families … “We loved it! It was really well put together and thought out! My kids loved every activity we tried and the ones we haven't yet I'm saving for a rainy day when we need a fun activity they have loved everything so far and I plan to check out the rest of the resources over the next month or so with the kids! I enjoyed it almost as much as they did and it was a great way to help kick off our fall garden! We're looking forward to the next boxes!"

We are so excited that the activities reached so many young gardeners and want to keep reaching even more families to cultivate more gardeners! November/December's box is available for order and will be packed full of activities on propagation. There will be succulents to practice leaf propagation, houseplant cuttings to root, seeds to experiment with breaking seed dormancy, and so much more!

Order one for your family, friends, or neighbors! Estimated shipping date is November 16, so make sure to get your order in today!
Fall Symposium

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant
Fall is finally at our doorstep, which means that the JC Raulston Arboretum's favorite seasonal event is finally here: the Fall Symposium! This year, we have plenty of great speakers and presentations to keep you inspired and excited.  

Dan Benarcik, the Courtyard Gardens horticulturist at Chanticleer, specializes in tropical, sub-tropical, and tender perennials for seasonal display. With "Gardening in Overtime—Getting the Most out of Your Late-season Display," Dan 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. 

Eileen Boyle is the director of conservation and research at Mt. Cuba Center. During her 15-year tenure at MCC, she's also acted as their director of education and created their Ecological Gardening Certificate. In "More than a Colorful Plant: Trials at Mt. Cuba Center," Eileen will teach us how the Mt. Cuba Center conducts trials to determine the ecological and horticultural value of native plants. On top of this, Eileen will introduce us to a rainbow of plants that will convince you to fill your gardens with more than just ornamentals.

Jim Harbage is the director of floriculture and conservatories at Longwood Gardens while Jim Sutton acts as the associate director of display design at Longwood Gardens. As the director, Jim Harbage leads the floriculture division and is responsible for acquiring and producing seasonal plants as well as managing Longwood's conservatories. Jim Sutton oversees themes and ideas for world-class horticulture displays. 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. Learn what makes their annual Chrysanthemum Festival so great!

Jamaica Kincaid is the professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Jamaica is both a gardener and gardening writer and has written extensively on the subject. Based on "The Disturbances of the Garden" published recently in The New Yorker, she 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.

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. 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.

With such a fantastic array of events and speakers, we know you are just as excited as we are for this year’s Fall Symposium! Be sure you don’t miss out and sign up before it's too late!
Fall Educational Programs

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant

The fall season is 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 your own ferns. We have plenty of programs for you this season to make this fall an unforgettable 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

Spend a Saturday with camellia enthusiast Brie Arthur as she goes over the southern favorite, the camellia! This three-hour virtual session will cover insights on how to cultivate camellias in zones 7–9 for high impact interest through the fall, winter, and spring. This class is divided into three sections with breaks, covering topics such as different species of Camellias and everything you need to know on taking care of these beautiful flowers.
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 gardener and professor Bryce Lane’s favorite gardens from around the world! Travel the world with us to gardens in Spain, Germany, France, and Italy. Locations will include Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, France, breathtaking villa gardens in Northern Italy, and plenty more remarkable locations. Throughout our tour, Bryce will teach us valuable gardening lessons and how to apply them to your gardens at home.
Digital Photography Essentials Workshops for Canon and Nikon Photographers
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Mondays, November 30 through December 14 – 7:00 PM–8:30 PM – Canon Photographers
Tuesdays, December 1 through December 15 – 7:00 PM–8:30 PM – Nikon Photographers

Ready to get started with your Canon or Nikon digital camera? Are you a beginnering photographer? Learn all the camera essentials as well as how to interpret our images for better photographs in the future. You’ll be taking beautiful photos in no time! While all concepts and features discussed will be relevant to all types of digital cameras, please register for the correct class depending upon the make of your digital camera.
Fern Propagation Workshop
Bob Payne, Wake County Extension Master Gardener
Saturday, December 5 – 9:00 AM12:00 PM

Ferns add a delightful pop of color and texture anywhere you incorporate them. 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.

Photograph: Camellia ×hiemalis 'Rose of Autumn'
Holiday Creations at Home

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

We are missing teaching and hanging out in the gardens with all our families, but we can't let 2020 end without one of our favorite programsHoliday Creations! With a little twist on this beloved JCRA Children's Program tradition, we will still get to craft together with materials from the Arboretum's gardens. Let us gather the materials from the Arboretum gardens. You pick them up and provide the table at your house to craft on while we meet over Zoom!  

Register for one bag of materials for the family to complete the projects together or one bag for each child (or adult) that wants to participate. We will supply most everything you'll need, but you might need to add a few common supplies like crayons, markers, tape, or glue (we will give you a list!).  

Make sure to join us on Saturday morning through Zoom to follow along as Ms. Elizabeth and friends show you how to transform ordinary garden materials into creative decorations! Parents or caregivers need to be "hands-on" during this activity since smaller hands will need supervision and might need a little extra help with some craft activities. The Zoom portion of the program will be recorded and available to registered participants in case you are unable to attend the live program or need to review a craft!

Material Pickups

Thursday, December 3 – 12:00 PM–2:00 PM
Friday, December 4 – 10:00 AM–12:00 PM

Virtual Program to Craft Together

Saturday, December 5 – 10:30 AM
Holiday Wreath Sale

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant, and Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Set the mood for this holiday season with a beautiful JC Raulston Arboretum wreath! The JC Raulston Arboretum has opened their first ever wreath sale. These wreaths are made right here at the Arboretum and are perfect as a standalone decoration or as the finishing touch to match your holiday décor.

Small wreaths (12" ring) are perfect for regular sized doors, while large wreaths (16" ring) are best suited for larger doors, fireplaces, and walls. Preorders open for members today and on November 8 for the public. Pickups for wreaths are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, December 4 (afternoon) and 5 (morning). Don’t miss out on your chance to get your own designer wreath to make this season a special one!

Each wreath will be unique and will contain a variety of greenery. A limited selection of wreaths will be available to choose from during the scheduled pickups. There will be no advantage to schedule a pickup on either day or at any particular time. Everyone will have an equal opportunity to choose their wreath. The photograph above is of a wreath made by a workshop participant. Bows are not included.
Moonlight in the Garden Virtual Music Nights

Free Virtual Concerts Coming This November

By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director

Moonlight in the Garden has become an annual tradition for all of us. We simply refuse to let November pass without enjoying a little virtual moonlight magic.

Everyone involved in this amazing project has donated their time and talent to making it happen. Southern Lights of Raleigh designed and lit our venue, Tea Cup Gin and 2 Digh 4 gave it their all as they performed for one of the most diversified plant collections around, and Denver Dan and his team at Raleigh NC Films brought together all things audio and visual.

Final edits are being made on two virtual concerts for you to enjoy with your family and friends. Grab a cup of hot cider, gather around your fire pit or fireplace, roast a marshmallow or two, and enjoy these two talented bands.

Tea Cup Gin shares a passion for crafting original indie-jazz cocktails under the influence of an eclectic blend of 20th century musical genres.

2 Digh 4 is a Fuquay-Varina hometown band who is climbing the music charts as a southern rock band with hits like "North Carolina."

Both bands will be debuting several songs from their upcoming albums. We hope you enjoy the shows!

Watch our Web site and social media for developing details.

Both performances are free. However, if you would like to make a donation in the spirit of Moonlight in the Garden we would appreciate it.
T-shirts and Sweatshirts and Caps, Oh, My!

By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director

We've refilled our stock just in time for the cooler days ahead. Don't miss this window to buy your JCRA apparel online—shipping is included.

Warm up with a new JCRA sweatshirt or ball cap; all sizes and colors are available.

All prices include shipping and JCRA apparel makes a great gift.
Fall Bloomers

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

Today is one of the last days of October and the three monarch butterflies visiting the basil at home reminded me that I had to write this article. Late blooming flowers are essential to monarchs and other pollinators. One of the two basils is the hybrid 'African Blue'. It is a pollinator supporter almost without equal. It flowers from the time of planting in spring up to frost. The second basil is Amazel Basil, an Italian basil that is grown from cuttings, not seed, and is amazingly disease resistant. Its foliage is still healthy, and it only recently started blooming. Basil belongs to the genus Ocimum and Ocimum is one of 236 genera in the mint family, Lamiaceae, a family of over 7,000 species. It is a family chock full of insect pollinated flowers.

The aster or composite family, the Asteraceae, is another family highly favored by late season pollinators. Single flowered chrysanthemums experience rush hour traffic of the six-legged sort on sunny days. Other late flowering members of the aster family include asters (both species still classified as Aster as well as those moved into brand new genera with user-unfriendly names such as Symphyotrichum and Ampelaster). A few other members of this family are the goldenrods (Solidago), tickseed (Bidens), and cosmos (Cosmos).

There are fall blooming woody plants that also nourish pollinators. They add to the flowers of such long-flowering shrubs such as Buddleia, Cestrum, and Serissa that continue into fall. Native witchhazel, Hamamelis virginiana, blooms now. The cultivars 'Harvest Moon' and 'Little Prospect' are two cultivars in the JC Raulston Arboretum collections. Camellia sasanqua might be the most glorious fall flowering woody plant. It really needs to be much more widely planted. And remember it loves sun! Single flowered sasanqua cultivars are highly favored by pollinators. Now is a great time to go shopping for fall blooming camellias.

Tea olive, Osmanthus fragrans, improves the quality of life as its fragrance fills all garden spaces with each successive flush of flowers. This year, it started at least a month early, along with several other historically October bloomers which flowered in September. I haven't studied tea olive in flower, but surely its fragrance invites many pollinators. Autumn olive, Elaeagnus pungens and its hybrid Elaeagnus ×ebbingei also bloom now.

It's important to locate plants for late-season pollinator support in locations that are sunny at this time of year. Insects are solar powered and will not visit flowers in shady locations on cool days. Remember that the sun travels a very different route through the sky at this time of the year compared to summer. What was sunny in summer might not be now shaded and vice versa.

What we do in our gardens can have a positive impact on the creatures that share this planet with us. Gardening matters. I hope those three monarchs found enough nourishment from those basil flowers to continue their flight to Mexico.
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 November except Thanksgiving Day – 8:00 AM–4:00 PM

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

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, November 2 through December 14 (except November 23), 2020 – 6:30 PM

"A New Year Begins: The Second Growing Season"
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Tuesday, November 3 – 1:00 PM

"Bring on the Blues—Blue Flowers, Blue Foliage, Blue Fruit for Southern Gardens"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, November 4 – 3:00 PM

"The Travels and Travails of David Douglas"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, November 11 – 3:00 PM

Friday, November 13 – 10:00 AM

"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

"Beyond Camellia japonica, the Other Camellias and their Relatives"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, November 18 – 3:00 PM

Cohosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"Sailing from Canada to Greenland: Arctic Warming in the Northwest Passage"
Janice Swab, Professor Emerita, Meredith College
Saturday, November 21 – 10:00 AM

Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Mondays, November 30 through December 14 – 7:00 PM

✽Denotes a children's program.

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

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Acer sieboldianum 'Seki-no-kegon'
weeping Siebold's maple
Crocus pulchellus
autumn-flowering crocus
Chrysanthemum 'Miss Gloria's Thanksgiving Day'
garden chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum 'Gethsemane Moonlight'
garden chrysanthemum
Lindera glauca
silver spicebush
Hibiscus makinoi
sea hibiscus
Arbutus unedo 'Elfin King'
compact strawberry tree
Acer japonicum 'Vitifolium'
full moon maple
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Many new videos were recorded in October and posted to our YouTube Channel. In addition to a Plantsmen's Tour and a NARGS (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture, three new Midweek with Mark presentations were uploaded. A Midweek with Bryce presentation was recorded in late October and premieres on YouTube on Monday, November 2.
Premieres Monday, November 2
The Children's Program posted two new Virtual Garden Storytimes in October.
We've also gone through our archives and pulled three of our favorites from 2011 and 2012 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.
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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