JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update
March 2021
Your Monthly News and Updates
Director's Note

By Mark Weathington, Director

Somebody turn off the faucet! If we don't float away, this will have been a nearly ideal winter for us. Temperatures have stayed consistently cool without the typical swings to killing lows or highs that force early, tender growth. I expect spring to be spectacular assuming we don't have a late freeze (everybody knock on wood). We should be thankful, I'm writing this from East Texas where the recent freeze was devastating to landscapes—not to mention pipes. It will be interesting to re-visit later in spring to evaluate what survived the sub 0°F temperatures. These extreme weather events are one of the best ways for us to find extra hardy forms.
Speaking of spring, signs are looking good that we can welcome visitors back on site. While we aren't counting eggs before they hatch, we are firming up plans for bringing you back. It's been a long year since we closed our gates in March 2020 but we've made new friends, learned new lessons, and are ready to help solve new challenges.

See you in the garden.
Day of Giving

By Carly Dressen, Development Assistant

We’re proud of the way the JCRA has overcome challenges the past year and continued to offer essential programs, projects and events. This would not have been possible without the generous support of our donors. On March 24, NC State is hosting the third annual Day of Giving, a 24-hour fundraising event where the Wolfpack comes together to help us achieve more. 

We are excited to share that the JCRA Advisory Board has funded a challenge to further support your donation. If the JCRA receives 101 gifts on March 24, the JCRA Advisory Board will donate an additional $4,500! Now is the time to offer your support and amplify your gift by helping us reach our goal. Every gift makes a difference and helps us do what we have always donewith even greater impact. 

Be sure to visit the Day of Giving Web site and follow the JCRA on social media to stay up to date on the Day of Giving excitement. Contact Alycia Thornton at alycia_thornton@ncsu.edu if you have any questions or want to learn how to be involved!
Spring Educational Programs

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant

Prepare yourself for spring with new ways to build your garden from the inside-out! Brush up on your technical knowledge of plants by getting ready for your vegetable garden or learn a new skill like pruning and grafting. No matter what you're looking to get into this spring, the Arboretum has a class for you.

Spring Garden Veggie Prep
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Wednesdays, March 3 through 17 – 6:00 PM–8:00 PM

Are you ready to grow your most successful vegetable garden yet? Come join us in this three-session online class to get inspired and learn everything that you need to know about the ins and outs of vegetable gardening! Brie Arthur will guide us from beginning to end, covering everything from seed selection and finding the best growing areas to crop rotations and succession planting. Don’t hesitate; join us today!

Deciduous Conifer Grafting Workshop
Leanne Kenealy, Owner, Dynamic Plants
Saturday, March 6 – 9:00 AM–12:00 PM

For a variety of plants, even those rare and expensive, grafting is the only way to successfully propagate them. In this hands-on workshop, Leanne Kenealy will teach, demonstrate, and assist with grafting plants successfully. Participants will get to graft their own plants! A grafting knife is required, but we don't have time to order them any more! However, you can order them from Amazon. We may one or two left over from last year's workshop. Please contact Chris Glenn at chris_glenn@ncsu.edu to check availability.

Renewal Pruning Class and Demonstration
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Saturday, March 13 – 9:00 AM–11:30 AM

Are you interested in maximizing the production of your shrubs? Renewal pruning is your solution! Doug will teach us this simple to learn skill by teaching us about shrubs and how renewal pruning works, along with demonstrations of this technique using Arboretum shrubs. Ready to learn something new?
The Best of Bryce: Talks That Make Us Better Gardeners
Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, March 15 through May 3 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

Hear some of Bryce's best lectures in this weekly series! From the importance of biodiversity in the garden to warding off animal pests, polish up on your horticulture expertise as Bryce tackles gardening woes and gives us advice on how to creatively develop our gardens. At the end of each lecture, there will even be time for Q&A. Join us for discussions on all of the most current, relevant, and popular gardening topics!

The Home Gardener's Guide to Hydroponics
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Saturday, April 3 – 10:00 AM–12:00 PM

Hydroponic gardening gives home gardeners new opportunities to maximize their yields. Join local horticulturist and home hydroponic grower Brie Arthur as she teaches us all about growing in water! This discussion will focus on outdoor implementation and even cover aeroponic and aquaponic setups. Learn how to establish your own setups everywhere from your landscape to your front porch! This class is great for even beginner gardeners, so if you're looking to learn something new, don’t miss out and sign up today!

A Guide to Growing Tomatoes in the Southeast
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Saturday, April 24 – 10:00 AM–12:00 PM

There isn’t a Southern gardener who doesn’t love growing tomatoes when the season for them comes around. While the Southeastern climate may make them a challenge to cultivate, this great discussion with Brie Arthur will help you make the process all the easier. Learn about variety selection, the best growing methods, how to deal with soil-borne diseases, and much, much more. You'll be growing beautiful tomatoes in no time!
Help Support Online Programming

The JC Raulston Arboretum has been offering online programming for months with great success. As we return to in-person programming later in 2021, we're planning on offering as many of these programs online as well. We'll also continue to offer programming exclusively online, too. In an effort to improve the audio quality of our online programming (and in-person programming, too), some new technology needs to be purchased. The first item that we'd like to purchase are two compact, portable wireless microphone systems for capturing high quality audio for both our youth and adult educational programs.

If you'd like to help the JCRA improve the audio quality of our programming, please consider making a donation to support the purchase of these microphone systems. We'd like to purchase two of these systems at $250.00 each (one has already been purchased and has already improved online programming). A tax-deductible donation can be made to the JCRA General Fund using our online giving site to support this request. If you make a donation for this purchase, please let Kathy Field know that you've made a donation to purchase the wireless microphones. She can be reached at (919) 513-0264 or kathy_field@ncsu.edu.

We thank you for supporting the JC Raulston Arboretum, for supporting a greener world, and for supporting the our educational programs.
WowSummer Camps! Who Knew?

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

Did you know that this will be the 8th year of summer camps? Did you know that spots went amazingly fast on the first day of member registration?

Well, if you answered no to either of these questions, then now you know, and there is still time to be part of our camp family this summer! We have three spots still availabletwo in the June Garden Critters camp and one in the July Garden Critters camp. Garden Critters is a half-day camp for preschoolers (four and five year olds) where they explore the garden looking for and learning about a new garden critter each day. Grab these last spots today!

If you answered yes to the questions and missed out on the camp of your choice, please add your name to the waitlist! Let me say that againadd your name to the waitlist! As conditions improve and gathering limits change, we can add more campers to each session of camp. Members who put their name on the waitlist during member-only registration will be the first campers on the waitlist when we have more spots available!

Public registration begins on Monday, March 8 so make sure to add your name to the waitlist before then to be first in line when new camp spots open up!
New Membership Benefit Provider and Survey
By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

Durham Garden Center is the newest benefit provider for JC Raulston Arboretum members. Located at 4536 Hillsborough Road in Durham, Durham Garden Center will offer a 20% discount on the total purchase price to card-holding members of the JCRA. Some of you may know their general manager, Keith Lukowski, who is also a member, a graduate of NC State University's Department of Horticultural Science, and former garden supervisor and programs coordinator at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. Tell him hello! Check them out online at http://www.durhamgardencenternc.com/.

Several of our benefit providers are having weekend open houses including Garden Treasures and Plant Delights and Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. Many are stocking up with plants for the spring growing season. Thank you to all our partners who provide discounts and special offers to our members!
You can see the whole list on the JCRA's Web site

We value feedback from our members and thank you in advance for completing this five-minute survey on our member benefits.
March Brings More Children’s Program Fun, Rain, or Shine!

By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

We hope everyone has been enjoying our weekly children's programs. This month's theme is weather! Ms. Joy and Ms. Elizabeth will be exploring weather and how it affects our gardens this month. Join us for a storytime online or for a glimpse into the gardens on Facebook Live.  

Friday, March 5 Family Garden Spot
Friday, March 12 Garden Storytime
Friday, March 19 Family Garden Spot
Friday, March 26 Garden Storytime

Bring the theme alive in your garden with one of our Garden Activity Kits! For each theme, we pick one of our favorite books and pair it with a fun activity for your family to do together.

Hope to see you on Fridays at 10:30 AM!
Master Gardening

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

February was a month of many educational opportunities at the JC Raulston Arboretum. All were held online. My coworkers and I had the great honor and responsibility to answer the questions posted by participants in the chat. 

I guess it is the case that now a day, the phrase "old wives' tales" is politically incorrect. Yet I can't help but say that there certainly are some spouses-of-a-certain-age's tales that just won't die. Now if you are reading this, these are things that you know are not right or true, but we can all help beginning gardeners become better ones.

Many questions were asked if one could use their own tree leaves and pine needles as mulch. It is almost universally the case that yes, one can and should use their own. We use leaf mulch at the Arboretum. The price is right. They are free! Why get rid of free mulch only to buy mulch? And think of the energy that is saved. No energy was spent to haul the leaves off to a landfill. So, using what your own garden produced saves your budget and the planet. 

Many were concerned about pine needles or tree leaves making soil too acidic. It's possible that a soil might, over a long period of time, be made slightly more acidic, but not to a significant degree. And if it was true, the remedy would be easy and cheap. It would be applying lime. Soils, especially those with clay have a huge buffering capacity so it takes a huge amount of chemicals to raise or lower the pH of the soil. 

And of course, there were questions about fertilizing one's garden. Whether to apply fertilizer and/or lime, and what type of fertilizer to apply can only be answered by a soil test. The wiser ones amongst us don't take prescription drugs unless a doctor has determined that they are needed. 

What an honor and joy it is to provide information that makes another person a better gardener. I know that I am always thankful for those that educate me on this never-ending journey. Did you know that there are 30 species of magnolias that are native to the country of Columbia?
Upcoming Events, Programs, and Sales

Open Tuesdays and Thursdays
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

"Highlights and History of the Asian Valley"
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Wednesday, March 3 – 3:00 PM

Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Wednesday, March 3, 10, and 17 – 6:00 PM

A Facebook Live Event
Friday, March 5 – 10:30 AM

Leanne Kenealy, Owner, Dynamic Plants
Saturday, March 6 – 9:00 AM

Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, March 10 – 3:00 PM

"An Introduction to East Asian Cymbidiums"
Michael Hwang
Thursday, March 11 – 7:00 PM

Friday, March 12 – 10:30 AM

Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Saturday, March 13 – 9:00 AM

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, March 15 through May 3 – 6:30 PM

"All About Narcissus"
Tim Alderton, Research Technician, and Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
Wednesday, March 17 – 3:00 PM

Garden Spotlight
Friday, March 19 – 10:30 AM

Cohosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"A Floral Journey: Discovering the Magic of Flowers"
John Dole, Ph.D., Associate Dean and Director for Academic Programs, NC State Extension, NC State University
Saturday, March 20 – 10:00 AM

"How to Divide Perennials"
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Wednesday, March 24 – 3:00 PM

Friday, March 26 – 10:30 AM

JCRA Staff
Wednesday, March 31 – 3:00 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
Magnolia 'Iolanthe'
Jury hybrid magnolia
Magnolia 'Goldfinch'
hybrid magnolia
Iris [Reticulata Group] 'Cantab'
netted iris
Chaenomeles 'Scarlet Storm' (Double Take)
hybrid flowering quince
Keteleeria davidiana var. davidiana
David's keteleeria
Ipheion uniflorum
spring star flower
Syringa oblata subsp. dilatata
Korean early lilac
Cercis canadensis 'Jn7'
Summer's Tower upright redbud
Prunus 'Umineko'
Japanese flowering cherry
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Many new videos were recorded in February and most of them were posted to our YouTube Channel. The remaining two videos are coming coming soon.
Coming Soon

The following videos will be posted to YouTube in early March.
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

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.