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

By Mark Weathington, Director

We are open! In the words of Jerry Garcia, "What a long, strange trip it's been." Open times and days are evolving as we figure out the staff needs, university protocols, and visitor safety precautions to take as we switch from a fully online presence to a fully in-person and online presence. As a team of public garden professionals, my staff and I cannot begin to say how much we love seeing you back and wandering the garden. Make sure you check the Web site for hours before coming out.

March was busy for me. In addition to a glorious spring starting, we had our annual Day of Giving with the university. We took what we had learned over the previous 12 months and packed that into an eight hour fundraiser. With a $20,000 board challenge match, we more than doubled our goal of 101 gifts to 230 gifts. We also took in at least 35 new memberships and announced three new endowment gifts—one for Juniper Level Botanic Garden, one for internships, and one for ornamental plant breeding. All told, it was an $850,000 day for the JCRA!

My other big project as we moved back into being open was finalizing the list for our online spring plant sale which opens to members on April 5. This is the biggest plant sale we have ever thrown with over 300 selections and 6,000 plants. We've got reliable garden performers, new introductions, incredibly showy selections, and choices for the most esoteric plant nut. We've even got a few things that would challenge even the best gardener but will provide years of bragging rights and Facebook posts if successful.

See you in the garden.
You Get Us! We Hear You—Loud and Clear!

By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director

We're still reeling with excitement and awe over our Day of Giving success. Over 300 individual gifts, nearly $50,000 donated to our general fund, $275,000 planned gift for Arboretum internships, $500,000+ planned gift for plant breeding, and 89 memberships adding another $5,500 to the day's tally. Your overwhelming support has us a bit awestruck. The sheer number of people who understand and appreciate what we do on a local, national, and international stage humbles us.

NC State University
Day of Giving
March 24
Thank You!

For us, Day of Giving proved to be so much more than just a fundraiser. It reminded us of the symbiotic relationship with those who share our passion for horticulture; understand its importance, and values learning more about it. The relationship is mutually beneficial, one we enjoy and cherish.

At first glance, the Arboretum is a university evaluation garden on 10.5 acres—a beautiful public garden in which to take a stroll, a few photographs, or look for plants to consider for your home landscape. Look a little closer and you see students of all ages in a living laboratory making great use of our invaluable collection. Watch a little longer to see the invaluable connection between plant breeders, nurserymen, and other industry professionals. Sharpen your focus to see the Arboretum's place in diversity and conservation.

We are humbled that leading horticulturist and young rising stars who are changing the way we think about horticulture joined us on the special Day of Giving.

We are thankful. We are motivated. We are planning and planting for a better world because life is too short for boring plants.
Tell us what you liked and what you'd like to see more of in next year's Day of Giving program!
Online Spring Plant Sale

By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director

Trust us, this is a sale you don't want to miss. It is the largest sale we've had in 15 yearsperhaps the largest sale ever. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to review the list, it's extensive! Over 300 different kinds of plants are included in this spring's sale! Members will receive an e-mail from Kathryn Wall with the sale's details soon.

Mark Weathington, our director, takes plant curation and collecting very seriously and this sale captures his passion for the rare and unusual! The list was hand-selected by Mark and our horticultural staff and they can't stop talking about all the cool plants included. 

Online Sales Only No On-site Sales Pickup Only/No Shipping
Members Only Shopping Monday, April 5 at 10:00 AMSunday, April 11
Public Shopping Starts Monday, April 12
Sale Closes  Monday, April 19 at 3:00 PM

Encourage the plant people you know to shop the sale. Even better, get them to become an Arboretum member.

We hope you enjoy the sale. Be warned, the catalog is extensive and we're excited to give our members access to so many great plants. We thank you in advance for supporting the Arboretum. This sale means more to us than ever as we rebuild our resources after last year. 

Pick-up is at the Arboretum during scheduled pickup times starting on Monday, April 26 and ending Thursday, April 29. Sorry, but we will not ship plants for this sale.

All proceeds benefit the daily operations of the JC Raulston Arboretum. All funds raised are collected and managed by the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit (tax ID 56-6049304).
Spring Educational Programs

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant

Every gardener's favorite season is here! The JCRA has something to offer for everyone looking to get the most out of their spring this year, from learning how to grow plants in new ways to polishing your garden photography skills. Join us for classes that are sure to make your skills bloom!

Introduction to Adobe Lightroom Classic: Organizing and Editing Your Photographs
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursdays, April 1, 8, 15, and 22 and May 6 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM 
No Class on April 29

Capturing a photograph is just the first step of digital photography. Learning the rest of the photography workflow is also essential! Learn how to do everything from organizing images to sharing images with Adobe Lightroom Classic, the leading software for beginner to advanced photographers. Learn the basics of how to organize and edit your photographs, including Mary Louise’s own workflow tips!

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!

Herbaceous Perennials Propagation Class and Demonstration
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Saturday, May 15 – 9:00 AM–12:00 PM

Propagating plants is not only an easy way to add plants to your landscape, but also a rewarding one! Join Doug Ruhren in this class and demonstration and learn how to propagate herbaceous perennials. Techniques covered will include division, stem and leaf cuttings, seed, and more. Learn all kind of simple ways that you can use to propagate perennials right at home!

Growing Rice and Other Summer Grains
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Tuesday, May 25 – 6:00 PM–7:30 PM

Learn how to grow rice from the Crazy Grain Lady, Brie Arthur. This combination webinar and interactive demonstration will teach attendees how to cultivate a variety of grains in creative ways, including how to grow rice in a container.
Propagation Workshop
Tim Alderton, Research Technician, and Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
Saturday, May 29 – 9:00 AM–3:00 PM

Have you ever struggled with rooting and producing a new plant from a shoot? Are you interested in the idea of being able to grow your plant collection inexpensively at home? Join the JCRA staff for a hands-on workshop and learn how to asexually propagate your plants! Participants will get to propagate some of their favorite JCRA plants and go home with a greater knowledge of techniques to propagate at home. This workshop is great for all knowledge and experience levels. This workshop is also offered on Saturday, June 5.
Blooming Now

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

Yay! The reopening of the JC Raulston Arboretum has meant that the public is back in public horticulture. And it corresponded with a late winter/early spring that has been an amazing one for its floral displays—one not to be missed.

The magnolia season started with the evergreen Asian species such as M. maudiae and M. platypetala and the late Clifford Parks's hybrid 'Eternal Spring'. One of the best M. maudiae is in the Japanese Garden but is best viewed from the Great Lawn east of the Lath House.

The deciduous Asian magnolias soon followed them and for maybe the third spring in a row were never browned by a frost. So, it seems that white, pink, purple, and yellow are their true colors; not brown. Forever, it seemed as if the blooming of these magnolias guaranteed a frost. Strong winds ripped off most open flowers a few nights ago, but heck, it's spring, and spring can be counted on for severe mood swings. Happily, later flowering varieties soon filled in the gaps.

After many months of bloom, the camellia season is probably going past its peak, but a visit in the near feature should still satisfy the camellia lover. These handsome evergreens have never been so thoroughly covered in flowers.

A visit to the JCRA must include the Lath House. It shelters some true treasures. The flower buds of Rhodoleia henryi, evergreen rose hazel, are quite cold hardy as long as they are dormant, but quite less cold hardy once they break dormancy. Many years, a warm spell will cause the buds to break dormancy and the following cold spell will then kill them, leaving few to open in early spring. Not this year. The bloom is profuse, especially on the cultivar ‘Takeshitasei' (photograph above). It is hard to see how this genus fits into the Hamamelidaceae, the witch hazel family, for the intricate flowers are much more like Japanese paper umbrellas.

The Melliodendron xylocarpum 'Suzuki Pink' is also a must see. It is a Styrax relative, with inch-wide, star-shaped flowers, typically white, but blushed with pink in this cultivar. The slightly reflexed habit of the petals gives the sensation of them being shooting stars.

These are just a few of the must-see plants in flowering now. So do plan a visit. We would love to see you in the garden as well!
Upcoming Events, Programs, and Sales

Monday through Friday at the Visitor Center
12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Tuesdays and Thursdays Outside the Pedestrian Entrance
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM (moved to the Visitor Center at 12:00 PM)

Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursdays, April 1, 8, 15, and 22 and May 6 – 6:30 PM
No Class on April 29

Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Saturday, April 3 – 10:00 AM

"Early Flowering Perennials"
Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Wednesday, April 7 – 3:00 PM

Friday, April 9 – 10:30 AM

"Plant Sale Sneak Peek"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, April 14 – 3:00 PM

Friday, April 16 – 10:30 AM

Cohosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"The Bristol Briar: From Space to Place"
Jeremy Schmidt and Meghan Fidler, Ph.D.
Saturday, April 17 – 10:00 AM

"All About the JC Raulston Arboretum's Choice Plants Program"
Tim Alderton, Research Technician, and Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
Wednesday, April 21 – 3:00 PM

Friday, April 23 – 10:30 AM

Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Saturday, April 24 – 10:00 AM

"Planting a Summer Foodscape Container"
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Wednesday, April 28 – 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
Paeonia lactiflora
Halesia diptera var. magniflora
Florida silverbell
Syringa 'Penda'
Bloomerang re-bloomimg lilac
Magnolia 'Serendipity'
hybrid magnolia
Asarum speciosum 'Woodlander's Select'
Alabama wild ginger
Rhododendron minus 'Southern Cerise'
Piedmont rhododendron
Echinocereus triglochidiatus
claret cup hedgehog cactus
Cornus alternifolia 'W. Stackman'
Golden Shadows variegated pagoda dogwood
Polygonatum odoratum 'Byakko'
white tiger Solomon's seal
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Eight programs were recorded in March and all of them were posted to our YouTube Channel along with two from February. One program remains to be recorded in March. It will be posted soon.
Coming Soon

The following video will be posted to YouTube in early April.
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.