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

By Mark Weathington, Director

It has been so wonderful seeing so many of you again face to face, even if masks make it a bit tricky to identify everyone. I can see the raised spirits in all of the JCRA team's faces as we welcome the public back to our public garden. Our hours will be expanding as we realign schedules and staff up for spring. Make sure to check the Web site before visiting to ensure we are open.
By the end of May, we'll be almost feeling like normal with interns back on-site, and an in-person propagation workshop happening. We're continuing our online programming all month but I want to encourage you to sign up for our 3rd annual Southeastern Plant Symposium. Like 2020, this one will be strictly online despite our hopes to see you all in person. We've got some of the best of the best lined up literally an A to Z of speakers—from Aaron Floden of the Missouri Botanic Garden to Peter Zale of Longwood Gardens. You don't want to miss them or the Rare Plant Auction which accompanies the program. Once again, we plan on shipping smaller-sized plants throughout the lower 48 states.
Come on out for a wander, enjoy the spectacular spring, and say hello to all of the staff and volunteers you see. We've missed you.

See you in the garden.
April Showers Bring More May Hours

By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director

We are thrilled to let our members and supporters know starting Monday, May 3, our gates will open at 9:00 am and close at 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. We thank everyone for your patience and understanding as we work toward a new normal.

Mask requirements are still in place as directed by NC State University's Community Standards. Please continue to check our Web site for the most up-to-date information.

Note: Our parking lot will be closed April 26 to 30. Parking is available along Beryl Road.
I Spy! Tours Available Now

Joy Burns, School Program Coordinator

We've really missed seeing kids in the garden the past year. But now with our phased reopening, we are able to offer a brand new opportunity for children and families to explore the garden together!

I Spy! Tours are a fun, interactive way for children ages 412 to enjoy a guided walk through the Arboretum while learning about a topic of interest along the way. The hour-long experience begins at the Visitor Center where your tour guide gives you an introduction to the JC Raulston Arboretum. Then you'll explore the garden together while focusing on your chosen topic. 

Before you leave, you'll receive relevant materials with a "Take & Make" craft or science activity that allows you to continue your explorations at home! The tour groups are purposely kept small to help maintain social distancing while allowing children and families to explore the garden and make observations.

The current topics we're offering, include:

Birds in the Garden What birds will we spy in the garden today?

Weather Watchers A look at weather stations, the sun, clouds, rain, and other wonders in the sky.

Blooming Fun! Discover the parts of the flower and the diversity of blooms in our landscape.

These tours are offered on Thursdays and Fridays at 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM for a flat tour fee of $50. 

It's simple! The organizer of the tour makes the reservation, pays the fee, and is responsible for gathering their group to attend the tour with them. Our group size is limited to 10 participants (children and adults) but doesn't have to have 10 people to proceed. We do require each group to have at least one adult chaperone with them at all times. 

Advance purchase is required. Please book your tour through our registration e-store. And be sure to check our website for new topics each month. We can’t wait to show you around!
Spring Educational Programs

By Sana Sheikh, Programs and Education Assistant

Every gardener's favorite season is in full swing! The JCRA has something to offer for everyone looking to get the most out of their spring this year. Join us for online classes and a symposium and in-person workshops that are sure to make your skills bloom!

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 Plants in Containers: From Container Gardens to Houseplants
Bryce Lane, NC State University
Mondays, May 17 through July 12 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM
No Class on June 21

More people are growing plants in containers than ever before! Why? Baby Boomers are downsizing, urban living is up, small space gardening is in. Successful container gardening requires a thorough knowledge of the science of plant growth, container/media dynamics, and container gardening design principles. This eight-week class dives into all things containers.

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

The crazy grain lady Brie Arthur is here to teach you everything about how to grow rice! This webinar and interactive demonstration will teach you all about cultivating a variety of grains in fun and new ways; including rice in containers. Come join us to learn a fun new way to get food from your garden onto your dinner table!

Propagation Workshops
Tim Alderton, Research Technician; Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator; and Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Saturday, May 29 – 9:00 AM–3:00 PM
Saturday, June 5 – 9:00 AM–3:00 PM

Have you ever struggled with rooting and producing a new plant from a shoot? Are you a new gardener, interested in the idea of being able to grow your plant collection inexpensively at home? Join the JCRA staff for a hands-on workshop (May and June) 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.

Southeastern Plant Symposium at Home
Hosted by the JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Garden
Saturday, June 12 – 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
Our third annual Southeastern Plant Symposium is coming to you fully online! Join us for a day dedicated to great lectures about all the new and exciting things in the plant world. We have a new lineup of outstanding speakers, including Stephen Barstow; Kevin Conrad; Aaron Floden, Ph.D.; Fergus Garrett; Hans Hansen; Irene Palmer; and Peter Zale Ph.D. With tons of new things to learn about plants and a chance to acquire tantalizing specimens of your own during the silent auction, this is a JCRA event that you don’t want to miss!
Greetings from the Land of Morning Calm

By Mark Weathington, Director
South Korea, known as the Land of Morning Calm, will be joining the JCRA and Magnolia Society International (MSI) late in the evening on April 29. This will be the second international symposium we have hosted with MSI in 2021 but hopefully not our last collaboration. South Korea and the famed Chollipo Arboretum were set to host the in-person annual symposium in 2020 but the world turned upside down and we hunkered inside instead.

As much as we would all like to reschedule that in-person meeting, logistics prove that to be difficult. During an MSI board meeting (I am honored to serve on the board of MSI), I noted the success the JCRA has had with online programming and a plan was put in motion. Yong-Shik Kim, Ph.D., of Chollipo and his staff were happy to share their garden and their knowledge with us online since we couldn't meet in person.

International collaborations always require some give and take and adjustments. In this case, the Chollipo speakers will be coming in to work earlier than usual on a Friday morning while we will be staying late on Thursday to accommodate the time difference. Starting at 7:00 PM until 10:00 PM on Thursday, April 29, we will be regaled with the magnificent work being done with magnolias at Chollipo and in South Korea. A lineup of short talks will keep the program lively so staying up past my bedtime shouldn't be a problem. Topics include magnolias of Korea, magnolias of China, magnolia propagation, and traditional Korean gardens.

This symposium is free to all MSI and JCRA members. When registering as a JCRA member, select "Students" as the registration type and type "JC Raulston Arboretum" as the school's name in the registration form. Explore the fascinating world of magnolias beyond the symposium by becoming an MSI member.
Volunteers Are Our Secret Sauce   

By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

Since we reopened in mid-March, visitors have been savoring every acre of the Arboretum. I want to highlight a few ways that the JCRA volunteers add that "secret sauce" to make the gardens even better.

Love the way the garden looks? Our garden volunteers were allowed back to work in the fall, and many areas of the garden have been revamped with their help. 

Enjoy knowing the name of a plant you're unfamiliar with? Our plant labeling team (photograph above) didn't come back until this spring, and they have a year-long backlog of plantings to catch up on. We asked for more help, and have been training six to ten volunteers.

Wowed by one of our photographs? We have volunteer photographers who share their skills and images with us. 

Ordered a plant from the plant sale? Volunteers help propagate many of the JCRA plants. They helped label them, pulled the orders together, and assisted with the massive plant pick up operation. We couldn't do it without them.

Spot a few weeds here and there? Ten and a half acres of garden equals a lot of weeds. Our powerhouse secret weapon is volunteer Dianne Schaffer. She has given 357 hours of garden help since September 2020. We're adding help in that area too so she won't get discouraged! (No, you cannot borrow her!)

Want to ask a question? Our new "Garden Ambassadors" are roving outside the Visitor Center to provide some guidance to brand new guests who don't know where to go. They suggest "must see" plants in flower, locations for that perfect graduation photograph in the garden, and how Arboretum membership is the best ticket to a community of garden and plant lovers. They make a visit better with their enthusiasm and passion for the garden.

Thanks to the volunteers who have made the Arboretum what it is today and we appreciate them year-round. 

Interested in joining our volunteer community? New volunteer placements will restart soon. Submit your application online today.
Save the Exotics

By Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager

Once again, an effort is underway to make it illegal to grow exotic plants. In this case, the term "exotic" merely means "non-native" Senate bill 628 is before the General Assembly of North Carolina, session 2021. Its goal is to allow the planting of only plants native to North Carolina on state land. So, your home garden is safe, but, for instance, the NC State University campus plantings must consist of only plants native to North Carolina. Exemptions are allowed for research so the JC Raulston Arboretum will likely be exempt.

Does it ever seem that sometimes decisions are made by people, even well-intentioned people, who don't know enough about a situation to even understand that they don't know enough about the situation to make that decision? The question of native versus exotic is tremendously more nuanced than: native good, exotic bad.

Not all native plants are good garden plants, either because they are difficult to grow; needing very exact cultural conditions; or are themselves horrible weeds such as wild blackberries. It is not the case that being a North Carolina native plant means that it will thrive planted in a North Carolina garden. For one thing the growing conditions in many cases have been greatly modified from their original ones. Many of us garden in subsoil for that is what is left after construction.

And though we certainly do not need more invasive exotics, most cultivated exotic ornamentals are not invasive. None of this devalues native plants, certainly many are desirable additions to our gardens and could, perhaps should be our first choices in selecting plants.

My guess is that most people are not aware of which plants are native or exotic. Years ago, I was asked to design a planting for a church in Durham and they requested natives and went on to mention some of the natives that they wanted such as crepe myrtle and camellia, both of which are Asian. Perhaps it is not understood how many common landscape plants would be eliminated because they are not native to North Carolina.

So, let's hope that reason rules. That native plants are promoted. That exotic plants are only introduced when it has been determined that they do not pose the threat of being invasive. And the best of both groups fills our gardens and landscapes. It would be sad to not be able to grow plants from such exotic locations as South Carolina, Georgia, or Alabama because if we were restricted to just N.C. natives, we couldn't grow red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) or oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia).
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)
Closed April 26 through 30

"Planting a Summer Foodscape Container"
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Wednesday, April 28 – 3:00 PM

Hosted by the Magnolia Society International and the JC Raulston Arboretum
Thursday, April 29 – 7:00 PM
Register (JCRA members: please write jcraprograms@ncsu.edu for instructions on how to register for free)

Friday, April 30 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Saturday, May 1 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Sunday, May 2 – 1:00 PM–5:00 PM

"Peonies and Irises"
Tim Alderton, Research Technician
Wednesday, May 5 – 3:00 PM

Friday, May 7 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Saturday, May 8 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Sunday, May 9 – 1:00 PM–5:00 PM

Facebook Live Event
Friday, May 7 – 10:30 AM

"Nontraditional Pollinator Plants"
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, May 12 – 3:00 PM

"Southern California Plants from a Mid-Atlantic Gardener's Perspective"
Eric Evans, Horticulturist, San Diego Botanic Garden
Thursday, May 13, 2021 – 7:00 PM

Friday, May 14

Douglas Ruhren, Gardens Manager
Saturday, May 15 – 9:00 AM

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, May 17 through July 12 – 6:30 PM (no class on June 21)

"All About Agave and Other Prickly Characters"
Wednesday, May 19 – 3:00 PM

Garden Spotlight
Friday, May 21 – 10:30 AM

Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Tuesday, May 25 – 6:00 PM

"Designing and Planting Showstopper Containers"
Leanne Kenealy, Owner, Dynamic Plants
Wednesday, May 26 – 3:00 PM

Friday, May 28

Tim Alderton, Research Technician, and Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
Saturday, May 29 – 9:00 AM

✽Denotes a children's program.

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

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Rhodohypoxis milloides
pink star grass
Allium 'Miami'
ornamental onion
Hydrangea serrata 'Shichidanka Nishiki'
mountain hydrangea
Crinum 'White Queen'
crinum lily
Sinningia 'Arkansas Bells'
Delosperma 'Kelaidis'
Mesa Verde ice plant
Acca sellowiana 'NCSU Hardy'
pineapple guava
Spiraea japonica 'Ncsx1'
Double Play Candy Corn Japanese spirea
YouTube Channel Update

By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Four programs were recorded in April and three of them were posted to our YouTube Channel. One program remains to be recorded in April. The two videos that remain to be uploaded will be posted soon.
Coming Soon

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