JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

Your Monthly News and Updates
Sassafras albidum
Director's Note
By Mark Weathington, Director

We’ve got BIG news! The JCRA is growing and we’ll be adding a giant in the field of horticulture and tree care to the Arboretum’s leadership team. Greg Paige will be joining the staff as Director of Horticulture at the end of the month. Many of you know Greg already from his many lectures here at the garden but for those of you who don’t, Greg has been the curator and director of horticulture for the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories Arboretum in Charlotte, NC, for over 16 years (owner Robert Bartlett, Jr. is a current JCRA Board of Advisors member). At the Bartlett Arboretum Greg has developed significant collections of oaks, maples, rhododendron, and assembled the world’s largest collection of magnolias. In addition to his curatorial duties there, he oversaw the grounds management, plant production, and assisted Bartlett Tree Experts arborists across the country to identify and manage tree care issues.

Prior to Bartlett, Greg served as volunteer coordinator and integrated pest management manager for both Daniel Stowe Botanic Garden and the Scott Arboretum. I have worked closely with Greg for the past decade or more on the American Public Gardens Association’s Plant Collections Network, on the board of directors for the Magnolia Society International, and as collaborators on plant buying and collecting trips to England, Japan, and Taiwan.

Greg’s love for public horticulture, deep knowledge of woody plants, and speaking and writing experience give the JCRA a seasoned, experienced professional to help continue the Arboretum’s international reputation as a leader in the field. Perhaps even more importantly, Greg’s passion for plants, people, and the mission of the JCRA will provide the transformative leadership to continue to meet the needs and challenges of the changing urban landscape through, “Planning - and planting a better world.”

See you in the garden.
Greg Paige with a Rhododendren falconeri on our excursion to Cornwall.
Manooch Cascade
Wish List Projects Create Opportunities for Growth
By Amy Beitzel, Development Assistant

Each year, the JC Raulston Arboretum touches thousands of lives through its programs, events and gardens. Through educational programs, plant distribution events, and welcoming visitors to explore the JCRA grounds each day, we work hard to educate, further plant research and conservation efforts and add value to our community and beyond.

As we reflect on the tremendous growth from the past  year, the Arboretum staff have thoughtfully selected new projects to keep our gardens and facilities on pace with the dynamic research, outreach, and engagement. The 2022-2023 JCRA Wish List will be promoted over the next several months. You can learn more by checking your mailbox soon or by visiting the Wish List website.

Your support is critical to the Arboretum’s continued growth as a leader in our efforts to diversify the American landscape, inspire passion for plants and provide a positive and lasting impact.

For more information, please contact Amy Beitzel at (919) 513-1680 or or Alycia Thornton at (919) 513-7068 or

Moonlight in the Garden Countdown
By Arlene Calhoun, Associate Director

It’s the first of November and Moonlight in the Garden is only days away. Do you have your tickets?

Preview Night Tickets must be purchased before Friday, November 4 at noon, when final catering numbers are due. I hope you can join us for this special evening. Rocky Top Catering is back with an amazing fall menu of seasonal favorites, fire pits will be lit to roast marshmallows, the bar will be open serving beer, wine and of course will have hot apple cider ready and waiting for you. Please be prepared to show your photo ID if you’d like a glass of beer or wine with dinner or while you stroll the garden.

John Garner and his wonderful team have been working the last three weeks to complete another beautiful Moonlight installation. This year's show includes the Finley-Nottingham Rose Garden, be sure to check it out. Without question, Southern Lights of Raleigh turns landscape lighting into an art form. Seeing is believing.

Moonlight in the Garden has become a fall tradition for many and we are grateful for everyone who helps make this fundraiser possible. From the intricate lighting design to the cutting of marshmallow roasting sticks—it takes a village of dedicated people to make it happen and we can't wait to welcome you and your family and friends to this year's exhibit!

Get your tickets soon. They are selling fast.
Next Children's Program? Holiday Creations!
By Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

Don’t miss our Holiday Creations workshops in December! Two sessions will be offered Monday, December 5. Come create holiday cheer and take home five festive craft projects using materials from the Arboretum's gardens.

This program is suggested for preschool through elementary aged children. Parents/caregivers stay with their children to guide them through the activities. Pre-registration is required.

New Lanterns in the Asian Valley
By Lindsay DeQuick, Education & Programs Provost Student

Many of our fall visitors have been mesmerized by the latest addition to the Asian Valley, a series of Japanese lanterns on loan from the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.

Duke Gardens obtained these lanterns in the early 1990s from a market imports company. I had the privilege to talk with Paul Jones, Duke Gardens Curator of the William Louis Culberson Asiatic Arboretum, about their collection and the background of these lanterns, which have a specific design unique to Buddhist and Shinto cultures. The JCRA will be highlighting these stone lanterns during Moonlight in the Garden where they will lead visitors through Asian Valley.

Although we don't truly know the age of the lanterns on display here, the history of these structures in Japan dates back to the sixth century when they were introduced from China along with Buddhism. The lanterns symbolize the light of Buddha which helps overcome the darkness of ignorance. Japanese artisans spent hours laboring to perfect their size, shape, style, placement and functionality. Traditionally, they varied in type and height to best suit their placement. These lanterns were introduced to the West during the Victorian Era as consumers sought the elaborate and exotic designs they provided for their households. They are commonly used as aesthetic elements of Japanese-style gardens.

Come take a stroll through the Asian Valley and enjoy the beauty these lanterns add to the garden. The Arboretum will be open over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and is a perfect place to bring visiting friends and family.

Lunch & Literature in the Garden
By Joy Burns, School Tour Coordinator

This fall the Yurt was filled with busy homeschool and tracked-out students looking for some fun in the garden!

Our popular Lunch & Lit program for middle school was expanded to include students in 3rd and 4th grade. Each week participants enjoyed their lunch while listening to a read-aloud from the inspirational author, Kobi Yamada. We also discovered the creativity, problem-solving and perseverance exhibited by famous botanists and horticulturalists such as George Washington Carver, Margaret Lowman, and even J. C. Raulston! Together, we exercised a “growth mindset” as we worked on garden projects together to practice what we learned.

Over a period of 8 weeks, middle schoolers read the book “Wishtree” by Katherine Applegate. They learned about the life cycle and structure of trees, as well as tree leaf identification and the value of trees to healthy communities. They enjoyed crafting with natural materials, cooking & baking and exercising their entrepreneurial instincts by playing games together such as “Garden-opoly.” They purchased properties, invested in flowerpots and learned that the person with the most greenhouses usually wins!

Scaring away the crows in the Yurt garden which was newly planted with winter vegetables!
Japanese Garden
Magnificent Mums—The Queen of Fall Flowers
Hosted by the Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society in Cooperation with the JC Raulston Arboretum
Join the Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society for a FREE flower show this Friday, November 4, from 12:00 PM - 4:30 PM at the JC Raulston Arboretum featuring an expansive display of exhibition-style, heirloom chrysanthemums, all grown by members of the Chrysanthemum Society.

These are definitely not your average grocery store mums! The unusual forms, variety of colors and enormous size of the blooms are sure to surprise you. If you've never seen the 13 different classes of chrysanthemums, treat yourself to an afternoon of wonder!

Just in Time for Holiday Gift Giving

Gift Memberships - Give the gift of JCRA year round!
New JCRA T-shirts, Fleece Pullover and Sweatshirts
Signed Copies of Gardening in the South by Mark Weathington
Available weekdays in Ruby C. McSwain Education Center or weekends in the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center

Or Reserve Yours by Calling (919) 515-3132
It's time to reserve your JCRA Holiday Wreath!

Set the mood for this holiday season with a beautiful JC Raulston Arboretum fresh wreath! This sale is for a pre-made small wreath which is perfect for regular sized doors. Pickups for wreaths are scheduled for Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3. Purchase your own fresh one-of-a-kind wreath to make this season a special one!
volunteers work on Japanese Garden wall
Volunteer Spotlight - The Seed Collection Team
By Dennis Carey, Curator

As a follow-up on my series about JCRA volunteers, this month I’d like to highlight the efforts of the seed collection team led by longtime Arboretum volunteer, Mary Leonhardi. Mary is a retired school principal and knows how to run a tight ship! On the seed collection team with her are Beth Cleveland, Elaine Martens, Annette Deans, Jacob Barnhill, Debra Singer-Harter, Cheryl Folz, and Jo Swindle. In addition, Marilyn Golightly and Anita Keuhne sometimes chip in, and Ken Traynham plays a special role on the seed team working on the database side of things for the index seminum.

The seed collection team generally works on Friday mornings. Sometimes Mark Weathington, Tim Alderton or I will have special seed requests for them to hunt down in the garden, but largely they roam around on their own looking for ripening fruit. They collect it, bag it and write the name, date, accession number, and garden location on the paper bag.

Once the seed has been collected the seed collection team all sit together at a giant work table to finish cleaning the seed and separate the seed from the chaff. That’s easy enough for large seeded plants but some plants have tiny almost dust-like seed and then it is a real chore. The seed collection team stays cheerful about the process though. I always hear them joyfully chatting away from my office down the hall while they clean the seed and transfer it to storage envelopes and I enter them into our plant database.

What do we do with all these seeds? The seeds collected here at the JCRA are sometimes sown here but most of them are added to our own index seminum and distributed to other botanic gardens around the world or are distributed to the JC Raulston Arboretum members via our Member Seed Distribution event (which you might recall is the most popular event ever held at the JCRA).

Seed collecting is just one small part of keeping the JC Raulston Arboretum functioning smoothly. If you are ever visiting and see the seed collectors team at work, be sure to tell them ‘Thanks!’.

My sincere thanks go out to all the seed collectors for their hard work and dedication. If any of you readers think that you’d like to try out the seed collection team, just get in touch with our volunteer manager, Kathryn Wall, and she will arrange for you to join the team.
Japanese Garden
Coming Attractions

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Cyclamen africanum
Dahlia imperialis
tree dahlia
Dahlia imperialis
Acer palmatum 'Beni komachi'
dwarf red-leaf Japanese maple
Parrotia subaequalis
Camellia 'Winter's Charm'
Ackerman camellia
Galanthus elwesii var. monostictus
Camellia ×hiemalis 'Rose of Autumn'
Chrysanthemum morifolium 'Froggy'
Chrysanthemum 'Miss Gloria's Thanksgiving Day'
garden mum
Camellia ×hiemalis 'Green's Blues'
Ginkgo biloba 'Tschi Tschi'
maidenhair tree
YouTube Channel Update
Eight programs were recorded in October. These videos were all were posted to our YouTube channel. 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.
Upcoming Events, Programs, and Sales

Plant Buggy Sales
Daily at the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center
Monday–Friday: 9:00 AM–4:30 PM
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 AM–6:00 PM 

Gardening 101
"November Garden Tasks"
Tim Alderton and Sophia McCusker
Wednesday, November 2–3:00 PM

Lunch and Lit in the Garden Grades 5-8
Thursdays, September 15-November 3-12:00 PM
In Person

Magnificent Mums—The Queen of Fall Flowers
Hosted by the Central Carolina Chrysanthemum Society in Cooperation with the JC Raulston Arboretum
Friday, November 4-12:00 PM-4:30 PM
In Person

North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture
Co-hosted by the Piedmont Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum
“Inspired by Nature: Photography and Digital Painting”
Linda Cochran, NARGS Traveling Speaker from Port Ludlow, Washington
Saturday, November 5–10:00 AM
In Person and Online

Preview Night—Moonlight in the Garden
A Magical Lighting Exhibition with Our Friends from Southern Lights of Raleigh and the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc.
Tuesday, November 8–6:30 PM
In Person

Midweek with Mark
The Night Garden
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, November 9–3:00 PM

Designers Preview Night
John Garner, Southern Lights of Raleigh
Wednesday, November 9- 6:00 PM
In Person

Moonlight in the Garden
A Magical Lighting Exhibition with Our Friends from Southern Lights of Raleigh and the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc.
Thursday, November 10–5:30 PM
Friday, November 11–5:30 PM
Saturday, November 12–5:30 PM
Thursday, November 17–5:30 PM
Friday, November 18–5:30 PM
Saturday, November 19–5:30 PM
In Person

Deeper in the Garden
Mark Weathington
Wednesday, November 16-3:00 PM

All About House Plants
Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus
Mondays, November 28 - December 12-6:30 PM
In Person and Online

Horticulture Hour
JCRA Staff
Wednesday, November 30-3:00 PM

JCRA Programs Team
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
(919) 515-3132

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