JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

Chaenomeles 'Scarlet Storm' (Double Take)
Your Monthly News and Updates
Director's Note
By Mark Weathington, Director

Well, 15 years was a good run but I couldn’t keep it going. For the past decade and a half I have avoided teaching any classes for the Department of Horticultural Science. I love to teach - or at least listen to my own voice - but a 3 credit hour, senior/graduate level course takes a lot of work to do right. I knew I was backed into a corner though when I was asked to teach a graduate level Public Gardens Administration class. How could I say no to teaching about something I feel so passionately about?

I’ve made it through 2 classes and I have to say, I am really enjoying myself. I don’t feel I have enough hours in the day to do all of my JCRA duties and teach (not to mention spend a third of the semester out of the country) but somehow it all manages to get done - mostly. My team here helps pick up my slack and I’ve called on my friends and colleagues in public horticulture to fill in for me and impart their wisdom to the group. The class is small but I love the enthusiasm they have and the real desire to learn. I think I may learn as much about my career of almost 30 years as they do and I know the students and my colleagues will inspire me to make the next 30 years even better.

See you in the garden.
Fall Preorder Plant Sale
by Arlene Calhoun, Associate Director

Fall is for planting and we do our best at getting premium plants into the hands of members. Whether you are a new or longtime Arboretum member, September and October are important “plant” months and we want to make sure you’re well informed and in the know of important information.

We all know it but we all get lured by the bright flowers in spring and can't help ourselves. The JCRA Fall Preorder Plant Sale is your opportunity to plant at the perfect time; our warm soils will give your plants ample opportunity to root into the surrounding soil while the tops will soon be going dormant but ready to really explode in spring. You'll be amazed at how much less watering you'll need to do next summer.

We've got a wide assortment of really cool plants from Amorphophallus kiusianus which has the most amazing fruit stalks - they have to be seen to be believed - to an assortment of new trees and deer resistant ferns.  To make the sale even better, not only will we have our recent redbud selections Golden Falls and Flame Thrower for sale but also our newest redbud on the market. 'White Pom Poms' from the Denny Werner-JCRA breeding and introduction collaboration is the first and only double flowered, white native redbud. This plant is so new that it hasn't yet hit the garden centers and likely won't until this time next year at the earliest and in very limited quantities.

We've focused on outstanding small trees (don't sleep on the fabulous bark of Corylus fargesii  or fall color of Parrotia persica 'Vanessa', great gardens are about more than just flowers) and deer resistant perennials to plant in shady spots but there should be something for every garden.  Some plants will be limited in quantity so don't delay your orders.

Deer resistant plants in the sale:

  • Adiantum hispidulum - rosy maidenhair fern
  • Adiantum pedatum - American maidenhair fern
  • Amorphophallus kiusianus - hardy devil's tongue
  • Aspidistra elatior 'Stripes' - variegated cast iron plant
  • Athyrium niponicum var. pictum 'Red Beauty' - Red Beauty Japanese painted fern
  • Athyrium otophorum 'Limelight' - chartreuse eared lady fern
  • Campanula takesimana - Korean bellflower
  • Carex 'ET CRX01' (Feather Falls) - variegated hybrid sedge
  • Clinopodium grandiflorum 'Variegata' - variegated calamint
  • Disporopsis pernyi 'Xiao Chengdu' - dwarf evergreen Solomon's seal
  • Erigeron 'Azurfee' (Azure Fairy) - azure fairy fleabane
  • Erodium reichardii 'Charm' - charm hardy geranium
  • Hedychium stenopetalum - giant butterfly ginger
  • Hemiboea subacaulis var. jiangxiensis 'Jiangxi Bells' - Jiangxi Bells false sinningia
  • Osmunda cinnamomea - cinnamon fern
  • Osmunda japonica - Japanese royal fern
  • Rehmannia elata - Chinese foxglove
  • Reineckea carnea 'Variegata' - variegated Chinese lucky grass
  • Rohdea japonica 'Gunjaku' - Gunjaku sacred lily
  • Salvia glabrescens 'Elk Yellow Purple' - Japanese forest sage
  • Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna - Himalayan sweet box
  • Sarcococca 'Western Hills' - hybrid sweet box
  • Saxifraga stolonifera 'Nezu Jinja' - strawberry begonia
  • Sisyrinchium idahoense var. macounii 'Moody Blues' - blue-eyed grass

Dates for Fall Online Preorder Plant Sale  - Members shop early

  • Members Shop Early - Thursday, September 8, noon - Friday, September 9, noon (Watch for an email with the sale link.)
  • For our newest members, plants sell quickly. Plan to shop early for best selection.
  • Sale opens - Friday, September 9, noon
  • Sale ends - Tuesday, September 13 at noon
  • Plant Sale Pickup at the JCRA - September 21-September 23 by appointment.

No shipping, thank you for understanding

Plant Giveaway is just a month away!
Kathryn Wall, Membership & Volunteer Manager
The most important day of the year, JCRA Annual Plant Distribution (aka Plant Giveaway) is Saturday, October 1.

For New Members and a reminder for our Longtime Members - The event starts at 9:00 AM and is over at 9:15 AM. As our director says, if you show up at 9:05 am, you’re too late. The gate opens at 7:30 AM. Remember to give yourselves plenty of time to park and get checked in.

For Explorer level ($150) and above, we are launching our newest member benefit. Members at these levels can choose between two ways to participate. (Members must choose only one way to participate and all members affiliated with the same friend number must participate in the same way.)

1. Traditional option: Select your plants in person on October 1.
2. Online Preselect option: Eligible Members select six plants from a curated online catalog (same plants as the onsite giveaway) sent via email in mid-September. Plants must be picked up at the Arboretum, we are not able to ship plants. Thank you for understanding.

We share your enthusiasm for the Plant Giveaway and are excited to find a way to offer plants to those who can’t join us personally the first Saturday in October.
If you would like to upgrade your membership level to participate in the Online Preselect option, please email Kathryn Wall at
Moonlight in the Garden News
by Arlene Calhoun, Associate Director

John Garner of Southern Lights of Raleigh has updated the lighting design, we’ve set a date for our preview night, Rocky Top Catering has proposed an amazing fall menu this special evening. I feel confident tickets will be available for sale this month and my best guess is mid-month. Don't worry, as soon as the links are available we’ll send an email to our members including the links giving our members the opportunity to purchase tickets first.

With the lighting design complete, our talented volunteer cabling crew is getting ready to start the installation. This very detail-oriented, engineer-minded, flexible and capable team is led by Rob Thornton, 1st vice chair, JCRA Board of Advisors. Joining Rob is Kerry MacPherson, David White, Ken Powell, Ed Kelley, Glenn Oliver, and John Lucas. Thank you guys, we couldn’t do it without you all!

This year’s Moonlight in the Garden will include added member benefits. Members get first access to buy tickets. As many of you know, tickets sold out in 2018 and 2019. Don’t wait to get your tickets when they become available. New this year, and available only to Arboretum members, are Anytime Tickets. These tickets can be used once for any event night, any time slot. (The Anytime Tickets can only be used for general admission nights, not the special Preview Night.) This will take some of the guesswork out of which night suits you best and will make gifting Moonlight in the Gardens tickets a bit easier.

Also new this year, members will get early access to Moonlight in the Garden Preview Night. Our preview night is catered and beer and wine will be served, but this year we are allowing our members to gain access to the event and all it offers thirty minutes before the gates open officially for the event.

Save the Date
Preview Night
Tuesday, November 8 - 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
(Early entry for members starts at 6:00 PM)
Enjoy the music from Tea Cup Gin &
an amazing fall menu from Rocky Top Catering.

General Admission Nights
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
November 10, 11, and 12 and November 17, 18, and 19
Gates Open from 5:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Timed Entry Tickets
Food Trucks, Hot Cider, Fire Pits and Marshmallows

Members will get first access to the hottest tickets in town.

Moonlight in the Garden is our biggest fundraising event, tickets sell out in advance and they go fast. Mark your calendars, if you think our collection is spectacular by day, you don’t want to miss seeing it in all its nighttime splendor! It’s a magical experience you don’t want to miss.

A special thank you to John Garner and his team at Southern Lights of Raleigh for finding a solution to make it happen this year. (Labor shortage is impacting everyone.)

Watch our Web site for more details.

Volunteer Spotlight - The Plant Labeling Team
By Dennis Carey, Curator

Volunteers are a vital part of the daily operations here at the JC Raulston Arboretum. They perform duties within every area of the organization and we are tremendously grateful for their generosity and can-do spirit. As curator, I have the good fortune to work with several volunteer groups on a regular basis and I am quite thankful for them. I thought I’d introduce all you e-update readers to my volunteer teams to give you a glimpse behind the curtain of the JCRA operations. Every so often, I will highlight a different volunteer group that I work with in an e-update article.

This month, the spotlight is on the plant labeling team led by longtime arboretum supporter and volunteer, Maryann Debski. On the labeling team with her are Mike Ferrell, John Atkinson, Jeanette Lee, John Pelosi, Marilyn Golightly, Rob Moseley, Anita Kuehne, Ken Powell, Julie Cubeta, Kathie Kalmowitz, Kate Simmons and others.

The plant labeling team generally works on Tuesday mornings, arriving early to pick up their work lists containing lists of plants and garden maps. The team members then assemble a carry-all filled with labeling supplies such as metal stakes, industrial velcro, stickers, and plastic labels. These folks work alone or in pairs and they travel all throughout the garden putting out labels on the newly planted plants as well as auditing the existing plants to make sure the labels are clean and readable. This group of volunteers loves to be outside and loves to interact with the plants up close and personal.

Maryann Debski is the heart of the team and does a tremendous job organizing things. Often, Maryann is here for many hours on Monday preparing maps, worklists and stickers as well as keeping the arboretum’s plant database updated on the label status of each plant. Then she will also usually put in a shift on Tuesday too, putting out labels with the rest of the labeling team.
The labeling team treks their way through the garden using a divide and conquer approach. Some members (like close pals Mike Ferrell and John Atkinson) focus on putting out new labels, while others (like Jeanette Lee, Anita Kuehne and Ken Powell) focus on audits to make sure that the plants are alive and still have a clean, readable label.
One team member, John Pelosi, specializes in auditing ephemeral plants and he works with a quarterly list containing just the plants that are visible or in flower for a short time that quarter. Several of the team members do something we call ‘site checks’ and audit plants to make sure that they are still alive prior to us going to the expense of engraving a new plastic label.

A special call out goes to Marilyn Golightly who cheerfully files ‘retired’ engraved labels in an old Dewey decimal system filing cabinet (remember those!) handed down to us from the NC State Library. Team members, Kathie Kalmowitz and Kate Simmons, also have a special role and make sure that all the engraved labels out in the garden stay clean. They work around the garden with a spray bottle and scrub brush and cleans grime from the plastic signs so they are readable. They also find cracked or damaged labels and report them for repair.

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

My sincere thanks go out to all the labeling team for their hard work and dedication. If any of you readers think that you’d like to try out the labeling team, just get in touch with our volunteer manager, Kathryn Wall at
Educational Highlights
by Blake Wentley, JCRA Programs Team
The gardens at the JCRA are once again abuzz with students as the fall semester gets underway. What better way to get into the spirit of the season than by checking out some of the educational programs we’ll be offering here at the arboretum in the next few months? With in-person, online, and hybrid classes available, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Spaces in these programs are limited, so register today to reserve your spot!
Photography Walk
"Photographic Cyanotype Sun Prints"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Thursday, September 15, 2022
9:00 AM–12:30 PM - In Person

Cyanotype is a simple photographic printing process that creates an archival blue and white print. The cyanotype process was invented in the 1840s and is easy and inexpensive to do at home. Mary Louise will explain how to turn a digital image into a monochrome film negative. Then we'll use that negative to make direct contact prints on sensitized cotton fabric material which we will then expose to sunlight to develop the image. The developed print is then rinsed in a water bath and then left to dry. The final print will be a blue and white print.
Cool Season Veggie Gardening
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Saturday, October 8, 2022 – 10:00 AM–12:00 PM

Take your veggie growing skills to a new level this fall! Learn how to plan and plant a cool season vegetable garden from foodscaping expert Brie Arthur. In this lively program Brie will share practical advice for growing delicious food crops. From site prep and seed starting to container combinations and harvesting tips, this session is sure to inspire everyone to grow like a pro all winter long!
Plant Nutrition and Fertilizing
Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, October 10 through October 31, 2022 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

This four-week class will provide a comprehensive view on the importance of plant nutrition in plant growth and how those principles should influence our use of fertilizers. We will talk about the role nutrients play in plant growth, what deficiencies look like, and about how plants absorb nutrients. We will review all the different kinds of fertilizers that we can choose from and talk about when we should be fertilizing our plants as well.
Exploring the Diversity of Camellias
Brie Arthur, Author, Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Wednesday, October 12, 2022 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

Join camellia enthusiast, propagator, and grower Brie Arthur for an inspiring online program featuring a Southern favorite, the irresistible camellia. Brie will share insights on how to cultivate camellias in zones 7–9 for high impact interest through the fall, winter, and spring. Discover tips on site selection, soil improvement, fertility needs, pruning, and home propagation methods as well as favorite fall and winter blooming varieties. From ancient varieties to modern hybrids, this program will provide attendees with the knowledge needed to be successful at growing camellias.
All About Houseplants
Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Mondays, November 28 through December 12, 2022 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

This three-week class teaches about everything one needs to know if they want to grow houseplants that thrive. Whether you are a beginner or a veteran houseplant grower, the class is for you. We will talk light, relative humidity, temperature on the environmental side, and all about houseplant culture; containers, potting soil, potting, and repotting, watering, fertilizers, pest management, and grooming.
Fall for Orchids
Sponsored by the Triangle Orchid Society of North Carolina
Saturday, September 24, 2022 – 10:00 AM–6:00 PM
Sunday, September 25, 2022 – 10:00 AM–3:00 PM

The Triangle Orchid Society of North Carolina cordially invites you to their 6th annual Fall for Orchids Show at the JC Raulston Arboretum in the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. The show is free and open to the public.

Certified American Orchid Society judges will be awarding prizes in numerous categories. There will also be vendors selling both exotic and recognized varieties along with orchid growing supplies. Several neighboring orchid societies from North Carolina and Virginia will have impressive orchid displays. This is a chance to add to your collection or begin one with some expert advice.

For more information about the show or the Triangle Orchid Society please visit the website  or their Facebook page.

Join us for the September Evening Garden Stroll
Tuesday, September 13, 4:30-7:30 PM
Take advantage of our extended hours and come enjoy
a late summer evening at your Arboretum.

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

Plant-lover’s Tour
“Geophyte Border - Bulbs, corms, tubers, oh my!”
Mark Weathington
Monday, September 6—9:00 AM
In Person

Gardening 101
September Gardening Tasks
Sophia McCusker and Tim Alderton
Wednesday, September 7—3:00 PM

Garden Storytime
Friday, September 9—10:00 AM
Register—In Person

Beardless Iris Sale
Hosted by the Eastern North Carolina Iris Society in cooperation with the JC Raulston Arboretum
Saturday, September 10—9:00 AM
In Person

Garden Story Walk
“The Hidden Rainbow”

Monday, September 12 – 18
During normal garden hours
In Person

Evening Garden Stroll
Tuesday, September 13—4:30-7:30 PM
In Person

Midweek with Tim
“Enchanted by New Mexico”
Wednesday, September 14—3:00 PM

Photography Walk
“Photographic Cyanotype Sun Prints”
Mary Louise Ravese
Thursday, September 15—9:00 AM-12:30 PM
Register - In Person

Lunch and Lit in the Garden, Grades 5-8
Thursdays, September 15 through November 3, 2022 – 12:00 pm–2:00 pm
Register - In Person

Open Garden Day at Juniper Level Botanic Garden
Friday, September 16, 2022 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Saturday, September 17, 2022 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Sunday, September 18, 2022 – 1:00 PM–5:00 PM
Friday, September 23, 2022 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Saturday, September 24, 2022 – 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
Sunday, September 25, 2022 – 1:00 PM–5:00 PM

North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture
Cohosted by the North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture and the JC Raulston Arboretum
“Installing a Crevice Garden in Portland Oregon”
Jeremy Schmidt
Saturday, September 17—9:00 AM
In Person and Online-Register

Lunch and Lit in the Garden (Grades 1-2)
Wednesdays, September 21 and 28—12:00-1:30 PM

Register - In Person

Deeper in the Garden
“Ardisia japonica”
Wednesday, September 21—3:00 PM
Online – Register

Take a Child Outside Week–Girl Scout Outdoor Art
Saturday, September 24—10:00 AM

Register – In Person

Fall for Orchids Show
Sponsored by the Triangle Orchid Society of North Carolina
Saturday, September 24—10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday, September 25—10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
In Person

Take a Child Outside Week–JCRA Family Go! Packs
Sunday, September 25—1:00-4:00 PM

In Person

Garden Conversations–”Pollinators”
Wednesday, September 28—3:00 PM
Online – Register

Take a Child Outside Week–Garden Storytime
Friday, September 30—10:00 AM

In Person – Register

Denotes a children's program.

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

Coming Attractions
Salvia coerulea 'Cosquin'
blue anise sage
Lycoris radiata var. radiata
red surprise-lily
Panicum amarum 'Dewey Blue'
bitter panicgrass
Sedum 'Maestro'
YouTube Channel Update

Six educational programs were recorded in August and 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.
JC Raulston Arboretum
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
(919) 515-3132

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 if you unsubscribe using the link below, you will no longer receive any member mailings from us, including plant sale notices.

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