JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

Camellia ×hiemalis 'Green's Blues'
Your Monthly News and Updates
Director's Note

By Mark Weathington, Director

The year is off and running and February is packed with a great lineup of events and symposia. We need a longer month just to fit everything in. Education is a primary focus for the JC Raulston Arboretum and we always love to hear from you what you think is great, where you’d like to see more focus, and what we could improve. Stop in and tell any of our staff on your next visit or shoot us an email with your thoughts.

Speaking of emails, be on the lookout for one coming soon with details on our next travel adventure. Arlene and I are just back from an incredible trip to Costa Rica with an amazing group of JCRA members. Many had traveled with us before but plenty were first timers and we had a blast together. I really can’t overstate how much I love getting to know my fellow travelers so well on these trips. This next one will be a real bucket list trip and will fill up fast so be on the lookout for an email detailing what our next adventure will be and when registration will open.

See you in the garden (and hopefully on the road!)
Meet Rob Thornton, the rising chair of the JCRA Advisory Board

Good day! I am pleased to introduce myself and take this opportunity to encourage each of you to support the JC Raulston Arboretum.

I’m Rob Thornton and I am Chair of the JC Raulston Advisory Board. I have been an active volunteer for a number of years, with Tuesday mornings being my “therapy” time in the garden. Additionally, I have helped with Moonlight in the Garden and a number of other projects.

In the 1970s, as a married undergraduate student at State who was in the role of student, husband, dad and part-time employee, I quickly learned how difficult juggling chainsaws can be! Meeting J. C. Raulston provided insight and direction for which I will forever be thankful! Years later, with my career in the Mental Health field approaching retirement, I realized I might be able to repay J. C. in some way for the support and encouragement he had provided Maggi and me. I became a member and active volunteer. It didn’t hurt that I do thoroughly enjoy gardening!

I found that those of us who volunteer at the Arboretum enjoy dozens of opportunities to be involved. Planting, garden maintenance, plant propagation, tours, event support, and summer camps are just a few of the many opportunities that are available. Volunteer a couple of hours each month or a couple of days per week, your schedule can be as flexible as needed.

Fourteen dedicated staff keep our world-class garden up and running, hence the importance of the more than 300 volunteers. I might add that I have never encountered a more informed and positive group of staff than Mark and his team. Should you feel that you would like to join us as an active member of the Arboretum family, start by filling out a volunteer interest form on our website. Then the staff will be in touch to explore your possibilities.

Another opportunity to support the Arboretum is coming up next month: NC State’s Day of Giving. In recent years, the annual Day of Giving provided a tremendous boost to our programs. Funds from Day of Giving in 2023 will change the lives of our student interns. We are hoping to hire additional students for the JCRA summer internship program. There are many ways to structure a gift and any amount is meaningful and greatly appreciated!

Once again this year, the Advisory Board challenges the members of the Arboretum. If the JCRA receives 210 gifts on the Day of Giving, the Board will donate an additional $25,000. We hope you will spread the word and consider making a gift on March 22!

I hope to see you in the garden!

Traffic alert:
Starting February 5 (may be subject to weather), the intersection of Hillsborough Street and Blue Ridge Road will be closed for construction. Construction is slated to take 6 months to complete. A small 'jughandle' connector road will connect Blue Ridge Rd to Hillsborough Street east of the current intersection. All traffic to the arboretum on Hillsborough Street will be directed around the closed intersection. Access to Beryl Road from west of the arboretum will be from Powell Drive.

Winter Symposium—"Tossing the Turf"
Featuring Preston Montague, Dr. Mike Richardson, and Mark Weathington
Saturday, February 18

For many, the neat and tidy turf in their yard takes extensive watering along with fertilizers and other chemicals to create a monoculture of one species. The alternative? For those areas of your lawn that aren't being used as a soccer or bocce pitch, a flowering lawn can create a biodiverse zone that relieves some environmental pressures of a traditional lawn. Add in the beauty of the flowering groundcovers and who can say no? Join us for a morning exploring the design, research, and plants used to create this new lawn movement so you can be empowered to spend less time mowing this summer!

Online spaces are still available for our annual winter symposium, and there's a wait list for the sold out in person seats.
Winter Symposium Plant Auction: February 15-18
Open to all plant-lovers!
We are excited to bring you another remarkable online plant auction that is not to be missed! We're offering 50+ incredible plants, and to sweeten the deal for our friends who are not local, all plants one gallon or less may be shipped anywhere to the continental 48 states for an additional fee per plant. Some plants may be shipped bare root where applicable. Otherwise, all plants will be available for pickup at the JC Raulston Arboretum on Wednesday, February 22.

Watch your email for the Auction Link on February 15, or check our website.

The JCRA Plant Sale Buggy is Back!
Back by popular demand and just in time for Spring planting the plant buggy has returned.
A few highlights include, but indeed not limited to:
Cornus alternifolia
Aucuba japonica 'Pacman'
Iris unguicularis 'Dazzling Eyes'
Friends of the Arboretum
HortiCULTURE Lecture Series
"Before the JC Raulston Arboretum: A Look into the Arboretum's Land History"
Dennis Carey, JC Raulston Arboretum Curator

Thursday, February 9 from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

By Lindsay DeQuick, Programs and Education Assistant

We're bringing back FOA lectures with a twist and a three-lecture series! These in-person only events will begin with time to connect with Arboretum members and the JCRA staff followed by the evening's lecture. Come enjoy this garden community and learn alongside fellow members!

In this first lecture, JCRA Curator Dennis Carey will present and explore how the Arboretum's plant collections and its history have brought unique cultures together in our garden. With land changing rapidly around the Triangle, history can easily be paved over and forgotten or spark curiosity in uncovering your history before it's gone. Luckily for us, Dennis's unofficial historian role has led him on a quest to find out our history before the Arboretum was the Arboretum.

Before the Arboretum was filled with plants and bed numbers, the land was part of a historically important community called the Method Community. From its roots as a freedman's village, the Method Community has a rich history of what it means to be a community. Come explore its history with Dennis as a way to celebrate African American History Month.

Member Benefit Update
by Kathryn Wall, Membership & Volunteer Manager
There's been a few changes to the free magazine subscription program offered to JCRA members. All members may receive a one-year digital subscription to Better Homes & Gardens® magazine! This complimentary subscription is offered through the American Public Garden Association to member gardens. This is a digital subscription, which is different from the paper copy subscription we have offered in the past. There is no longer a paper form. Sign up here.
Members-only Seed Distribution Returns in March
The second annual distribution of seed collected at both the JC Raulston Arboretum and our sister institution, Juniper Level Botanic Gardens, is coming in March. Last year over one-third of our total membership requested seed, making it the most popular member benefit to date. Watch for more details in the March e-Update and an email with links to the seed catalog in early March.
Sassafras albidum
Educational Program Highlights

By Lindsay DeQuick, Programs and Education Assistant

The JCRA has something to offer for everyone. Join us for in-person and online educational programs that are sure to make your skills blossom! Spaces are limited in these programs so register today to reserve your spot. If you have questions about any of these programs, please contact us at

Garden Inspired Floral Knitting Workshop
Amy Wentley, ChaiKnuckles Knitting
Thursday, February 16 – 10:00 AM
In Person

Need a fun activity when the winter weather keeps you indoors? Join Amy Wentley's workshop to learn how you can knit flowers, leaves, stems, or branches for your next knitting project.

Photography Walk
"Close-Up Flower Photography in Your DIY Home Studio"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Friday, February 24 – 10:00 AM
In Person

Enhance your photos by learning how to set-up a DIY backdrop with Mary Louise Ravese. By the end of her class, you'll be able to capture close-ups skillfully and affordably!

Deciduous Conifer Grafting Workshop
Leanne Kenealy Atkins, Specialty Grafter and Horticulturist
Saturday, March 4 – 12:30 PM

In Person

Grafting is the only method possible to propagate some plants, especially rare or expensive ones. In this workshop, Leanne Kenealy Atkins will teach participants to graft ginkgo, bald cypress, and dawn redwood. She will discuss and demonstrate grafting techniques and assist each participant as they graft their own plants.

Creating and Managing Bird-friendly Landscapes
Preston Montague, M.L.A.
Thursdays, March 9, 2023 – March 23, 2023 – 6:30 PM
In Person and Online

Join landscape architect
Preston Montague
for a presentation series designed to help you provide more resources for birds through design and management practices so you can assist in the conservation of these friendly flyers' habitats and the protection of North Carolina's rich biodiversity.

Propagating Woody Plants from Seed
Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Saturday, March 11 – 9:00 AM
In Person and Online

Hands-on Workshop Saturday, March 11 1:00 PM
In Person

Join Bryce Lane's class to learn how trees, shrubs, vines, and groundcovers reproduce from seed and how we can propagate them for our collections at home. Sign up for his same-day hands-on workshop so you can apply what you've learned and propagate your own woody plants.

Photography Walk
“Photography Practice Session on using Aperture Priority Mode”
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Friday, March 17 – 10:30 AM
In Person

Are you a budding flower photographer? Take Mary Louise's class for a hands-on, step-by-step tutorial of using Aperture Priority shooting mode. You will practice achieving shallow and deep depth-of-field shots while taking photographs of our beautiful garden so you can best capture portraits and landscapes respectively.

Ready, Set, Build!
The 21st Annual Birdhouse Competition

We've had long-running participants make the
Birdhouse Competition a shared tradition with us. Join us and make it yours, too! If you've made a birdhouse that's ready for check-in, this is your chance to put them on display. Or this is a great winter project to start!

Adult competitors are able to enter in either the Serious category for more functional creations or the Flights of Fancy category for decorative entries. As always, youth competitors (ages 4 to 16) will be put into four categories based on their age. This event is a part of Raulston Blooms! and will be held on April 29 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The cost to enter the competition is free, and entrants will receive a free Raulston Blooms! ticket for their entire family for participating! Entries due Friday, April 28. Learn more.
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–5:00 PM

Intro to Gardening in the South
Sponsored by Leaf & Limb
Saturday, February 4 – 9:00 AM
In Person and Online

Garden Story Walk
Monday, February 6 – Sunday, February 12 – open hours
In Person

Plant-lover's Tour
“Winter Perennials”
Tim Alderton, Research Technician
Tuesday, February 7 – 1:00 PM
In Person

Midweek with Mark
“Daphne, Edgeworthia and Relatives”
Mark Weathington, Director
Wednesday, February 8, – 3:00 PM

Friends of the Arboretum HortiCULTURE Lecture Series
"Before the JC Raulston Arboretum: A Look into the Arboretum's Land History"
Dennis Carey, Curator
Thursday, February 9, – 6:30 PM
In Person

I Spy! Winter Walk
Friday, February 10 – 11:00 AM
In Person

North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture
"What’s the Fun about Plant Tissue Culture?"
Hsuan Chen, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University
Saturday, February 11 – 10:00 AM
In Person and Online

Family Winter Discovery
Scavenger Hunt
Sunday, February 12 – 2:30 PM
In Person

Summer Camp Registration Opens to the Public
February 13 – 9:00 AM

Dear Garden,
Love letters to the Garden
Monday, February 13 – Tuesday, February 14 – 9:00 AM
In Person

Deeper in the Garden
“Auction Preview”
Greg Paige & Tim Alderton Director of Horticulture & Research Technician Respectively
Wednesday, February 15 – 3:00 PM

Garden Inspired Floral Knitting Workshop
Amy Wentley, ChaiKnuckles Knitting
Thursday, February 16 – 10:00 AM
In Person

Piedmont Prairies
Friday, February 17 – 1:30 PM
Annabel Renwick and Maegan Luckett, Sarah P. Duke Gardens and Greg Paige, JC Raulston Arboretum
In Person and Online

Winter Symposium
In Person Sold Out—Waitlist Started
Online Registration Available
"Tossing the Turf"
Featuring Preston Montague, Dr. Mike Richardson, and Mark Weathington
Saturday, February 18 – 9:00 AM

Gardening Conversations
Featuring Diane Mays, Research Specialist, NC State University Fox Labs
Sophia McCusker, Nursery Technician
Wednesday, February 22 – 3:00 PM

Photography Walk
“Close-Up Flower Photography in Your DIY Home Studio”
Mary Louise Ravese
Friday, February 24 – 10:00 AM
In Person

Garden Winter Storytime
Full–Waitlist Started
Friday, February 24 – 11:00 AM
In Person

Gardening Adventures with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers
“Preparing your Gardens for the Spring”
Rich Woynicz
Monday, February 27 – 10:00 AM

Save the Date
JCRA Day of Giving 2023
March 22, 2023 – 10:00 AM-6:00 PM

Denotes a children's program.

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

Aucuba in the West Arboretum
Coming Attractions

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Magnolia stellata 'Chrysanthemumiflora'
spring crocus
Daphne pseudomezereum
Chaenomeles japonica 'Atsuya Hamada'
Japanese flowering quince
Iris [Reticulata Group] 'Cantab'
Camellia japonica 'Reg Ragland'
Japanese camellia
Helleborus ×ericsmithii 'Pirouette'
Prunus jacquemontii
Afghan bush cherry
Ficaria verna 'Coppernob'
Magnolia ×loebneri 'Ballerina'
Loebner magnolia
Prunus mume 'Yuh-Hwa'
Helleborus ×ericsmithii 'Coseh 790' (HGC Shooting Star)
Narcissus 'February Gold'
Narcissus 'Border Chief'
large-cupped daffodil
Thank you to our photography volunteers who help document the seasonal changes in the garden. Photographers featured in this e-Update are Don Chernoff, Ira Tucker, Nancy Doubrava and Tim Alderton.
YouTube Channel Update

By Blake Wentley, Education Assistant

Seven programs were recorded in January. These videos were all were posted to our YouTube channel. Receive announcements about our latest additions by subscribing to our YouTube channel.
JCRA Programs Team
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522

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

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