JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update
June 2023

Your Monthly News and Updates

Director's Note

By Mark Weathington, Director

I just completed a whirlwind tour through the Southeast visiting friends in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama who also happen to be some of the best plants-people I know. I left with a van half full of plants to share and came back with the van bursting at the seams with plants for the JCRA and the Southeastern Plant Symposium’s rare plant auction. It is genuinely one of my favorite things to do, share plants with folks just as enthusiastic as myself and get cool things back in return that I can then share with you and others now and in the future when the bags of cuttings and divisions take root and grow.

The JCRA’s legacy of sharing and being supported in return doesn’t apply just to the our friends in the South. I returned to a stream of shipments for the auction from Seattle, Portland, Asheville, and beyond. Many of the plants are completely new to me from unknown magnolia and hardy banana cultivars to whole new species that I haven’t seen before. As per usual, I will probably get in trouble bidding on plants for my own garden.

Back to that van that took me on my horticultural holiday. The rustic interior is perfect for hauling tons of plants but the exterior is a bit of an embarrassment. We’re still looking for someone who would like to help us fund a bright botanical wrap to show off your JC Raulston Arboretum wherever we may go!

See you in the garden.

Exciting Staff Announcements

By Mark Weathington, Director

We are thrilled to share some exciting staffing updates with you. Our organization continues to grow, and we are delighted to welcome Elizabeth Overcash into a new position as Education and Communications Manager. Many of you know Elizabeth has been an invaluable part of our organization for over 12 years, first as a dedicated NC State Hort student working in the garden and then as our exceptional Children's Program Coordinator. We have full confidence that she will continue to excel and bring fresh perspectives to our education initiatives, while also strengthening our internal and external communications. Her extensive experience and deep understanding of our mission will undoubtedly drive us to new heights.

Joining Elizabeth is Blake Wentley who joins our team as an Education Assistant, lending his expertise to our online programs and videos. Blake has done a tremendous job over the past year and is a great addition to our education team. Blake is also an NC State Hort grad and has a special interest in the art of bonsai.

Meaghan Kane joined the team as a full time Rental and Event Assistant. She has been providing amazing support to the rentals and events as a member of our Visitor Service Team since last fall. We are excited to have her permanently onboard. Meaghan is also an NC State grad, enjoys being in nature and loves working at the Arboretum, which she thinks is a community treasure.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Blake and Meaghan and congratulating Elizabeth on her well-deserved promotion. (Pictured above, Meaghan, Elizabeth and Blake.)

New Garden Hours for Summer:

Monday–Thursday: 9:00 AM–4:30 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
Saturday–Sunday: 8:00 AM–8:00 PM

So How Does Our Garden Grow?

By Amy Beitzel, Development Assistant

Your support is vital to sustain and enhance the horticulture research, conservation and education efforts taking place in our 10-acre living laboratory. Watch your inboxes and mailboxes for the JCRA spring appeal highlighting these three JCRA priorities as we transition into the vibrant seasons of Spring & Summer:

JCRA Children’s Programs - JCRA summer programming introduces budding plant lovers ages 4 to 14 to the fun of science-based outdoor learning. Over the last two months, we hosted more than 1,400 students to explore the gardens on school tours. Summer tours are also filling quickly with over 500 participants already registered!

JCRA Student Interns - The JCRA shapes the lives of future leaders by providing students the opportunity to gain relevant, hands-on, and life-changing experiences in one of the nation’s premier public gardens. We’re especially thrilled to expand internship opportunities to an additional education intern and welcome our first communications intern to the cohort of extraordinary student interns this summer.

JCRA General Fund - Gifts to the JCRA General Fund enhance our ability to keep our gardens beautiful, accessible, and open to the public year-round and keep pace with the evolving world of horticulture.

Please consider supporting the Arboretum this summer. Your gift - large or small - helps to enhance our community, nation, and world as we strive to fulfill J.C. Raulston’s vision to “Plan & Plant for a better world.” Thank you for being an integral part of our success!

Make A Difference Today!

Meet the Interns

By Leah Tran, Marketing and Communications Intern

One thing we look forward to every summer is welcoming our new summer interns to our team. In mid-May, seven NC State students began working in our garden. This is the most interns the Arboretum has ever had—thanks to your support! We are excited to introduce each of them to you. We asked them to share a little about themselves.

Emma Jones, Horticulture Intern: I’m going into my second year at NC State’s Agricultural Institute. My interests include powerlifting, mineral collecting, and basketball.

Evan Villani, Horticulture Intern: I am a horticulture student. I love being outside, working with plants, playing music, sketching, and playing board games. I'm a pretty laid-back guy but I love hard work.

Emily Workman, Education Intern: I am majoring in Middle Grades Science Education. I am excited to be out in the gardens this summer working with Children’s Programming. When I am not planning summer camp fun, you can find me out on my kayak fishing or reading a good book.

Andrew Paul, Horticulture Intern: I’m a double major in Plant Biology and Philosophy.

Leah Tran, Marketing and Communications Intern: I am a third-year student at NC State, majoring in Communication Media and English. I have always appreciated going to a beautiful public garden like JCRA, so being able to work here to help spread the word about all the amazing things happening is exciting. I love reading, writing, and taking long walks.

Sarah Remington, Horticulture Intern: I am a senior in Horticultural Science and I’m so excited to be working at the JCRA! My interests include gardening, birdwatching, video games, Dungeons and Dragons, resin crafting, and digital art.

Allison Nidiffer, Education Intern with a focus on providing in-garden education experiences. (Not in photo.) She is an Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems major going into her senior year. Allison was traveling at the time of publication.

We invite you to meet the interns and join us for an
Wednesday, July 19, 1:00-2:00 PM
in the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center

Please let us know if you plan to attend!

RSVP for Ice Cream Social, July 19

Southeastern Plant Symposium

Hosted by the JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Friday and Saturday, June 16 and 17

Hilton Raleigh North Hills

2 Full Days13 Expert Speakers–1 Insane Online Plant Auction

It's not too late to join the plant nerds for two days of plant heaven!

Register for In Person
Register for Online Attendance

Rare Plant Auction Teaser

By Mark Weathington, Director

I’ve been asked over and over what will be in the famed Southeastern Plant Symposium Rare Plant Auction so I thought I’d give a little taste of what you can expect to see this year among the several hundred plants we will be offering.

It wouldn’t be much of a JCRA auction without some maples. We’ve got the darkest of dark foliage Japanese maples, the finest of the fine leafed ones, and more than 1 different golden weeper. There’s more than just Japanese maples though, we’ll be offering a vigorous maple seedling from our fall 2022 excursion to Vietnam along with some other choice plants from the trip like hardy (we hope) begonias.

It’s hard to know where to stop when I look at the list – 2 different dwarf snowbells (1 white flowered, the other pink), Solomon’s seal for the shade garden (weird variegated cultivars, questionably identified wild collections, and even one that grows 6’ to 8’ tall), multiple variegated anise shrubs which the deer won’t eat, dwarf contorted hardy orange, its even smaller sibling and the tiniest distylium you’re ever likely to see. (Pauses to catch breath) One of my favorite hollies (Ilex sugerokii subsp. longipedunculata if you must know), a cotoneaster named for one of my horticultural heroes (Mikinori Ogisu), angel’s fishing rods, and even a Deuterocohnia haumanii and if you didn’t have to look that up online you’re one up on me.

We hope you can come bid in person at the Southeastern Plant Symposium but even if you can’t make the trip, you can bid online. All JCRA members and previous auction bidders will receive email reminders. The auction link will be live at when the auction begins.

Auction Opens 12:00 PM ET, Friday, June 9, 2023
Auction Closes 3:00 PM ET, Saturday, June 17, 2023

June Evening Garden Stroll

featuring Post Modern Patterns, new JCRA Ephemeral Art Installation

By Lindsay DeQuick, Education Provost Student

This year’s Post Modern Patterns, our newest ephemeral art installation, will be celebrated during the June 13 Evening Garden Stroll, 4:00 PM-7:30 PM. The theme was inspired by Mexican designs of fantastical creatures called alebrije, so each piece will showcase bright colors and whimsical patterns characteristic of these magnificent beasts!

During the extended garden hours, many of the artists will be on hand to talk about their process and inspiration. We hope you will join us and celebrate the local artists and school students who shared their talent and time. Under the direction of the JCRA Volunteer Ephemeral Art Committee, numerous art pieces are displayed all around the garden with the student’s public art installation at the Yurt near the Rose Garden. A special thanks to the Ephemeral Art Committee and JCRA volunteer Beth Jimenez who organized the project.

Bring your friends and family and join us for free Evening Garden Strolls on June 13, July 11, August 8, September 12, and October 10. On those Tuesday evenings, the garden hours are extended until 7:30 PM.

Learn More about Post Modern Patterns

News from the Yurt

JCRA Education Team

This month we’ve been “sprucing up” around the Yurt as we prepare to welcome young visitors to the garden this summer! Come see what we have been doing:

A generous group of homeschool student volunteers worked with our new student interns to pull out the winter vegetables and put new spring flowers in the Yurt Yard Garden. They planted trays of summer veggies that we are excited to start planting. Thank you very "mulch"!

The colorful fence pickets Wake County students created in connection with our garden-wide ephemeral art project titled, Post Modern Patterns, have been installed. The vibrant designs make the garden come alive!

One of our summer camper alumni and counselor-in-training installed a sensory trail beside the Yurt. Designed to help people develop motor skills, including balance, eye-hand coordination and spatial awareness, sensory trails are specifically meant to include kids with sensory challenges in an outdoor environment. But, sensory trails can benefit and be enjoyed by others, too! What a meaningful Eagle Scout Project. Thanks, Miles!

We are counting down the days until Summer Camps begin on June 19. Can you believe it is only a few weeks until the gardens are filled with campers learning and exploring the gardens? If you are part of the summer camp family this year, make sure to watch for more information about your week of summer camp coming to you soon!

And, don’t forget to check the JCRA Calendar for new opportunities to enjoy a program with your children such as Garden Storytimes, I Spy! Walks, and Garden Story Walks.

Register for Upcoming Children's Programs

New Benefit Provider for JCRA Members

By Kathryn Wall, Membership & Volunteer Manager

We're thrilled to announce a new nursery where you can flash your Arboretum membership card for a special thank you. Please welcome Macon Gardens in Wake Forest, which is a destination for garden enthusiasts, homeowners, local businesses, and landscape contractors.

Macon Gardens

2704 Burlington Mills Rd, Wake Forest 27587

(919) 556-8009

10% off regularly priced plants.

See all the businesses and organizations that extend a special thank you to our members here.

Thank you to the Arboretum members who asked Macon Gardens if they would be interested in supporting us and helped us make the connection.

Educational Highlights

Sizzling Succulents
Brie Arthur, YouTube's Brie the Plant Lady
Saturday, June 24
9:00 AM–11:00 AM – Lecture (In Person and Online)
11:00 AM–12:00 PM – Container Planting Workshop (In Person ONLY)

Colorful and creative succulents are the one of the easiest ways to brighten a patio or garden with little effort. Brie Arthur, local best selling author, professional horticulturist and lifelong gardener, shares growing and propagation advice about her favorite tender and hardy succulents.

All participants (online and in person) will learn about creative combinations for year-round interest and new introductions for cold hardy zones during the morning lecture.

Participants who sign up for the in person experience will stay after the lecture to create a Sizzling Succulent container with Brie and take home their new creation. The Arboretum will provide all the needed materials including the container, soil, and plants. This is a great way to put your new knowledge into practice and have Brie's expertise while arranging your container for a guaranteed sizzling summer display!

Sizzling Succulents Online
Sizzling Succulents In Person and Container Workshop

Creating and Caring for Sustainable Home Landscapes

Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University

Mondays, July 17 through August 21, 2023 – 6:30 PM–8:30 PM

Lifelong learners! This is a 6-week course for folks who are interested in gardening in a more sustainable way. We will define and discuss the concept of sustainability as it relates to all our home horticultural practices. Come learn more about gardening techniques that save energy, conserve water, reduce inputs, restore ecosystems, and much more!

Sustainable Home Landscapes - Register for In Person
Register for Online

Even if you don't consider yourself crafty, you can be successful with these two workshops offered by Lasting Impressions at their Raleigh studio this summer!

Hypertufa Trough Workshop
Beth Jimenez and Amelia Lane, Lasting Impressions and JCRA Volunteers
Saturday, July 29, 2023 – 9:00 AM–12:00 PM

Hypertufa troughs were developed in England as an alternative to old stone sinks which were used to feed and water livestock. They provide excellent drainage and can highlight those special small plants that you have. Participants will mix the ingredients, build a container, and learn how to release a finished container from its mold. Register.

Cast Concrete Leaf Workshop
Beth Jimenez and Amelia Lane, Lasting Impressions and JCRA Volunteers
Saturday, July 29, 2023 – 1:00 PM–3:00 PM

Make it a full day! Register for the afternoon Cast Concrete Leaf Workshop. Invite a friend to join you.

If you have questions about any of these programs, please contact us at

Upcoming Programs

Plant Buggy Sales

Daily at the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center

Garden Storytime ✽

Friday, June 2 – 10:00 am

In Person

Propagation Workshop

“Advanced Softwood Cuttings”

Tim Alderton, Research Technician

Saturday, June 3 – 8:30 AM

In Person

Propagation Workshop

“Beginner Softwood Cuttings”

Sophia McCusker, Nursery Technician

Saturday, June 3 – 1:30 PM

In Person

Garden Story Walk ✽

Monday, June 5 – Friday, June 9 – 9:00 AM

Saturday, June 10 – Sunday, June 11 – 10:00 AM

In Person

Plant-lover’s Tour

Mark Weathington, Director
Tuesday, June 6 – 9:00 AM

In Person

Gardening 101

“June Gardening Tasks”

Sophia McCusker and Tim Alderton

Wednesday, June 7 – 3:00 PM


Evening Garden Stroll

Tuesday, June 13 – 4:00 PM

In Person

Midweek with Mark

Mark Weathington

Wednesday, June 14 – 3:00 PM


Southeastern Plant Symposium and Rare Plant Auction

Hosted by the JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Friday, June 16 – Saturday, June 17 – 9:00 AM

Friday, June 16 – 6:00 PM (Optional Dinner)

In Person and Online

Garden Storytime ✽

Friday, June 16 –10:00 am

In Person

Garden Critters

Full - Waitlist Started

Monday, June 19 – Friday, June 23 – 9:00 AM

In Person

Deeper in the Garden

Horticulture Staff

Wednesday, June 21 – 3:00 PM


Photography Walk

“Shoot Through” Creative Flower Photography Technique

Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography

Thursday, June 22 – 9:30 AM

In Person

Sizzling Succulents

Brie Arthur

Saturday, June 24 – 9:00 am

In Person and Online

Nature Detectives ✽

Monday, June 26 – Friday, June 30 – 9:00 AM

Full - Waitlist Started

In Person

Gardening Adventures with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers

"Native Pollinators"
Monday, June 26 – 10:00 AM


Gardening Conversations

Mark Weathington

Wednesday, June 28 – 3:00 PM.


Coming Attractions

Lilium 'Satisfaction'
hybrid lily

Echinacea 'Conevin'
Purple Fantasy hybrid coneflower

Hibiscus sinosyriacus 'Lilac Queen'"
Chinese rose-of-Sharon

Hemerocallis fulva
"orange day-lily"

Thank you to Don Chernoff, Ira Tucker, Nancy Doubrava and Tim Alderton for photos shared in this e-Update.

YouTube Channel Update

Six videos were recorded in May and were posted to our YouTube channel.

Plant-lover's Tour - "Peak Perennials: May Show-offs"
Gardening 101 - "May Gardening Tasks"
Midweek with Mark - "Top Ten Broadleaf Evergreens"
Deeper in the Garden - "The Crevice Garden"
Master Gardener Lecture - "Reducing Deer Damage"
Garden Conversations - "Public Gardens & Native Plants Featuring Dan Stern"

JC Raulston Arboretum

Current Hours
Monday–Thursday: 9:00 AM–4:30 PM
Friday: 9:00 AM–8:00 PM
Saturday–Sunday: 8:00 AM–8:00 PM

Contact us at

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