JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

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

The weather is giving me a bit of whiplash recently with temperatures near 80 F for several days followed by more typical lows in the upper 30’s and 40’s. Lots of plants are starting to flower quite early - we even have some native redbuds near full bloom. There’s not much to be done if we get a freeze later this spring so enjoy the flowers now and let tomorrow take care of itself.

The weather has been on our mind here quite a bit. We’ve been trying to move a stockpile of soil (affectionately known as Mt. Raulston) for weeks now but we seem to be getting just enough rain to keep the project stalled. Hopefully we’ll get a break in the weather soon so we can make some molehills, or at least berms, out of our mountain. I suppose the vagaries of the weather help us remember that we can’t control everything and just need to stay flexible. Probably a good lesson for most areas of our life.

A quick reminder that our weekend hours change in March and the garden is now open 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

See you in the garden.
Mealnie Kelly at the FOA Annual Plant Distribution
Join the GivingPack and support JCRA Summer Internships on Day of Giving
By Amy Beitzel, Development Assistant

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 22! NC State’s Day of Giving is just 3 weeks away!

Last year on Day of Giving, supporters like you helped the Arboretum secure an additional $20,000 from the JCRA Advisory Board.

We are counting on the JCRA community again as we aim higher this year to meet a similar challenge. When the JCRA receives 210 gifts on Day of Giving, members of our JCRA Advisory Board will donate an additional $25,000 to the JC Raulston Arboretum General Fund.

Funds raised on Day of Giving will directly impact college-aged students participating in the JCRA Student Internship program. The internship program runs from May-August each summer and gives young horticulturists a chance to gain relevant, hands-on, and life-changing experiences in one of the nation’s premier public gardens. The JCRA looks forward to welcoming eight talented students to participate in the internship program this summer.

Every gift is impactful and will be greatly appreciated. We ask you to join us in making a donation on March 22, 2023, and to also tell your friends and family why you support the Arboretum!

For more information on how you can support the JCRA on Day of Giving, please contact Alycia Thornton, Director of Development at or 919-513-7068.
It's Member Seed Distribution Time
By Dennis Carey, Curator

Last year, the first annual Member Seed Distribution (MSD) was the largest members-only event ever conducted at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Over 700 members participated and received free seeds from our seed vault. That number represents over 34% of active members! We were expecting a 5%-10% response, so we were blown away by your enthusiasm. Our membership roster is even bigger this year so we are expecting even more participants in 2023.

The rules for the 2023 MSD are the same as last year. Every active member will receive a link via email the week of March 6. You may order from a list of seeds (over 250 taxa) collected from plants here at the JC Raulston Arboretum or at our sister institution, Juniper Level Botanic Garden. There is a limit of 5 packets of seed per membership. The order form will be open for 1 week only, so do not dally!

Once all the orders are in, I will assemble a team of volunteers to help pack the seeds. 700+ members times 5 packs of seeds means more than 3500 packs of seeds will have to be assembled. This is a huge number and takes several weeks to complete. If anyone out there would like to volunteer to pack MSD orders, we’d be happy to have you do so. (To volunteer contact Kathryn Wall at We will hold a seed packing (and pizza) party in the McSwain auditorium a few weeks after the order form closes.

At this point Kathryn Wall will take the reins and arrange for pick-up and delivery. We ask local members to drop by the JCRA to pick up their seeds and we will mail the rest.

Once you receive your seed packets, you may be asking "How do I sow this species?" Well, to help with that I’ll refer you to the JCRA Youtube page which contains some great videos on the topic including a segment from Sophia McCusker and Mark Weathington on seed sowing, and two videos from Doug Ruhren on sowing seed and sowing seeds that need winter chill. If you cannot find your answers there, or on google then send me an email and I’ll help you out.

And one more thing, I’d like to thank the JCRA seed collection team (read about them here), Mary Leonhardi, Beth Cleveland, Elaine Martens, Annette Deans, Jacob Barnhill, Debra Singer-Harter, Cheryl Folz, and Jo Swindle who do all the seed collecting and the bulk of the seed packing.
Get ready for the Member Seed Distribution
By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Manager

Your opportunity to request seed is coming next week! You will receive the catalog of available seed and instructions on submitting your request via Google Form in an email from me. There is still time to become a member in order to take advantage of this event if you have friends or family who would be interested.

Many of you asked for instruction about how to plant your seed and how to get the best outcomes. We have a great class coming up!

Bryce Lane is teaching a one-day class on Propagating Woody Plants from Seed on Saturday, March 11, both in person or online, so this might be a wonderful opportunity to learn how to make the most of the free seeds. The class is devoted to understanding how trees, shrubs, vines, and groundcovers reproduce from seed and how we, as gardeners, can take advantage of that science to propagate new and interesting plants.
I'm always looking for feedback and how we can best serve our JCRA Members. I'd love your help. Please take a quick member survey.
newl propagated plants
Educational Program Highlights
By Lindsay DeQuick, Programs and Education Assistant
JCRA has something budding for everyone. Join us for in-person and online educational programs taking advantage of the spring season! Spaces are limited in these programs so register today to reserve your spot.

Propagating Woody Plants from Seed
Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Lecturer Emeritus
Saturday, March 11, 2023 – 9:00 AM–12:00 PM

Come attend a class totally devoted to understanding how trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers reproduce from seed and how we, as gardeners, can take advantage of that science to propagate new and interesting plants. We will talk all about what woody plant seeds need to germinate, how we can overcome dormancy and take advantage of the diversity that comes with propagating plants from seed.

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

In this in person session, Mary Louise offers participants guided hands-on step-by-step practice using Aperture Priority shooting mode. You will practice achieving shallow and deep depth-of-field in this mode while taking photographs of our beautiful garden as well as adapting to other settings like white balance and exposure compensation.

Growing Plants in Containers: From Container Gardens to Houseplants
Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Professor and Lecturer Emeritus
Mondays, April 3, 2023 – May 22, 2023 6:30 PM

Have any containers you’d like to repurpose? In this in person and online lecture series, Bryce Lane will share helpful tips on how to "potscape" with woody plants both indoors and out!

Photography Walk
"Creating Artistic Photos using Intentional Camera Movement"
Mary Louise Ravese, Bella Vista Photography
Friday, April 14 – 10:30 AM

Taking artistic photos can be difficult. In this in person course, Mary Louise Ravese will teach you how to use intentional camera movement (ICM) to create exposure streaks and blurs so your pictures stand out and move at the same time!

Gardening with Beneficial Insects
Greg Paige, Director of Horticulture
Saturday, May 13 – 10:00 AM

Do insects bug you? If so, Director of Horticulture Greg Paige might convince you otherwise in his in person class covering basic integrated pest management. He will explain where beneficial insects fit into management of a healthy and happy landscape and why you’ll want them in your garden. This class is only offered in person.

Awesome Combinations for Every Garden
Brie Arthur, Author Horticulturist, and Lifelong Home Gardener
Saturday, May 20 – 10:00 AM

Join Brie Arthur’s in person and online presentation covering all the best, new, tried, and true varieties for your garden. Whether you want to spruce up your selections or learn more about plants, she will reveal what’s easiest to grow and most beautiful to show.

If you have questions about any of these programs, please contact us at
Propagation Workshops
By Lindsay DeQuick, Programs and Education Assistant

Take your skills to the next level. In May and June, we'll have varying classes of expertise for novices or advanced gardeners to further challenge themselves. These workshops often sell out, so reserve your spot today.

"Advanced Softwood Cuttings"
Tim Alderton, Research Technician
Friday, May 26 – 8:30 AM

It’s back! Join JCRA staff in this in person advanced hands-on workshop propagating woody ornamental plants with stem cuttings. Participants will briefly review tips and tricks for propagation, but shouldn’t attend unless they have propagation experience.

"Beginner Softwood Cuttings"
Sophia McCusker, Nursery Technician
Friday, May 26 – 1:30 PM

If you feel like you need a refresher or are just beginning your propagation journey, join JCRA staff for this instructional workshop. Here, you will learn the basics about propagating woody ornamental plants with stem cuttings!

"Advanced Softwood Cuttings"
Tim Alderton, Research Technician
Saturday, June 3 – 8:30 AM

If you can't make Tim Alderton's first Advanced Propagation Workshop, don't fret! He will be teaching another hands-on workshop at the beginning of June covering the same materials.

"Beginner Softwood Cuttings"
Sophia McCusker, Nursery Technician
Saturday, June 3 – 1:30 PM

Sophia McCusker is offering an additional propagation workshop in the beginning of June. If you can't make her first one, be sure to sign up for this session! During this class, you will learn how to take stem cuttings, what rooting hormones are, and how to care for cuttings as they root through demonstration and hands-on application!

Tim and Doug planting flowering lawn
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

Garden Story Walk
Monday, March 6 – Friday, March 10 – 9:00 AM
Saturday, March 11 – Sunday, March 12 – 10:00 AM
In Person

Midweek with Mark
"Vietnam Travelogue"
Mark Weathington
Wednesday, March 8 – 3:00 PM

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

Propagating Woody Plants from Seed
Bryce Lane
Saturday, March 11 – 9:00 AM
In Person and Online

Saturday, March 11 – 10:00 AM
In Person

Deeper in the Garden
"Keeping Hellebores Happy"
Tim Alderton
Wednesday, March 15 – 3:00 PM

North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture
"Spring Alpines of the Spanish Aragonian Pyrenees"
Todd Boland
Saturday, March 18 – 10:00 AM
In Person and Online

Day of Giving
Wednesday, March 22 – 10:00 AM

Gardening Conversations
Mark Weathington
Wednesday, March 22 – 3:00 PM

Gardening Adventures with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers
"Vegetable Gardening for Beginners"
Cassandra Carponter
Monday, March 27 – 10:00 AM

Horticulture Hour
JCRA Horticulture Staff
Wednesday, March 29, 2023 – 3:00 PM

✽Denotes a children's program.
Magnolia ×loebneri 'Merrill'
Coming Attractions

By Nancy Doubrava, JCRA Volunteer
Forsythia giraldiana 'Golden Times'
Corylopsis sinensis
Chinese winterhazel
Cornus florida subsp. urbiniana
Chaenomeles 'Orange Storm' (Double Take)
hybrid flowering quince

Corylopsis glabrescens var. gotoana
Viburnum tinus 'Lisa Rosa' (Shades of Pink)
Magnolia 'Raspberry Ice'
Magnolia 'Lois'
Brooklyn Botanic Garden hybrid magnolia
Cercis chinensis 'Kay's Early Hope'
Camellia japonica 'Jack's'
Broadrose Japanese camellia
Fothergilla gardenii 'Suzanne'
Cercis canadensis 'Floating Clouds'
variegated eastern dogwood
Photography in this e-Update by: Tim Alderton, Dennis Carey, Don Chernoff, Ralph Parker, and Alycia Thornton, Ira Tucker. Thank you for sharing your images with us. Interested in volunteering? Contact Kathryn Wall,
YouTube Channel Update

Ten public programs were recorded in January. These videos were all were posted 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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