JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update
September 2023

Your Monthly News and Updates

Director's Note

Not that it feels much like it, but fall is rapidly approaching and everything seems to go from busy to insanity here at the Arboretum. Programming is back in full swing, although it never really slowed down. One of the highlights is the September 14 Friends Lecture (in person only) with JCRA friend and multiple-time James Beard Award nominee Diane Flynt. Diane is launching her new book “Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived: The Surprising Story of Apples in the South”. I got an advance copy and it is fascinating! We’ll also have the fine folks from James Creek Cidery here with apples to taste and cider to sip. The event is free for members but you must register online as space is limited.

Of course, September also means it is time for our online fall plant sale. Greg & Sophia have been working hard producing plants from the collections and carefully picking some cool selections from various nurseries to offer you. Members get first pick but numbers on many of the plants are limited so don’t delay with your order. The sale features heat tolerant heuchera, foolproof garden mums, and enough trees, shrubs, vines, and perennials for the most jaded gardener. I know I’ll be putting my order in as soon as the sale opens on September 7 at noon.

And speaking of members getting first access, Moonlight in the Garden tickets go on sale to members on Wednesday, September 6 at noon. Make sure you don’t miss out as we expect another sellout year.

See you in the garden.


Members Shop Early—Beginning at Noon on
Thursday, September 7, 2023

Sale Opens to All—12:00 PM ET, Friday, September 8, 2023

Sale Ends—12:00 PM ET, Tuesday, September 12, 2023

JCRA Pick-up—September 20-22 by Appointment

Plant List

Watch your email on Thursday morning for the the shopping link! The sale will go live at noon. The link for the sale will be available on our website on Friday, September 8 at noon for the general public.

The Hottest Ticket in Town!

Moonlight in the Garden 2023

By Arlene Calhoun, Associate Director

The bands are booked, the food truck line-up is in place and the marshmallow sticks ordered. It won’t be long before cooler temperatures are here, and we open the gates for a nighttime stroll.

Moonlight in the Garden is loved by many far and wide. Don’t hesitate to get your tickets early.

Preview Night has moved to the first Friday night in November. Food trucks are replaced with catered small plate stations and grazing tables showcasing a scrumptious fall menu. The bar will be open serving beer and wine and of course we’ll have hot apple cider and marshmallows to roast for you and your guests. Your membership status gets you and your guests early entry for this preview evening. The gates will open at 6:30 PM for you and your guests, a full 30 minutes before the event officially starts at 7:00 PM.

Moonlight in the Garden 2023

Member Tickets go on sale, Wednesday, September 6 at noon

Preview Night, Friday, November 3

Event Nights

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

November 9, 10, and 11 and November 16, 17, and 18
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

and members with Preview Night tickets get early entry.

Important things to know:

  • Member-only Ticket Sales starts Wednesday, September 6 at Noon

  • Link to the online ticketing site will arrive in your email inbox by Noon on September 6.

  • Only members can buy Anytime tickets. These single-use tickets are flexible and allow you to select the date and time to use them closer to the event.

  • Members can buy Anytime Tickets for themselves and their guests.

  • We ask that members use their member rate only for those at the same membership address. Members can buy tickets for others in advance at the nonmember rate during the same transaction.

Preview Night is Friday, November 3. Only 500 tickets are available for this special night that offers a catered fall menu served with beer & wine.

Moonlight in the Garden is our largest fundraising event and helps us raise the funds necessary to keep our gates open and our admission free 365 days a year. We are anticipating another sold-our year. I hope you'll join us. Bring a friend or two—the more, the merrier.

Back to (Gardening) School

By Elizabeth Overcash, Education and Communications Manager

This past weekend, we hosted Intro to Gardening in the South to welcome new gardeners to the area. The speakers gave tips on pruning, planting and pest management, discussed the ups and downs of the Piedmont’s clay soils, and showed us winter gardening ideas to keep us outside even when it gets cool. It reminded all of us of why we love this program so much. It was our chance to share our gardening passion with newcomers and welcome them to our gardening community.

We are keeping the momentum going strong with a great September lineup of classes. You can choose to dig deeper with Bryce Lane’s P-Squared class where for 6 weeks you’ll learn how to improve your planting and pruning skills. For those of you wanting to tap into your artistic side, sign up for the Photography Walk with Mary Louise Ravese of Bella Vista Photography or Preston’s Montague’s Nature of Drawing Fall Studio.

If you’re partial to online classes, we have this month’s Midweek Programming all set to fill your Wednesday afternoons including a talk with Greg Paige and Ann Church on “Horticulture & Mental Health.” And, don’t miss our friend, Shannon Currey, of Izel Native Plants, joining us for Garden Conversations.

For all our family members or members with families, there’s learning for you too! Lunch and Lit is coming back starting September 11 for 5th through 8th graders. This fall’s book, The Year Money Grew on Trees by Aaron Hawkins, tells the exciting story of a group of young people managing an apple orchard on their own, and encourages ingenuity and creativity while inspiring young readers to engage with the natural world.

If you have younger ones in the house this month, check out the new Garden Science class series or sign up for a Garden Storytime. Everyone should join us for Take a Child Outside week, September 24 through September 30. This is a special week to encourage all families to get outside and enjoy nature together. We will have a special activity for visitors to enjoy while visiting the Arboretum.

An Apple a Day…

There is a special Friends of the Arboretum Lecture this month!

We hope you’ve made plans to join us on Thursday, September 14 for a special Friends of the Arboretum Lecture with Diane Flynt. She’ll be sharing stories from her new book, "Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived: The Surprising Story of Apples in the South.” She’ll be joined by David Vernon of Century Farm Orchards and Ann Marie Thornton of James Creek Cider House to keep the conversation and questions flowing. Then after we have talked all we can about apples, you’ll have a chance to sip and taste apples. Some think that pumpkin spice dominates fall, but we’re going to make apples the superstar this fall!

Register for the FOA Lecture September 14→

New Space in the Arboretum Nursery

By Amy Beitzel, Development Assistant

Nestled within the Horticulture Field Laboratory, just south of the Arboretum grounds, you’ll find a series of hoop houses behind the scenes where we grow and nurture a variety of plants. Many of the plants found in the JCRA nursery were propagated from the garden, collection trips and from colleagues at other gardens and nurseries. Last winter, we reached out to the Arboretum community to ask for support to expand and upgrade this nursery space through the annual JCRA wishlist appeal.

Because of generous donations from Charlotte and John Presley, another anonymous donor, and many plant lovers like you, we're thrilled to announce the addition of two new hoop houses—one brand-new and one thoughtfully repurposed. These upgraded growing facilities play an essential role in fulfilling our mission of sharing and promoting diverse plant species with the broader green industry and our partner gardens, as well as our members and the public.

The expanded growing capacity enables JCRA to showcase an even wider array of intriguing plants in the garden and during our sales and auctions. The Arboretum relies on plant sales as one of the leading sources of funding to help us fulfill our mission of horticulture research, conservation and education. Completing this project contributed to a tremendously successful rare plant auction at the Southeastern Plant Symposium this past June.

We eagerly look forward to sharing more exciting plants from our nursery through the fall plant sale and member distribution in the coming weeks. Our community’s support of the annual JCRA wishlist is deeply appreciated. Mark and the Arboretum staff are carefully compiling the next set of priority projects to be shared by November 2023. Please consider including JCRA in your year-end giving plans.

September Evening Garden Stroll

Take a break from your weekly grind and come enjoy the gardens during our Evening Garden Stroll! The gardens will remain open until 7:30 PM on Tuesday, September 12. A free public tour of the Arboretum will be offered at 5:00 PM, departing from the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to visit the garden after hours for a stroll through our premiere collection of flowering trees, shrubs, and perennials!

This month's highlight will be a Free Yoga Class on the Great Lawn from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM.

Yoga Class Details:
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to check in and get settled
- Bring your own mat, blanket, or towel
- Don't forget to bring water!
- Yoga Instructor: Rayneen Thebeau & Shadow•n•Soul

Member Highlights

Kathryn Wall, Membership & Volunteer Manager

Welcome to the new members who have joined the Arboretum in the past month or so. Did you know your JCRA membership card gives you discounts and free admission to gardens across North America? The American Horticultural Association's Reciprocal Admissions Program now includes over 330 gardens. Have travel plans? See if there's a member garden you could explore (send me photographs!). Download the printable Reciprocal Gardens list to take with you.

The monthly Plant Lover's Tours, led by our horticulturists, are free for members. They are a great way to learn more about the plants and give you access to ask questions. The next tour is Tuesday, September 5, at 9:00 AM. Meet at the Visitor Center. The September tour is "A Memo from the Monocots" led by Tim Alderton, Research Technician.

Members, here is some insider info! Thanks to our volunteer tour guides, we will be offering free public tours of the JC Raulston Arboretum on Sundays in September. Meet at the Visitor Center at 2:00 PM.

7th Annual Fall for Orchids Show

Friday, September 8–12:00 PM–4:30 PM

Saturday, September 9–10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Sunday, September 10–10:00 AM–3:00 PM

The Triangle Orchid Society of North Carolina cordially invites you to their 7th 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.

September Events

Plant Buggy

Daily at the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center

Garden Storytime*

Full—Waitlist Started

Friday, September 1–10:00 AM

In Person

Garden Story Walk*

Saturday, September 2–Sunday, September 10

In Person

Plant-lover’s Tour

“A Memo from the Monocots”

Tim Alderton

Tuesday, September 5–9:00 AM

In Person

Hydroponics, Grades K-2*

Garden Science

Wednesday, September 6–11:00 AM

In Person

Hydroponics Grades 3-5*

Garden Science

Wednesday, September 6–1:00 PM

In Person

Gardening 101

“September Gardening Tasks”

Tim Alderton

Wednesday, September 6–3:00 PM


Fall Online Plant Sale

Opens to Arboretum members – Thursday, September 7, 12:00 PM

Opens to the public – Friday, September 8, 12:00 PM

Closes – Tuesday, September 12 at 12:00 PM

7th Annual Fall for Orchids Show

Sponsored by the Triangle Orchid Society (TOS) of North Carolina

Friday, September 8–12:00 PM–4:30 PM

Saturday, September 9–10:00 AM–5:00 PM

Sunday, September 10–10:00 AM–3:00 PM

In Person

Girl Scout Program*

Outdoor Art

Sunday, September 10–2:00 PM

In Person

Lunch and Lit in the Garden*

Mondays, September 11 through November 6–12:00 PM

In Person

P-Squared: Planting & Pruning for the Home Gardener

Bryce Lane

Mondays, September 11 through October 16–6:30 pm

In Person and Online

Fall Online Plant Sale

Closes at 12:00 PM

Tuesday, September 12


Evening Garden Stroll

Tuesday, September 12–4:00 PM

Featuring Yoga in the Garden at 6:00 PM

In Person

Midweek with Greg & Ann

"Horticulture & Mental Health"

Greg Paige

Wednesday, September 13–3:00 PM


Nature Journaling, Grades K-2*

Garden Science

Thursday, September 14–11:00 AM

In Person

Nature Journaling, Grades 3-5*

Garden Science

Thursday, September 14–1:00 PM

In Person

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture

"Wild, Tamed, Lost Revived" A lecture and conversation with Diane Flynt

Thursday, September 14–6:30 PM

In Person

Garden Storytime*

Friday, September 15–10:00 AM

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

"Discovering Ecuador’s Highland Alpines and Orchids"

Jerry Yu

Saturday, September 16–10:00 AM

In Person and Online

Deeper in the Garden

"Big Honkin' Trees"

Greg Paige

Wednesday, September 20–3:00 PM


Apple-Palooza!, Grades K-2*

Garden Science

Friday, September 22–11:00 AM

In Person

Apple-Palooza!, Grades 3-5*

Garden Science

Friday, September 22–1:00 PM

In Person

The Nature of Drawing: Fall Studio

Preston Montague

Saturday, September 23–9:00 AM

In Person

Take a Child Outside*

Nature Walk

Sunday, September 24–Saturday, September 30–10:00 AM

In Person

Gardening Adventures with Master Gardener Volunteers

"Attracting Wildlife and Butterflies"

Gail Beaulieu

Monday, September 25–10:00 AM


Photography Walk

"Wide Angle Close-up Garden Photography"

Mary Louise Ravese

Wednesday, September 27–10:00 AM

In Person

Garden Conversations

"Featuring Shannon Currey"

Greg Paige

Wednesday, September 27–3:00 PM


Garden Storytime*

Friday, September 29–10:00 AM

In Person

✽Denotes a children's program.

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

Coming Attractions

By the JCRA Programs Team

Zephyranthes 'Lily Pies'


Poncirus trifoliata 'Flying Dragon'

contorted hardy orange

Erythrina ×bidwillii

coralbean hybrid

Hedychium coccineum 'Disney'

red ginger-lily

Mahonia gracilipes

red-flowered mahonia

Videos added to our YouTube Channel

In August, we added 11 new videos to our YouTube channel, including 4 from the Intro to Gardening in the South program held on August 26.

Plant-lover's Tour - "Hot Summer Plants"
Gardening 101 - "August Gardening Tasks"
Midweek with Mark & Greg - "Gardening for Dogs"
Deeper in the Garden - "Groundcovers"
Garden Conversations - "Featuring Brent Heath"
Intro to Gardening in the South - "From Planting to Pruning to Pest Management" - Bryce Lane
Intro to Gardening in the South - "The Dirt on Soil" - Ashley Troth, PhD
Intro to Gardening in the South - "Yes, You Can Garden in Winter, Here!" - Keith Lukowski
Intro to Gardening in the South - "Speaker Q&A"
Master Gardener Talk - "Drought Tolerant Plants"
JCRA Horticulture Hour - August 30, 2023

JC Raulston Arboretum
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
Contact us at

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 use the link below, you will receive no communications from the JCRA.

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