Raulston Blooms!

A Garden Festival for All Ages

  • Saturday, April 11, 2015 – 9:00 am4:00 pm

What is it? Fun for the whole family! Learn, shop for your garden, get great ideas, and enjoy gourmet treats at Raulston Blooms! We 're rolling out the red carpet for members, home gardeners, families, and children by offering a day that's packed with garden and nature activities, shopping, and outdoor fun.


  • Spring Plant Sale
  • Birdhouse Competition
  • Children's activities
    • maze
    • storytime
    • games
    • hands-on learning activities
  • Gardening talks and demonstrations
  • Arts and crafts vendors
  • Food trucks
  • NC State's Howling Cow ice cream
  • Thousands of plants in our world-famous gardens
Raulston Blooms!

Three Events in One

Raulston Blooms!

Raulston Blooms!

Children Activities

For kids there will be a grassy maze, story time, games, and hands-on learning experiences.


Adults can see and hear expert demonstrations on a variety of home gardening topics.

Spring Plant Sale

Spring Plant Sale

Gardeners love buying hard to find plants selected by JCRA staffers especially for our climate. Members save 10%.

Members-only Preview Sale

Members can shop early on Friday, April 10 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

Not a member? Join today.

15th Annual Birdhouse Competition

Birdhouse Competition

The birdhouse competition, which draws entries in categories from age six to adult, is inspiring, fanciful, and fun! It's a perennial hit with everyone from serious bird watchers and nature photographers to school classes and scouts.

Schedule of Events

9:00 am
All Activities Open (includes JCRA Plant Sale and 15th Annual Birdhouse Competition)
10:00 am
"One Bean" (family activity)
10:30 am
Concrete Garden Sculpture
11:00 am
Residential Foodscaping
Food Trucks Open
11:30 am
Hot Plants for Cool Gardens
1:00 pm
Secrets of Growing Roses
1:30 pm
Creative Container Gardening
2:00 pm
Benefits of Backyard Chickens
2:30 pm
Vertical Gardening
3:00 pm
Food Trucks Close
4:00 pm
All Activities Conclude

Educational Talks and Demonstrations

Elizabeth Overcash, JCRA – "One Bean Seed" – Garden Story Time
Justin Durango, Landscape Designer and Sculptor – "Concrete Garden Sculpture"
Brie Arthur, Growing a Greener World – "Residential Foodscaping"
Mark Weathington, JCRA – "Hot Plants for Cool Gardens"
David Pike, Witherspoon Rose Culture – "Secrets of Growing Roses"
Preston Montague, Carolina Naturalist – "Creative Container Gardening"
Tour D'Coop – "Benefits of Backyard Chickens"
Leslie Herndon, Greenscapes – "Vertical Gardening"

Educational Displays

North Carolina Museum of Art – Art in Bloom
Diane Mays – DIY terrariums
North Carolina Bluebird Society – Bill Satterwhite
Wake Audubon – Ornithology
Face Painter – Decoraciones Amado (Victor Amado)
NC State's Department Entomology – DIY mason bee houses
Tour D'Coop – chicken and coop care


SusiSolar Clay Works

Pittsboro-based clay pottery and plateware with botanical influences and patterns. This decorative and functional stoneware clay art is created by pressing plant material into the soft clay-capturing fragments of nature–a reminder of how fragile today's environment is today.

Jerry Fowler Ceramics


Pittsboro-based glazed, ceramics ranging from plate ware to vases to "cosmic" piggy banks.

Fiddlehead Pottery


Functional pottery inspired by textures and patterns found in the artist's daily life, like sand patterns on the beach, tree bark, fungi, moss, and ferns uncurling.

Kiki's Rewind Designs


Super-sturdy "up-cycled" fabric aprons geared towards working women and gardeners.

Fly Trap Clothing


Pittsboro-based, American made materials create one-of-a kind screen printed fabrics and leather accessories and garments... many with a local NC theme.

Bailey Bee Supply


In addition to beekeeping supplies, they provide a variety of local beekeepers' raw honey, Vintage Bee honey vinegar, raw and creamed honey, gifts, and art and crafts relating to bees.

Anne McLean Designs

Hand-crafted books, journals, and other paper products created by current NC State student.

Stephen Odom

Hand-crafted wood pens designed by current NC State student.

Vespertine Café


Carborro-based boutique offering hand-made jewelery, local bath products, clothing, and cards.

Food Vendors

Bulkogi Korean BBQ


Korean-culture inspired street food with an emphasis on BBQ. The food truck also offers a variety of other Asian-fusion items.

Oscar William Cotton Candy

Apex-based, family-operated, gourmet cotton candy company with unique flavors and organic ingredients.

Red Hot and Blue

Southern BBQ

Speaker Biographies

Elizabeth Overcash, JC Raulston Arboretum

Elizabeth Overcash is the children's program coordinator at the JC Raulston Arboretum and a graduate of NC State University's Department of Horticultural Science. Her roots in horticulture started in her childhood growing up in eastern North Carolina. As a child, she spent countless hours picking seeds from cotton growing in the field at the end of her street, thumping melons in the fields, playing hide and seek among the corn stalks, and listening to tobacco auctioneers with one grandfather, and exploring the other grandfather's backyard farm of berries, vegetables, figs, pears, and roses. Two inquisitive daughters sparked her interest to teach young children about plants. In her work as children's program coordinator, Elizabeth strives to bring some of those same childhood experiences of exploring, growing, and wonderment to children and their families who visit the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Brienne Arthur, Foodscaping and Landscaping Design Correspondent at Growing a Greener World

Brienne Arthur is originally from southeastern Michigan and studied landscape design at Purdue University. In 2000, she was an intern at Montrose in Hillsborough, North Carolina, where she fell in love with the South and returned to Chapel Hill in 2002. During the last 12 years, she has worked with many outstanding horticulture professionals. Brie is currently working as propagator and grower at Camellia Forest Nursery, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Mark Weathington, JC Raulston Arboretum

Mark Weathington is the director at the JC Raulston Arboretum. He earned undergraduate degrees in horticulture and sociology and a M.S. in horticulture from Virginia Tech. He has served as director of horticulture for the Norfolk Botanical Garden and horticulturist at both the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and the Atlanta Botanic Garden. Mark writes and speaks on a variety of topics in horticulture. He has recently revised and updated the Propagation Guide for Woody Plants at the JC Raulston Arboretum. He has been published in Horticulture, Carolina Gardener, American Nurseryman, and Virginia Gardener magazines as well as the Mid-Atlantic Gardeners' Book of Lists. In addition, he writes two weekly columns for the Virginian-Pilot newspaper and features for several regional newspapers.

Preston Montague, Carolina Naturalist

Preston Montague is an artist, educator, and landscape designer who developed a passion for the natural world while growing up in the rural foothills of Virginia. Currently, he works in Raleigh, NC focusing on projects that strengthen relationships between people and nature.  Preston holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from North Carolina State University as well as degrees in fine art and horticulture.  His latest body of work, Old North Alphabet, is a series of didactic botanical illustrations designed to promote natural science literacy using art and storytelling.   Preston’s work can be found at www.carolinanaturalist.com

Free for members, $5.00 for nonmembers, $10.00 per family. Admission includes admission to the 15th Annual Birdhouse Competition and JCRA Plant Sale, too. Admission fees support the JC Raulston Arboretum’s general fund within the NC Agricultural Foundation, Inc. (Tax ID 56-604930).
Pay at door.
JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, North Carolina.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available along Beryl Road and in the Brickhaven Building's parking lot.
Please call (919) 515-3132 for more information about this event.