Raulston Blooms!

A Garden Festival for All Ages

  • Saturday, April 1, 2017 – 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 while supporting the JC Raulston Arboretum. 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.


  • JCRA Spring Plant Sale – plus select guest plant vendors
    • Pine Knot Farms
    • Mr. Maple
    • Superior Plants Nursery
  • 17th Annual Birdhouse Competition
  • Gardening talks – learn from the experts
      • Brie Arthur – foodscaping
      • Bryce Lane – improving your health with gardening
      • Will Hooker – permaculture
      • Mark Weathington – great plants
  • Hands-on fun for children and families
  • Invited artists and craftsmen
  • Food trucks, Neomonde, and NC State Howling Cow ice cream
  • Educational displays and demonstrations
Gardening Talks

Gardening Talks

Get great ideas for your home landscape from the experts. Bryce Lane, NC State University lecturer, will present an inspiring talk, "Improving Your Health: How Plants Make Us Feel Better." Learn how to design home landscape using edible plants with Brie Arthur, Growing a Greener World, at "Foodscaping Revolution." Will Hooker, permaculture expert, will show us how to incorporate environmentally friendly principles into our home gardens.

Spring Plant Sale

Spring Plant Sale

Gardeners love buying hard to find plants selected especially for our climate by JCRA staff. Plus, this year's plant sale has been expanded and will include Pine Knot Farms, Mr. Maple, and Superior Plants Nursery. Members will save 10% (JC Raulston Arboretum plants only).

Members-only Preview Sale

Members can shop early on Friday, March 31 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Not a member?

Join today.

Annual Birdhouse Competition

Birdhouse Competition

The 17th Annual 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.

Children and Family

Children and Family

For children there will be exciting hands-on learning activities, garden crafts, and science experiences. Learn about bees, bugs, chickens, and more.

Artists and Vendors

Artists and Craftsmen

Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts and items from artisans and vendors.


Food Vendors

Gourmet treats will be available for purchase from food trucks and other vendors. NC State's famous Howling Cow ice cream will also be for sale.

Schedule of Events

9:00 am
All Activities Open
JC Raulston Arboretum Plant Sale – Great Lawn
17th Annual Birdhouse Competition – McSwain Center
Book Signing – Brie Arthur – Apparel Tent, Great Lawn
10:00 am
Bryce Lane – "Improving Your Health: How Plants Make Us Feel Better"  – Speaker's Tent, Great Lawn
11:00 am
Classical Guitar Performance, Meredith Community School of Music – South Terrace, McSwain Center
11:30 am
Brie Arthur – "The Foodscaping Revolution" and book signing – Speaker's Tent, Great Lawn
12:30 pm
Composting with Rhonda Sherman – Great Lawn
Extension Master Gardeners – Great Lawn
1:00 pm
Mark Weathington – "Hot Plants for Cool Gardens" –  Plant Sale Area, Great Lawn
2:00 pm
Will Hooker – "Permaculture: Sustainable Living Methodology for Home, Garden, and Community" –  Speaker's Tent, Great Lawn
2:30 pm
Book Signing – Brie Arthur – Apparel Tent, Great Lawn
4:00 pm
All Activities Close

Gardening Talks

Brie Arthur

Brie Arthur, Correspondent, Growing a Greener World
"The Foodscaping Revolution"

Learn about how to make the most of the space you cultivate by adding edibles to your traditional landscape. Growing a Greener World's foodscaping correspondent, Brie Arthur shares advice on creating an HOA approved landscape that is both beautiful and bountiful. Join the revolution and cultivate a "yard to table" experience that everyone in your family will enjoy!

Brie Arthur

Bryce Lane, NC State University Lecturer
"Improving Your Health: How Plants Make Us Feel Better"

Did you know that a 20 minute stroll in a garden improves your health? Join Three-time Emmy winner Bryce Lane from In the Garden with Bryce Lane as he shares about the many benefits plants, gardens, and gardening have on mind, body and soul.

Will Hooker

Will Hooker, NC State University Retired Professor
"Permaculture: A Sustainable Living Methodology for the Home, Garden, and Community"

There is a growing concern about leading our lives in a more environmentally friendly manner, and permaculture allows us to meet many of our needs for food, water, shelter, and energy, all within the context of our home gardens. Join Permaculture expert Will Hooker as he describes how he applied these principles in his home garden, and shares some strategies with you.

Mark Weathington

Mark Weathington, Director, JC Raulston Arboretum
"Hot Plants for Cool Gardens"

What are some of the best landscape plants from the brand new releases to proven performer? Find out here! All plants discussed will be available at the JCRA Plant Sale during Raulston Blooms!

Educational Displays and Demonstrations

  • Chickens
  • Bees
  • Vermiculture
  • Wake County Master Gardeners
  • Bill Satterwhite (manages the bluebird houses at the JCRA)
  • NC State University Entomology Club is bringing bugs!
  • Project PLANTS student
  • North American Rock Garden Society (selling plants, too)
  • American Conifer Society
  • Face painter

Artists and Craftsmen

Rimshotz Studio

Striking a balance between classic design, shape and texture,  Michael Salemi turns ikebana, dried-flower vases, bowls and boxes in very non-standard shapes. This unique pieces are a result of his interest in finding news ways to help the wood speak.


Kiki's Rewind Designs

Unique textile creations made from Vintage and reclaimed materials. Christine Ramsey's designs include upcycled tool aprons, fabric hats, collage bags and scarves--all are made one at a time, designed and stitched by the artist at her dining room table in Apex..


Artisanal Jewelry by Kate Wiegand

Unique handmade jewelry with a contemporary twist that's perfect for a casual yet sophisticated style. Incorporating high quality semi-precious gemstones and findings, Kate aspires to create jewelry that will become treasured for yours to come. Each piece is handcrafted in Raleigh.


Compost Now

Compost now is an organization that collects food scraps from residents and businesses to help reduce waste and to support local gardens. Currently, serving the Triangle region (Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Apex, and Morrisville) and Asheville.


Mary Jo's Studio

Bird feeders and garden art made from recycled material then decoratively hand-painted.

Bee Creative Glass Blowing

Bee Creative Glass Blowing mobile unit will be set up hot and ready for participants to make handblown spring eggs. Ages 7 and up. Arrive early and reserve your spot to make a one-of-a-kind beauty. A $5 donation will be given to the Arboretum for every egg made.

Food Vendors

Buzzy Bakes

Buzzybakes is a mobile bakery and coffee bar offering premium coffee and delicious homemade baked goods.


Ed Mitchell's Q on Wheels

Barbeque king and head pitmaster, Ed Mitchell, uses over 150-years of generational cooking techniques. His ingredients are the highest obtainable quality, sustainable, and local, all whenever possible, to create a distinctive dining experience.


Fully Loaded Fritters

Fully Loaded Fritters is a gourmet food truck serving made-to-order loaded fritters. They have a fritter for everyone, including pork, chicken, beef, seafood lovers and even a bananas foster and apple for the sweet tooth. Mac and cheese and meatball fritters are always a great hit with the kids



Neomonde offers a wonderful mix of traditional and contemporary Mediterranean menu items, including a wide variety of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. Voted the #1 restaurant in the Triangle by diners on TripAdvisor.


Thai Box Zing

Thai Box Zing in Raleigh is a kitchen on wheels serving Thai and Lao cuisine. Exotic flavors with a punch!.


NC State University

NC State's Howling Cow ice cream is a favorite of all ages and will be available for purchase.

Come explore the garden and follow our Facebook page to see event spotlights.

2017 Maple Sponsors

The Maple Sponsors below provide financial support for our 2017 educational programs, research, and day-to-date operations. We are so grateful.


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  • Margie and Keith Collins
  • Dave and Karen Duch
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/a-e-finley-foundation.jpg
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/han-dee-hugos.jpg
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/hoffman-nursery.jpg
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/johnson-nursery.jpg
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/farm-bureau-insurance.jpg
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/neomonde.jpg
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/north-carolina-nursery-and-landscape-association.jpg
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/pender-nursery.jpg
  • Bobby G. Wilder


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  • Anonymous Volunteer
  • Dean and Gail Bunce
  • Capitol City Lumber Co.
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/fair-products.jpg
  • Eileen Goldgeier
  • Malissa and Russ Kilpatrick
  • Edd and Ruth McBride
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  • Old Courthouse Nursery
  • Richard (Dick) Pearson & Joan Robertson
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/piedmont-carolina-nursery-and-landscaping.jpg
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/plant-delights-nursery.jpg
  • Anne M. Porter
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/red-and-white-shop.jpg
  • Redwine's Plantscaping
  • Denny and Georgina Werner
  • Florence Whatley
  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/worthington-farms.jpg


  • Rufus and Linda Edmisten
  • Dr. Arthur Kelly
  • Sharon Lavallee and Mike Young
  • Outfall Farms
  • Sampson Nursery, Inc.
  • Johnny and Jackie Wynne

In-kind Donors

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  • https://jcra.ncsu.edu/support/sponsors/2017-maple-sponsors/southern-lights.jpg

Learn more about sponsoring the Arboretum.

Proceeds from Raulston Blooms! benefit the daily operations and programs of the JC Raulston Arboretum. Fund-raising efforts for the JC Raulston Arboretum operate under the auspices of the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit (tax ID 56-6049304).

Free for members, $5.00 for nonmembers, $10.00 per family. Admission includes admission to the 17th Annual Birdhouse Competition and JCRA Plant Sale, too. The last tickets will be sold at 3:30 pm. Admission fees support the JC Raulston Arboretum’s general fund within the NC Agricultural Foundation, Inc. (Tax ID 56-604930).
Tickets for Raulston Blooms! are available online and can be purchased in advance, Monday–Friday, at the JC Raulston Arboretum (Ruby C. McSwain Education Center). Tickets can also be purchased the day of the event.
This event is rain or shine and all ticket sales are final.
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.