Intro to Gardening in the South

Registration Closed

Sponsored by Leaf & Limb

  • Saturday, February 3, 2024 – 9:00 am12:00 pm

Registration for this event is closed. Recordings from the Symposium will be posted to our YouTube Channel the week following the event.

Are you new to the area or new to gardening? Make plans to attend Intro to Gardening in the South!

While gardening in the Southeastern US can have its challenges, particularly for new gardeners and gardeners new to the area, this region is absolutely brimming with potential for creating diverse and breathtaking garden spaces. Join us for a morning symposium full of tips, tricks, and insights into Gardening in the South so that your Southeastern garden can start strong and stay glorious!

Prunus mume 'Rose Bud'

We invite people new to the area or new to gardening to join us in person. Because we enjoy sharing all we know about this horticulturally rich area we call home, we invite more experienced gardeners to join us online to participate in the program. This program will also be uploaded to our YouTube channel after the event.

Schedule    Presentations    Sponsor   


Advance registration is required for both In Person and Online attendance. Register online using our registration e-store in-person program and online program). Registration is limited and is complete when online registration is completed.

Please register by January 31, 2024 to allow enough time for your registration to be processed to ensure you receive the instructions to join us prior to the program.


9:00 am
Welcome with Mark Weathington, Director, JC Raulston Arboretum
9:15 am
"Nothing Could be Finer"
Pam Beck, Freelance Garden Writer, Lecturer & Photographer,
9:45 am
"A Perennial Primer"
Doug Ruhren, Garden Curator, Juniper Level Botanic Garden
10:15 am
10:30 am
"IPM Basics for Beginner Gardeners"
Greg Paige, Director of Horticulture, JC Raulston Arboretum
11:00 am
Q&A with the speakers
12:00 pm
Program Conclusion


Garden scene with asclepias

"Nothing Could be Finer"
Pam Beck
Freelance Garden Writer, Lecturer and Photographer

This entertaining talk is a colorful travelogue of the outstanding public and private gardens of North Carolina, with occasional introductions to the talented people behind their creation. Beginning at the sandy coast, we will hopscotch up, down, and across the Old North State, peeking into gardens of all types, until we wind up our journey in the high mountains. If you love North Carolina, you will really enjoy this lecture.

Pam Beck

Pam Beck is a freelance garden writer, lecturer, and photographer. She regularly published articles in Carolina Gardener Magazine for 16 years; Pam wrote “Perennially Yours”, a monthly gardening column for the Raleigh News & Observer, for 5 years; and, Pam was awarded the Silver Trowel Award for magazine-writing for 2006 by the Garden Writer's Association (now GardenComm). She was also a local garden scout and stylist for Better Homes & Gardens magazine, and has been published in both Organic Gardening, and The American Gardener magazines.  

She has served on the Board of Advisors of the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, the Arboretum at Johnston Community College in Smithfield, and the Urban Forestry Board of Wake Forest.

Pam’s busy speaking schedule takes her to various gardening groups throughout the Southeast. Keep up with Pam on her website schedule.

Skipper on an echinacea

"A Perennial Primer"
Doug Ruhren
Juniper Level Botanic Garden

Herbaceous perennials are popular with gardeners for their ability to return year after year with beautiful flowers and foliage. Learn about the best and most reliable winter-hardy herbaceous perennials for gardens in the Southeast for sun and shade, wet or dry, and everything in between.

Douglas Ruhren

Douglas Ruhren has an extensive horticultural background and has worked on projects at Montrose Gardens, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, and Berkshire Botanical Garden. Doug assisted Edith Eddleman with the installation and initial maintenance of the perennial border at the JC Raulston Arboretum back in the 1980's when the gardens were still called the North Carolina State Arboretum.

Doug is the former Gardens Manager at the JCRA and is currently the Garden Curator at Juniper Level Botanic Garden just south of Raleigh. He earned a B.S. degree in Plant Science from Rutgers University and was first taught by his mother how to renewal prune forsythia well over half a century ago.

wooly aphids on an Ilex

"IPM Basics for Beginner Gardeners"
Greg Paige
JC Raulston Arboretum

Spraying for pests costs time and money; time we’d rather spend gardening, and money we’d rather spend on plants. In this talk, the JCRA’s Director of Horticulture, Greg Paige, will give you the run down on “Integrated Pest Management” - a pest control philosophy that prioritizes good gardening practices to minimize the damage caused by insects, rather than just mindlessly spraying. Greg will tell you what you need to know to minimize pests, maximize the beneficial insects visiting your garden, and keep your garden ecosystem balanced year-round.

Greg Paige

Greg Paige discovered his career goal early—creating and working in beautiful public gardens and sharing and teaching this passion with others. Prior to joining the JC Raulston Arboretum, Greg was the Director of Horticulture and Arboretum Curator for Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory in Charlotte, NC.

His 25-year career in public horticulture has involved work at some of the finest gardens in the country—Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, North Carolina; the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College; the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina; the Holden Arboretum outside Cleveland, Ohio; and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden.



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At Leaf & Limb, we care for trees because we love our planet. If you need tree care services, advice from our Treecologists, new trees, a Piedmont Prairie, or want to learn how to heal our planet, let's chat. We are a local, family-owned company, and we would love to help you! Visit our website or call us at 919-787-9551.

Registration for this event is closed.
Online and in person at the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh, NC 27606.
Need directions? Click here.
Free parking is available at the JC Raulston Arboretum and along Beryl Road.
Contact the JCRA Education Team at for more information about this program.