Friends of the Arboretum Newsletter
Fall 2009 – Volume 13, Number 2

Laying out the new Bedding Plant Trials and Plantsmen's Woods Laying out the new Bedding Plant Trials and Plantsmen's Woods
Laying out the new Bedding Plant Trials and Plantsmen's Woods Laying out the new Bedding Plant Trials and Plantsmen's Woods

Words from the Director

Status of the JCRA? We're OK! Hope You're OK!

By Ted Bilderback, Ph.D., Interim Director

More than anything else during my first six months as interim director, I have learned that the JC Raulston Arboretum has a lot of moving parts! Staff, interns, volunteers, friends, and activities move continually at full speed and on schedule at the JC Raulston Arboretum. That's pretty amazing, considering all the press and concern about the state budget and our struggling economy. We are not just fortunate—our triumphs are willed! A great deal of personal effort and support come from our volunteers and friends here at the Arboretum. Barbara Kennedy, volunteer coordinator, reports that we have more than 180 active volunteers now! It's incredible to realize the extent of effort and dedication that the JCRA receives from these friends! I am learning about all the "garden gangs" that we have here, such as the self-proclaimed Border Babes, Tuesday Rovers, Winter Gardeners, Viburnum Gardeners, Tour Guides, Scree and Xeric Gang, Visitor Center Groupies, Rose Ruffians… I guess I should not make up names!

Our fund-raising events in 2009, including the Gala in the Garden and Seasonal Celebrations, have been very successful. The Gala exceeded our expectations, an amazing accomplishment given the tough economic climate. Much has been said about how entertaining and rewarding the Seasonal Celebrations have been, and these special parties will continue throughout the year.

Revenue generated through the Gala in the Garden, the Seasonal Celebrations, and many private gifts keep our Master Plan projects moving forward. Work will begin this fall on a new entrance from Asian Valley into the Japanese Garden. The new garden gateway was funded as a grant by Pi Alpha Xi. Also, new handicapped-accessible pathways will soon be created to lead visitors through the Japanese Garden. Adjacent to the Japanese Garden, we will begin plant relocations in anticipation of construction of a new shade structure (lath house) designed by renowned architect Frank Harmon.

Bedding Plant TrialsYou may want to take a last look this summer at the trial beds, because immediately after ratings are completed for the 2009 Summer Annuals Trial Report, the soils in the beds created over the last fifty years will be excavated and used to create beds in their new location. This area was previously occupied by the Certified Professional Plants Collection, but is now a two-acre addition to the JCRA. We anticipate that this change will come quickly so the winter color plant trials can be planted and established before the weather gets cold.

Anticipated for spring 2010 is the development of the Ellipse. The centrally located Ellipse will be the future site for major outdoor events for the Arboretum. Progress will begin with grading and establishment of turf in the old Bedding Plant Trials.

Just come by for a visit, and you will be sure to notice all the remarkable changes and exciting additions that are taking place. The planning and all these projects are a part of the Master Plan developed by our very talented master planners and dedicated friends of the JCRA. They are Harriet Bellerjeau, Rick Boggs, Suzanne Edney, Jeff Evans, Beth Jimenez, and Robert Mackintosh. Judy Harmon, Bobby Mottern, and Mark Weathington, staff advisor, recently joined the committee.

We have a few important events at the JCRA this fall as well, so please mark your calendars!

The Friends of the Arboretum Lectures start off on September 3 with yours truly. I will be talking about plants in New Zealand, a review of some of the interesting plants, points of interest, and the stunning views observed during my Sabbatical leave January to June 2008. This talk will be just before I leave for a trip to Ireland for an International Plant Propagators Society tour and meeting. I might need to do a talk about that trip, too!

The weekend of September 19 and 20 is a doubleheader scheduled at the JCRA. We should have lots of avid plant lovers in the vicinity. Pi Alpha Xi will be at the JCRA hosting their fall plant sale, plus tickets will be on sale for the weekend's Garden Conservancy's Open Days garden tours, featuring six beautiful private gardens in our area.

The following week on Friday, September 25, the JC Raulston Arboretum will host the Garden Writers Association (GWA) for a garden tour and dinner. The GWA's annual meeting, held in the new Raleigh Convention Center, marks this association's first conference in the southeastern United States. Attendance at Garden Writers meeting is often as high as 700 participants from all over the world. The Green Industry Council (GIC) has stepped up as a sponsor for the dinner in the garden and the GIC has also recruited partnerships from NC Department of Agriculture and the North Carolina Landscape & Nursery Association. Long-time friend and board member, Pam Beck, not only helped bring this prestigious group to our area, but she is also leading the coordination of the conference for the Raleigh site, serving as GWA's chair of the Local Arrangements Committee. We appreciate the opportunity to showcase our beautiful and unique arboretum.

Another first, on Friday, October 9, NC State University horticulture alums and Green Industry professionals who share a passion and personal connection for the JC Raulston Arboretum will gather for the first Green Industry Reunion. This is a $50 dinner and membership event where attendees not only receive dinner and a year membership to the Friends of the Arboretum, but will also enjoy a unique opportunity to reconnect to the JCRA and many, many old friends. The evening will be a time for reminiscing and getting reacquainted with old classmates and friends. We will also take a few moments to talk about upcoming and future Master Plan projects for the JCRA and how this talented group of professionals might once again take an active role in helping to shape this great garden. RSVPs are requested for planning. Visit for details.

Yes, lots of moving parts, so please come watch us move!


New Trees: Recent Introductions to Cultivation

By John Grimshaw and Ross Bayton

By Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections

New TreesMuch like certain Hollywood celebrities, there are a handful of references for woody plants that go by a single name amongst plant lovers. Bean, Griffiths, Dirr, Hillier, and Krussman all share valuable bookshelf space near to hand for most professionals and dedicated amateurs in the United States. While new editions of Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants have been coming out regularly, most of these other books are somewhat dated and information on unusual new species can be difficult to find. All this has changed with John Grimshaw and Ross Bayton's New Trees: Recent Introductions to Cultivation, destined to be known as Grimshaw when it takes its rightful place next to Dirr and Hillier on the shelf.

This exhaustive work has taken on the difficult task of describing species in cultivation in Europe and North America that were not previously described by Bean (more accurately, William J. Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles and its supplement by Desmond L. Clarke). A few of the species described are well entrenched in the nursery trade while others are represented by only a handful of collections; at least one plant is listed with the JCRA as having the only known plant in cultivation. We, of course, know better, since we have distributed the plant to several other gardens. The work masterfully combines up-to-the minute taxonomic data with beautiful and accurate descriptions and insightful comments on culture and adaptability from the author and an international team of gardeners, nurserymen, and experts. Beautiful photos (many from the JCRA) and excellent line drawings make this not only a valuable reference work, but also a book you could display on the coffee table.

Currently the book is available through Kew Publishing in England, but a deal has been struck with University of Chicago Press to publish it in the United States (available September 2009). The only downside to this reference is the inevitable plant lust it will cause for these mostly unavailable and hard-to-find new trees.

Chlorophyll In His Veins: J. C. Raulston, Horticultural Ambassador

A Friends of the Arboretum Lecture Presented by Bobby Ward, Ph.D., and Roy Dicks

December 3, 2009
7:30 PM

Bobby Ward, Ph.D., and Roy Dicks were lucky enough to be friends with J. C. Raulston for a decade before his untimely passing in 1996. As the 10th anniversary of J. C.'s death approached in 2006, Bobby and Roy felt it was time to have a permanent document of the life of such a significant plantsman, teacher, and personality.

They began a three-year quest to gather information about J. C. from friends, family, students, and colleagues, as well as from documents and records concerning his academic, horticultural, and social life. The result is their nearly completed book, Chlorophyll In His Veins: J. C. Raulston, Horticultural Ambassador.

Bobby and Roy will talk about the process of gathering the information and the challenges in getting the book published. The talk will include many little known facts and stories about J. C.'s childhood in Oklahoma, his military service, and his academic positions in Maryland, Florida, and Texas prior to coming to NC State University. They'll also discuss J. C.'s role in the establishment of the NCSU Arboretum, his outreach to the nursery industry, and his mentoring and teaching.

Books will be available after the lecture for purchase and signing, with a percentage of the sales going to the JC Raulston Arboretum.

Small Bulbs Now Mean Big Rewards Later

By Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections

Chionodoxa luciliae
Chionodoxa forbesii
Scilla siberica
Scilla bifolia
Hyacinthoides hispanica 'Excelsior'
Muscari armeniacum
Camassia quamash
Iris bucharica
Iris danfordiae
Leucojum aestivum
Galanthus nivalis

In the hectic days of fall, with school starting, the days getting shorter, and the leaves falling, many of us begin thinking about hanging up our trowel for the season. By the time we are ready to garden again it is spring and we realize we missed our chance yet again to plant those wonders of the spring garden, bulbs. Now through November is the time to get those resting bulbs into the ground so they can burst forth like a symphony in spring. Thomas Jefferson once wrote about bulbs, "The flowers come forth like the belles of the day, have their short reign of beauty and splendor; and retire like them…." He grew many types of bulbs, but today tulips and daffodils are the heavy hitters in the bulb world. They get the lion's share of attention and far outshine other bulbs in terms of numbers sold, varieties available, and colors. The other bulbs are often relegated to second rank and are commonly referred to as the "minor" bulbs. There is nothing minor about these beautiful plants, though. The smaller bulbs electrify the late winter and spring garden, combine well with other plants, and are often long-lived. Many of these bulbs do most of their growing in winter and very early spring and are going dormant by the time other plants are starting into active growth, so they can extend the gardening season quite a bit even in small gardens.

As a group, the smaller bulbs vary greatly in color, size, and appearance. Colors tend to range from white to various shades of true blue to yellow with an occasional pink. Plants are usually more diminutive than later flowering plants, and have small flowers, but this doesn't lessen the impact of sweeps and drifts of icy blue or golden yellow. Many of the smaller bulbs are related to lilies, while others are dwarf irises. The decreased stature of these bulbs means that the dying foliage does not clutter the garden like many daffodils do, but their tenacious attitude means they don't need to be replanted regularly like tulips. Many, if not most, of these bulbs come from areas with hot, dry summers and moist winters. They will settle right into the landscape, especially on sites with well-drained soils.

These winter-growing bulbs can be planted around deciduous shrubs and clumping perennials. Shrubs which are cut back yearly, like butterfly-bush (Buddleja davidii), blue mist shrub (Caryopteris ×clandonensis), and bush clover (Lespedeza thunbergii) are ideal specimens to plant around. During the summer, these shrubs take up quite a bit of growing space and excess water, but during the winter and spring when they have been cut back there is plenty of otherwise unused space around them. Other good companions are herbs, which also enjoy the very well-drained soils and full sun the bulbs prefer.

One of the most common colors for the small, winter flowering bulbs is the hard-to-find true blue. Unfortunately for gardeners, some of these bulbs do not have easy-to-say common names and are only referred to by their unwieldy scientific names. Chionodoxa is one such group. The most common, C. luciliae is a nice lavender blue with a white eye. It only grows to about 4"–6" and will tolerate some shade. It will seed around the garden some and eventually naturalize to form impressive drifts of late winter color. Pink and white forms are often available. Closely related is the deeper blue C. forbesii, which can be treated much the same as C. luciliae. Scilla is another group of excellent blue flowered bulbs. The most common, Scilla siberica, only grows to about 4" tall and is at home in sun or part shade. The pure blue flowers nod bell-like from the stems in early spring. Smaller and paler, but with more flowers per stem, is S. bifolia, larger (to 6"), with flowers ranging from pure white to exquisite pale tones highlighted by darker stripes, is the all-but-unpronounceable S. mischtschenkoana. The Spanish bluebell, Hyacinthoides hispanica, is somewhat taller than many of the other minor bulbs. The 16" stalks carry unscented, hyacinth-like, lavender-blue flowers in spring and are at their best in lightly shaded woodland gardens where they will naturalize into large colonies. White and pink forms are also available. Somewhat later in the spring, the grape hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum, bloom with deep purple flowers reminiscent of clusters of tiny grapes. This is a good bulb to plant among other bulbs since the foliage emerges in the fall. This trick helps you remember where you previously planted bulbs. Camassia quamash, small camas, is not only a beautiful late spring bulb forming robust clumps in moist soils, but is also the bulb which helped sustain Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they traveled through the Pacific Northwest. The tall spikes of large (to 2") star-shaped, pale to deep blue flowers brighten up sunny to lightly shaded spots.

Yellow flowers are especially cheerful at the end of winter and beginning of spring. Two small irises fall into this group. Iris bucharica is an easy plant for a sunny spot, although taller than some other plants mentioned here, often attaining 15" if happy. The flowers range from almost white with golden accents to pure gold and even lemony yellow. Another popular yellow species of iris, I. danfordiae, has a shorter stature and pure yellow flowers. It is often treated as an annual species because it can be difficult to keep flowering every year, but by planting it up to 8" deep and fertilizing heavily it will often continue flowering yearly.

Whites are represented by the elegant snowflakes, Leucojum, and snowdrops, Galanthus. Spring snowflakes, L. vernum, are among the first to open in late winter. They grow well in full sun or part shade in rich, somewhat moist, soils. It only grows to about 4", but the bright white bell flowers with green spots on their tips are particularly welcome in the shade. The larger (to 2') L. aestivum likes much the same conditions, but flowers later in the spring. The earliest of the flowering bulbs are the snowdrops, often beginning in early January. The relatively large flowers are held on stems from 4" to 10" and, like the later snowflakes, appreciate some shade. A woodland garden with several clumps of virginal white snowdrops in January is a sight to savor.

Tips for Growing the Smaller Bulbs

Most bulbs like a well-drained soil and can rot in spots which are too damp. In areas where nothing but bulbs are to grow, the soil can be dug out, bulbs placed on the lower layer of soil, and sand can be used to cover them. The bulb's roots will grow down into the soil while the sand above will keep their necks dry.

When planting, bulbs typically need to be about three to four times as deep as they are tall, so a 1" bulb should be planted 3"–4" deep. A notable exception is Iris danfordiae, which should be planted more deeply.

Bulbs can also be layered in one spot. Brent Heath of the renowned Brent and Becky's Bulbs in Gloucester, Virginia, calls this technique bulb lasagna. Plant the largest bulb, cover with soil, plant the next largest and cover with soil, and so on. Make sure the bulbs are not touching. Bulbs which are touching are prone to rotting. Snowdrops can give way to Chionodoxa, followed by grape hyacinths and Iris bucharica. For those of us who love plants and don't have much space, this technique is a must and works very well in containers.

The smaller bulbs usually look best in masses; dig a large hole and spread the bulbs over the entire area to simulate naturalized drifts. If fewer bulbs are being planted, toss them gently in the air and allow them to fall where they may. Plant them where they land to create a very organic, natural feel.

Fertilize when planting, and each subsequent year, with a bulb fertilizer. Bone meal is also often used, but it has a very low actual fertility rate.

If, after several years, your bulbs stop flowering well, dig them as they are going dormant and divide them and replant with more bulb fertilizer.

Magnolia Society International's Annual Meeting, 2009

By Tim Alderton, Research Technician

Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty'
Acer japonicum 'Wood's #2'
Anne Porter with Sequoiadendron giganteum
Lilium ciliata
Dichelostemma capitatum

In late May and early June, I was given the opportunity to attend the Magnolia Society International's annual meeting in Oregon. About 60 attendees came from as far away as Eastern Europe and as close to home as North Carolina, which had the largest contingency. During the actual meeting, day trips took the attendees to several nurseries, gardens, and natural areas, followed by dinners and lectures in the evenings. Nurseries and gardens visited included Terra Nova Nursery, Stanley and Sons Nursery, the Jane Platt Garden, Elk Rock Garden, Heritage Seedlings, Sebright Garden, and Cistus Nursery. Magnolias may have been the focus of the conference, but attendees appreciated any and all plants.

May 29, 2009

The day began at Terra Nova Nursery where we had the chance to see display gardens of the hundreds of herbaceous perennial cultivars they offer, or are trialing there, alongside trees and shrubs in a garden setting. This included the innumerable cultivars of Heuchera and ×Heucherella with their vibrantly colored, variably shaped, and multiple textured foliages. One of my favorites was ×Heucherella 'Sweet Tea', a new hybrid that used Heuchera villosa as one of the parents, giving it very large leaves and greater heat tolerance. Another plant of interest was Podophyllum 'Spotty Dotty'. This hybrid of the Asian species is a flamboyant cousin of our native mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum. Large starfish-shaped, intricately patterned leaves hiding burgundy blossoms formed small colonies under trees and shrubs in the display beds. The owner, Dan Heims, donated a new begonia hybrid, Begonia 'Silver Splendor', to the Magnolia Society auction, which I was later able to purchase for the Arboretum. One of the parents, Begonia hemsleyana, is a hardy species and will hopefully have passed its hardiness on to B. 'Silver Splendor'. Only time will tell. Following the tour of the display gardens, Dan and two other employees gave guided tours of the production greenhouses and shipping areas.

From Terra Nova Nursery, we were off to the Tree Line Lodge on Mt. Hood for lunch. The view was spectacular and we were greeted by warm, sunny weather that gave us the chance to dine outside despite the deep snow only being feet away. Looking south, Mt. Jefferson was in hazy view. Around the lodge, native Tsuga mertensiana grew, sculpted by the weight of deep snow and wind. Along the road going up the mountain, we sighted white trilliums beside small cataracts that erupted from the partially snow-covered banks, but they were impossible to photograph in the moving van.

Later back down the mountain, Larry Stanley, owner of Stanley and Sons Nursery in Boring, Oregon, and one of the speakers at the 2008 JC Raulston Symposium, gave us a guided tour of his arboretum, composed largely of rare and unusual conifers and Japanese maples. His young specimen of Acer japonicum 'Wood's #2' was stunning with its large puckered leaves. Fitzroya cupressoides, a rare South American conifer from southern Chile and Argentina, prospered in his collection, displaying its gracefully contorted arching branches. Larry had a small selection of his dwarf and miniature nursery plants available for purchase. Many left the nursery in bags, while others were shipped to the attendees to go to new homes throughout the country.

From Stanley and Sons Nursery, a quick ride took us to Multnomah Falls. We only had a short time, about 20-30 minutes, to view the 620' tall falls. In that compressed time frame, I was able to race to the base of the falls. Along the paved trail, native flora flourished. Mitella, Claytonia perfoliata, Geranium robertianum, Blechnum spicant, Gaultheria shallon, and Polystichum munitum, to name only a few, grew under enormous Thuja plicata and Acer macrophyllum. The branches of the trees were dripping with mosses and lichens due to the perpetual moisture of the falls and the frequent fog. Time was short this day, as we had to return to the hotel so the Board of Directors could meet and the attendees find dinner on their own before the evening's presentations.

The evening concluded with presentations by Dick Figler ("Chasing Magnolias in Thailand"), Jak Kieffer ("Magnolia grandiflora Seed Propagation"), Beth Edwards ("China's 2nd International Symposium on Magnoliaceae"), and Bill Smith ("Breeding Magnolias"). I was thoroughly impressed by all the speakers, especially Jak Kieffer. He is a high school student from Wake Forest, North Carolina. He had only just arrived that evening after leaving school early so that he could make the flight. His presentation was very professional and demonstrated that by use of gibberellic acid, stratification could be eliminated in the germination of Magnolia grandiflora. This would allow for more uniform germination of seedlings and a slightly shorter production time for seedling rootstocks.

May 30, 2009

Another busy day started with a visit to Elk Rock Gardens of Bishop's Close. This was the home where the late Jane Platt had grown up. Large specimen of Sequoiadendron giganteum, Quercus garryana, Magnolia obovata, Arbutus menziesii, and Acer macrophyllum framed the many views of the Willamette River from the gardens. A specimen of Rhododendron decorum, growing as a small tree in the understory of Quercus garryanas, was covered in 3" white blossoms. Other late-flowering rhododendrons were scattered throughout as well. Actinidia kolomikta clung to one corner of the home and another corner was graced with a Davidia involucrata with its huge white handkerchief flowers. Under the trees, the ground was carpeted with both native and exotic herbaceous plants. The pale lavender Iris tenax flowered at the edge of the drive, greeting the visitors as they came and went.

With so much to see and too little time, we were quickly off to the garden of the late Jane Platt. Her son and granddaughter maintain the two-acre garden in Portland. Even before entering the garden, we caught views of the 40' tall Davidia involucrata 'Platt's Variegated' glowing among the surrounding trees. Plants from all over the world grow in this spectacular garden. In a rock wall, Onosma taurica dangled vibrant yellow blossoms. Across the yard in their rock garden, all sorts of treasures flowered. One lily in particular, Lilium ciliatum, leaned out from next to a dwarf Chamaecyparis obtusa to steal the show. The green-yellow recurved tepals with bases dipped in dark chocolate brown, along with the orange-red stamen, were held atop the 3' plants, while being backlit by the mid morning sun. In the gravel garden, Paeonia ludlowii and Paeonia delavayi freely seeded and hybridized, growing as "weeds" between the stone. Hybrids flowered with petals of golden orange, highlighted with red brushstrokes on the outsides. I wish I had these "weeds." Nearby, Penstemon davidsonii carpeted the ground with blossoms of both pink and purple. A few magnolias were still in flower, including Magnolia ×wieseneri, M. wilsonii, M. sieboldii, and M. fraseri. A large specimen of Sciadopitys verticillata and Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum' grew in a crisp green lawn. Other beautiful conifer specimens showing off their conical shapes erupted like the distant volcanoes out of the landscape.

A tour of the Portland Classical Chinese Garden and Powell's Books, as well as lunch, were on our own. I skipped the bookstore, and spent the afternoon in the garden. Among the downtown buildings of Portland's Chinatown, an oasis is hidden behind the intricately roofed white walls of the Portland Classical Chinese Garden. The authentic Ming Dynasty garden includes bridges, teahouses, porches, pavilions, rock, and water to display the flora of the garden. Just inside the gate of the walled garden, an enormous Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Variegata' grown in the form of a tree was surrounded by an understory of perennials and small shrubs enclosed in a raised, rock-walled bed. In another area, a giant 4' tall clump of Podophyllum pleianthum filled a corner next to a covered porch. Cut peony blossoms were displayed alongside artwork in small rooms used as galleries throughout the garden. Tucked among the stones of a rock outcropping, the pleated palmate leaves of Rubus lineatus stood out atop their 5' bamboo-like canes.

After a few hours to recover from the day, the attendees enjoyed a banquet. Following the meal, Dan Hinkley, the original owner of Heronswood Nursery, gave the keynote presentation. He spoke about his recent trip to Thailand and Vietnam, and the plants that he found. An auction of select plants concluded the evening.

May 31, 2009

The final day of the actual meeting started with a visit to Sebright Garden in Brooks, Oregon. Specializing in bearded iris and hosta, their display gardens contained many more splendid plants. Specimens of Gunnera manicata, Ceanothus 'Victoria', Cardiocrinum giganteum as well as young Fagus sylvatica cultivars (a favorite of the owners) grew throughout the garden. Timing was perfect to see a combination of a pale pink crepe paper-like peony (Paeonia) and a beautiful clump of Zantedeschia aethiopica with their swirling white blossoms. Surrounding the display garden were fields both for breeding and production for bearded irises and peonies.

We headed south to our next destination, Heritage Seedlings near Salem, Oregon. A wholesale nursery that produces both plants and seeds, it has a strong focus on conservation and reclamation, and offers a wide variety of unique specialty plants from all over the world. The owners, Mark and Jolly Krautmann, showed the Magnolia Society around their production facilities at three different locations. Workers demonstrated field and bench grafting of magnolias as well as the production of seedlings for rootstock. Lunch was served at their home. Later, we visited a site owned by Mark and Jolly where they had done extensive reclamation, returning the landscape back to an oak savanna. Many wildflowers, including Dichelostemma capitatum, Sidalcea campestris, Collinsia grandiflora, Lupinus polycarpus, Aquilegia formosa, Plectritis congesta, and Geranium oreganum, grew under and between the majestic old Quercus garryana atop a rounded hill in the open savanna. The less common cousin of our eastern Toxicodendron radicans, T. diversilobum (Pacific poison oak) was also growing on the site.

Abutilon vitifolium 'Suavi Clouds'Our final destination for the meeting was back in Portland at Cistus Nursery. Sean Hogan, speaker at our 2008 symposium and owner of Cistus Nursery, hosted the final evening. We arrived there at 6:00 PM. I frantically shopped, picking out several new plants for the gardens, and Bobby Wilder graciously purchased them for the Arboretum. Sean also donated a copy of his new book, Trees for All Seasons: Broadleaved Evergreens for Temperate Climates, to the Arboretum library. I also managed to get a few photographs of the surrounding gardens before the light dimmed. Sean's garden was full of plants for Mediterranean climates. A 12' tall Abutilon vitifolium 'Sauvie Clouds' in flower stood at the entrance to the nursery.  Eucalyptus, Drimya, Banksia, Leptospermum, and many other genera prospered in the surrounding garden, taking the visitor to the southern hemisphere. If you ever get the chance to visit the nursery, you need plenty of time to view the garden and go through the nursery as well. There are just too many plants to drool over.

Additional tour photographs available on the JC Raulston Arboretum's Web site at

For those of you interested in great plants, not just magnolias, I highly recommend that you take the time to attend a meeting in the future. Great plants, beautiful gardens, and interesting people make the Magnolia Society's annual meeting an opportunity that should not be missed. The 2010 meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is scheduled for late April and early May, but you would miss the Gala in the Garden, so you should plan on the 2011 meeting!


Planting the Seeds for Development

By Anne M. Porter, Director of Development

Please Have a Seat!

Everyone has been enjoying the new Rock-a-Tee gliders and the new bench located just outside the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. These beautiful and very comfortable new accessories were donated to us by Ron and Bev Gelvin and Amish Creations.

benchNow you can be a proud sponsor of one of these benches or gliders. This beautifully handmade Amish furniture will be a treasure for Arboretum visitors to enjoy for many, many years. They are hand crafted from 100% recycled plastic Permowood with the strength, heft, and even the grain, look, and feel of natural wood—without the splinters and constant maintenance!

Each piece will have an engraved plaque with your special words—a wonderful tribute for your loved one or dear friend. The glider set is $1,500 ($350 is tax-deductible!) and the bench is $1,000. ($450 is tax-deductible!)

Please contact Anne Porter if you would like more information, or you may pick-up a flyer the next time you are visiting the JCRA.

Rock-a-Tee gliding chairs

JCRA Internships—A Real Win-win

Since 2003, donors and friends of the Arboretum have been supporting the JCRA internship program. It has become a vital part of the Arboretum's support of students and our mission of education, plus the interns give so much back to the Arboretum.

We want to send a special thank you to the following donors who continue to support this program year after year:

The Raleigh Garden Club (Sponsored 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009)
Bobby Wilder (Sponsored 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009)
North Carolina Nursery & Landscape (Sponsored 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009)
Charles Kidder (Sponsored 2007, 2008, and 2009)
Herb Society of Wake County (Sponsored 2008 and 2009)

Several of our donors wish to remain anonymous, but please know that we appreciate your support over the years.

Our 2009 goal is to have a year-round internship program, beginning with four students this summer.

We are well on our way, but the internship program can still use your support. If you would like more information, please contact Ted Bilderback or Anne Porter.

Garden Conservancy Open Days Tours to Benefit the JCRA

If you have ever visited gardens on this tour in the past, then you know of the remarkable gardens that are featured each year.

The September 19 and 20, 2009, Open Days garden tours continue this great tradition by featuring six wonderful area gardens.

The JCRA is pleased to once again be part of the Garden Conservancy Open Days program. For more information regarding the program and to see a schedule of the 2009 Open Days gardens throughout the country, please visit their Web site:

Tickets may be purchased for $5 each (or books of 6 for $25) at the JCRA Visitor Center any time after August 15, or on the days of the event at the JCRA, or at the individual gardens on event days.

What a grand opportunity to see many spectacular private and public gardens throughout the country while supporting the JCRA! A very special thanks to our 2009 garden hosts, who include Jayme Bednarczyk and Phil Abbot, Jeff Bottoms and John Martin, Sharon and Jim Bright, Julia Kornegay and Alfredo Escobar, Kathleen and Walt Thompson, and Helen Yoest and David Philbrook.

For more information on this or other opportunities, please contact Anne Porter at (919) 513-3826 or

2009 Gala in the Enchanted Garden

Gala in the Garden
Gala in the Garden

May 3 was indeed an "enchanted" day at the JCRA. Honorary chairs, Rufus and Linda Edmisten and event chairs, Cyndy Allison and Tori Callanan helped lead the Arboretum into another successful event—with net proceeds totaling more than $60,000!

The Gala proceeds directly support the Arboretum's daily operations of teaching, research, and public garden displays. We sincerely thank all of our sponsors, auction donors, and the Gala Committee for making it another "enchanting" success!

Please visit the JCRA Web site for a complete list of sponsors, donors, and Gala pictures!

Seasonal Celebrations

Oh, what incredible friends we have at the JC Raulston Arboretum! The brain-child of Helen Yoest, JCRA Board of Advisors member and owner of Gardening with Confidence, the 2008 Summer Solstice Celebration parties (now known as Seasonal Celebrations) raised nearly $40,000 for the Arboretum. Amazing! The parties not only raised critically needed resources for the JCRA, but also introduced more than 200 people to the Arboretum. It was a remarkable way for friends to party and support the JCRA!

The 2009 Seasonal Celebrations are well on their way with more than $7,000 already raised as of June 30.

A very warm thank-you for these very special hosts: Jayme Bednarczyk and Phil Abbott; Dale Cousins; and Rita Mercer. Co-hosts included: Sue and Jeremy Aldworth, Lisa Bohlen-Admire and Parry Admire, Alli and Randy Brown; Cynthia Dowdy, Benjie Hester, Mitzi Hole and Mike Stallings, Barbara and Robert Kacin, Nora and Bill Murphy, Marsha Owen, and Charlotte and John Presley.

Helen is even considering a "Winter Solstice" party in December, and several other friends are busy planning their parties, too. So, if this sounds like fun to you and you like to entertain and party, please contact Anne Porter at (919) 513-3463 or or Barbara Kennedy at (919) 513-7004 or for more information.

Everyone Needs a Will

Yes, everyone needs a will for many, many reasons. It has always been my desire that when I am off to the big garden in the sky, my worldly possessions will go to my special loved ones and to the organizations that I had a passion for in life. No offense, Uncle Sam, but I really don't want you to have it!

Of course all of our JCRA friends have their wills in order—right!?! But just in case you are reviewing or updating this very important document, please allow me to remind you of a helpful bit of language should you wish to remember the Arboretum with a bequest.

The correct designation language is especially important for the JC Raulston Arboretum, as the JCRA and most of its endowments are under the auspices of the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., and must be specified as such.

If you are one of our special friends with a will bequest to the JC Raulston Arboretum, we sincerely thank you. We also encourage you to check on the "language" of your bequest.

Example Bequest Language

1. Bequest of cash

"I bequeath the sum of $___________ to the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., of Raleigh, NC, for the benefit of the JC Raulston Arboretum. I specify this sum for the JCRA Endowment for Excellence." (example)

2. Bequest of a percent of the estate

"I devise and bequeath ______% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., Raleigh, NC, for the benefit of the JC Raulston Arboretum. I specify this sum for the JCRA Endowment for Excellence." (example)

3. Contingent bequest

"If my brother John Doe survives me, I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, whether real or personal, and wherever located to John Doe. If John Doe does not survive me, then I devise and bequeath 20% of my residuary estate, whether real or personal property and wherever located to the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., Raleigh, NC, for the benefit of the JC Raulston Arboretum. I specify this sum for the JCRA Endowment for Excellence." (example)

About the NCAF, Inc.

In most cases, bequests should be made to the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., to be most effective. The NC Agricultural Foundation was founded in 1944 to aid and promote, by financial assistance and otherwise, all types of education and research in agriculture at or through the North Carolina State University at Raleigh. The Agricultural Foundation's Federal ID number is: 56-6049304.

If you have any questions regarding will bequests or any planned giving opportunities, please contact Sonia Murphy (the College's gift planning director) at or (919) 513-0637. All inquiries are completely confidential, or you may wish to visit the planned giving Web site at (click on CALS Office of Gift Planning on the left side).

Please Have a Seat!

Everyone has been enjoying the new Rock-a-Tee gliders and the new bench located just outside the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. These beautiful and very comfortable new accessories were donated to us by Ron and Bev Gelvin and Amish Creations.

Now you can be a proud sponsor of one of these benches or gliders. This beautifully handmade Amish furniture will be a treasure for Arboretum visitors to enjoy for many, many years. They are hand crafted from 100% recycled plastic Permowood with the strength, heft, and even the grain, look, and feel of natural wood—without the splinters and constant maintenance!

Each piece will have an engraved plaque with your special words—a wonderful tribute for your loved one or dear friend. The glider set is $1,500 ($350 is tax-deductible!) and the bench is $1,000. ($450 is tax-deductible!)

Please contact Anne Porter if you would like more information, or you may pick-up a flyer the next time you are visiting the JCRA.

Giving with Trust…
     A Charitable Trust That Is!

By Sonya Murphy, Director of Gift Planning, College of Agriculture and Life Science, NC State University

Trusts have become common words of the estate planning language, and not just among attorneys. Most people have heard of trusts and at the very least know snippets of their uses.

What are the benefits of giving to your favorite charity through a trust (for our purposes, we'll talk about Charitable Remainder Trusts—CRTs)? And who should consider a CRT?

The way it works: Jane Doe can no longer travel to California to enjoy her beach condo and decides to donate it through a trust. She creates the Charitable Remainder Trust document with her attorney and transfers the deed of her condo to the trust. The trust document states that the condo will be sold to provide Jane with an annual income. Also stated is that at her passing, the leftover funds in the trust (called "remainder") will be used to create a JC Raulston Arboretum endowment at NC State.

What's great about a CRT: A CRT presents many advantages. First, it provides Jane with an income tax deduction. Jane made her gift when she transferred her condo to the trust and receives her deduction that same year. Second, she receives payments back from the trust that can help boost her yearly income. Third, most of what is in the trust will not be included in her estate when the IRS determines how much (if any) Federal estate tax is owed. Finally, the assets in the CRT will "skip" probate.

What to be careful about: A gift transferred to a CRT is irrevocable. Any assets transferred cannot be taken back out of the trust; you should carefully make your decision by taking into account how the gift will impact your current and future situation. And you should always consult your estate planning attorney.

Where to get help: The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provides a gift planning director, Sonia Murphy, who is here to help. She talks to individuals about the process, the tax implications, and presents them with different options. The purpose is to help them make the best decision for their family and for their favorite program—at no charge! This is a service of our College. Go CALS!

You can reach Sonia at (919) 513-0637 or Visit her Web site at

The Garden Writers Are Coming!
     The Garden Writers Are Coming….

By Pam Beck, Board of Advisors

I am starting to feel a bit like Paul Revere as I announce this phrase over and over to promote the upcoming national conference of the Garden Writers Association, which will be held in Raleigh this coming September 23 through the 27th.

A typical response has been, "That's great, but what does that mean for us?"

Since the conference is meeting at the Raleigh Convention Center, a positive economic impact will be made in the Triangle area; but, more importantly, the publicity from hosting this annual gathering of gardening media professionals could potentially lead to a whole lot more.

Let me begin by explaining who the members of the Garden Writers Association are. We are horticulture, gardening, and environmental communication professionals of all types. Magazine publishers, newspaper columnists, and plant society newsletter editors belong to the association. Many writers are authors of your favorite gardening books. It isn't unusual at GWA meetings to have "home and garden show" TV personalities and radio hosts networking with botanical garden directors and cooperative extension specialists.

Summer Interns

Summer 2009 InternsOur summer interns got their green cards! They all attended the North Carolina Pesticide Safety Education Program's training school and passed the test!

Summer 2009 Interns (left to right)

  • David Hoffman, rising sophomore in horticulture
  • Ryan Kluba, 2nd year, agribusiness management with horticulture option and ornamentals and landscape technology curricula, Agricultural Institute
  • Allison Cochrane, rising senior in horticulture
  • Hunter Casey, rising senior in horticulture

Thanks to all our internship gift donors for providing financial support for our 2009 interns. Your help provides a summer of gardening experience and educational programs for this great group of students!

Affiliates are nursery owners who write their own catalogs, plant breeders who are introducing new treasures, and the marketing specialists who help promote them. The GWA roster includes landscape architects, arborists, university professors and master gardeners, community garden organizers, chemical engineers, and heirloom seed savers. And, we can't forget the garden and nature photographers who capture our imaginations with their unforgettable images.

Every aspect of gardening from seeds to shovels and botany to blogging are covered by members of this professional association through their writing, lecturing, photography, teaching, and marketing. And, these prolific communicators from around the world are coming here.

During the conference, some of our best Triangle area gardens, including the JCRA, will be toured, photographed, and enjoyed. Such a visit by so many gardening media folks could result in follow-up articles in international publications for years to come. Countless photographs of our local gardens and plants may be shown at symposiums, appear in books, and enhance Web sites across the country, perhaps around the world. Numerous blogs and social networking sites could start extolling the beauty and charm that is growing in our own backyard.

The word will get out that the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area really is gardening Mecca. As a result, we could have even more visitors to our nurseries, garden centers, and university arboreta, and this in turn may yield greater publicity and support for our local gardens.

So, how can you help the JCRA put its best foot forward during the Garden Writers Association conference? Volunteer to assist before or during the special GWA tour of the JCRA starting at 5:00 PM on Friday, September 25. If you are interested, contact JCRA Board member Helen Yoest, who is the liaison for this festive Arboretum event, which will also include sponsors' tents, live music, and a barbeque dinner supported by the Green Industry Council. Thank you for your support.


Volunteer News

By Barbara Kennedy, Volunteer Coordinator

Thanks to the hard work of our many volunteers, the gardens are in great shape. The volunteers offered invaluable assistance at our annual Gala in the Garden, A Walk in the Winter Garden, FOA Lectures, N&O Birdhouse Competition, and many other fun events.

This spring, we brought on a record number of volunteers—22 have signed up and are doing great. Those new people who generously share their time with us are:

Maggie Cole – Gardener
Brooke Costanza – Mapping
Lynda Creutzburg – Gardener
Graham Dean – Gardener
Jason Ericson – Evening Gardener
Carol Fishman – Gardener, Special Projects
Sue Grayson – Tour Guide
Liz Guzynski – Gardener
Judy Harmon – Master Plan
Amy Ho – Evening Gardener
Adrienne Jalowsky – Winter Garden
Linda Larkins – Gardener
Rebecca Lee – Evening Gardener
Kristin Loomis – East Arboretum
Ebony Mahoney – Evening Gardener
Diane McDaniel – Special Projects
John Murawski – Paradise Garden
Sally Siggins – Perennial Border
Carol Sinzenich – Gardener
Laura Turas – Evening Gardener
Kevin Wang – Evening Gardener
Chuu-ni Yeung – Rose Garden

Betsy Viall and Sue GraysonA Walk in the Winter Garden in February was held on a beautiful day. Volunteer Betsy Viall (left), who is in the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center on Sundays, waits with new volunteer Sue Grayson (right) for visitors to arrive.

Lynn CanadaLynn Canada has been a volunteer since 2003 and always helps wherever she is needed. Here, she is at the front desk getting ready to provide information to visitors.

Genelle Dail and Rita MercerVolunteer lunches are always a popular event. It is a great way to meet and talk with volunteers you don't see regularly. Genelle Dail (left) and Rita Mercer (right) are ready to get lunch and enjoy the fun.

Beth Cleveland and Diane McDanielThe New & Observer Birdhouse Competition is our best attended event of the year. Beth Cleveland (left) and Diane McDaniel (right) are ready answer any question and to show visitors where to find the birdhouses.

Dee Welker, Edna and Laddie Munger, and Tom BumgarnerThe Volunteer Pot Luck and Plant Swap is always lots of fun. Our volunteers bring the most interesting and delicious food. Dee Welker, Edna and Laddie Munger, and Tom Bumgarner (left to right) just finished dessert and are waiting for the plant swap to begin.

Monika Coleman, Bernadette Clark, Pat Korpik, and John PelosiPlanting the Bedding Plant Trials is done in April and requires volunteers to help not only with plantings, but also with transporting plants from the greenhouses. Monika Coleman, Bernadette Clark, Pat Korpik, and John Pelosi (left to right) look like they have successfully completed the job.

martha Ramirez, Jennette King, and Sandy ReidThe Gala in the Garden is always a special day. Preparation requires lots of help and hard work. Martha Ramirez, Jennette King, and Sandy Reid (left to right) set up their table in preparation of the big day.

HTML formatting by Christopher Todd Glenn
Programs and Education Coordinator
JC Raulston Arboretum
Department of Horticultural Science
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522

© The JC Raulston Arboretum, September 2009