One of the best things about the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, from my own selfish standpoint, is having an office right here at the JCRA. Sure, I still value my office in Kilgore, it is closer to my students and allows me easy interaction with the department. I simply go back and forth on Hillsborough Street a lot! But being a the JCRA let's me wander outside, work with my staff more easily, greet our visitors, assess our needs more easily, and get to know our volunteers better and better. With them in mind, I wanted to put a plug in for our volunteer curators. These folks make it a point to care for very particular areas within the JCRA, coming back week after week, maintaining their garden spots with great care. One of those curators is Harvey Bumgardner who works with Anne Clapp in the Finley-Nottingham Rose Garden. Both are gems, but Anne passed along a very delightful piece of news about Harvey, and it just proves how lucky we are to have the talent that we do volunteering with us. Anne wrote me after she received her February copy of the American Rose Journal. In it on page 32, it announced that Harvey had won the 2002 Outstanding Judge Award for the Carolina District. Congratulations to Harvey on this grand accolade and thanks for employing your recognized skills in our own rose collection! So, the next time you're near the JCRA, drop in and see the handiwork that he combines with Anne's. – Bob Lyons, Director
Recent activities at the JCRA have seen the first of the new plantings being installed in some of the areas surrounding the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. Among these is a long series of beds (beds C07 – C12) that comprise the District X Garden Club of North Carolina Wall Garden. Although by no means complete, visitors can now enjoy the bones of this new garden, dominated by deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees. The overall concept of this garden is for it to act as a "mirror" of sorts to the Perennial Border, which will later be extended and will occur on the other side of the concrete wall from the garden. That is, as the Perennial Border design is based on the color theory of Gertrude Jekyll (a famous, Victorian-era English garden designer) – starting with cool blues and pastels, rising to intense golds and reds, and then soothing back down to violets and other pastels – so too, are we aiming to mirror this concept in woody plants. At the least, this bed promises to be a cacophony of color and texture.
As you follow the gentle, S-curved sidewalk, you will one day walk underneath a living archway formed by the weeping blue Atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula') just now planted. In the near future, we will be installing vine supports along the wall, such that the wall itself can be a representation of vivid colors and interesting textures, too. This promises to be an exciting garden to watch develop in future seasons at the JCRA. – Todd Lasseigne, Assistant Director
On a cold, blustery day last month, a group of volunteers began what Assistant Director Todd Lasseigne and I hope will become an ever evolving project, the planting of the Opha Mae Powers Memorial Parking Circle Garden (Bed D01). While this bed already holds a magnificent specimen of Acer palmatum [Dissectum Atropurpureum Group] – red lace-leaf Japanese maple – generously donated by Ed Alexander (see upcoming Newsletter article for more details), we are continuing the tradition here at the JCRA of growing as many plants in a small space as possible. Our goal is to create a color mosaic at ground level throughout the year that will not detract from the maple. Our answer to this challenge – an often-overlooked group, the small bulbs, ultimately numbering in the hundreds upon hundreds.
Thanks to a generous contribution by Brent andBecky Heath of Brent andBecky's Bulbs (Gloucester,VA), we have begun this task in earnest. Beginning with a mixture of species tulips, Ipheion, Crocus, Triteleia, and several small-statured Narcissus, we plan on adding as many different taxa as possible with the ultimate goal of having bloom throughout the year. Keep an eye out as we continue to develop this garden. – Jon Roethling
Save The Date – The annual Gala in the Garden is the JC Raulston Arboretum's main fundraising event of the year. Plus it's just a great party! Most importantly, it is a celebration of all the Arboretum's loyal volunteers and generous donors.
We are thrilled to have a dynamic Gala Committee this year! A very special thank you to the Gala's Honorary Co-Chairs, Rosemary and Smedes York, and the Gala Co-Chairs, Phyllis Eller-Moffett and Kara Bertoncino. Their dedication and leadership is greatly appreciated.
Please join us on Sunday, May 4, 2003! – Anne Porter, Director of Major Gifts
Take heart! Spring is back again! Time to say farewell to the sweet fragrance of winter daphne, the witchhazels, the stunning flowering apricots, and the many other winter delights that have kept our spirits high during January and February. At the Arboretum, March typically launches the season for the early spring flowering trees and shrubs, although winter's final exit can be very unpredictable.
This month we eagerly greet many familiar favorites such as forsythia, Japanese camellia, primrose, loropetalum, spirea, quince, and a multitude of early spring bulbs. The magnolia collection is not to be missed as the early-flowering magnolias, including the star magnolias (Magnolia stellata 'Chrysanthemiflora', 'Jane Platt', and 'Waterlily') and Loebner magnolias (Magnolia ×loebneri 'Leonard Messel' and 'Merrill') begin their show. In the Lath House, look for the graceful clusters of flowers hanging from the Japanese andromedas (Pieris japonica 'Valley Valentine', 'Tilford', and 'Scarlett O'Hara') and azaleas starting to bloom, such as Rhododendron 'Wolfpack Red'.
By mid-March in the Butterfly Garden, Gelseminum sempervirens 'Woodlanders Pale Yellow' is covered with flowers as this evergreen vine rambles high up over the entrance. Throughout the Arboretum, the bright purplish-pink redbud flowers (Cercis) are striking, especially those of the lovely Mexican redbud (Cercis canadensis subsp. mexicana) growing at the far east end of Mixed Border. Where else but the Klein-Pringle White Garden would you expect to find a lovely specimen of the white-flowered redbud (C. canadensis 'Alba') in full bloom? In late March, look for the golden flowers of fragrant winterhazel (Corylopsis glabrescens var. gotoana), which dominate in the Mixed Border and the Winter Garden. The strikingly beautiful flowers of the Corinthian peaches (Prunus persica 'Corinthian Mauve', 'Corinthian Pink', 'Corinthian Rose', and 'Corinthian White') can be found stopping cars along Beryl Road at the east end of the Arboretum as March comes to an end.
This show is free. We invite you to visit often.
Be sure to visit the "Now Showing" section on the JC Raulston Arboretum's Web site for the latest report on what is in bloom at the Arboretum. Other interesting plants are highlighted in these reports. – Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist
JCRA Gardening Book Sale – March 1, 2003 (Saturday) – 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Would you like to make room on your garden book shelf for some new titles? Here's your chance to do just that and help out the JCRA. Bring those no longer used garden books to the JCRA on or before Friday, February 28, 2003. We'll spruce them up a bit and offer them for sale at our Used Gardening Book Sale. Make sure your name, address, and the fair market value of your donation is rubber-banded to your books and you'll receive a receipt for tax purposes. If that's not important to you, just drop off the books. Now, how about adding back to that shelf with some new-to-you books? We'll be in the York Auditorium at the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center at the JCRA from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM offering great books at great prices. And, a further enticement, guided tours of the arboretum will be held, weather permitting) at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Need more? The Book Store/Gift Shop will be open 10:00 AM-4:00 PM and will offer a 10% discount to JCRA members.
Arboretum Plantsmen's Tour – March 18, 2003 (Tuesday) – 1:00 PM – Free
"Back to the Pleistocene" – Have you ever wondered why so many plants that grow in our gardens hail from Asia? Or, have you ever wondered why so many plants native in the southeastern U.S. have relatives growing in eastern Asia or southern Europe? If so, join Todd Lasseigne, JCRA Assistant Director, in a tour of the world flora through the JCRA collections. He'll answer these questions and more on this early spring tour.
Friends of the Arboretum Lecture – March 15, 2003 (Saturday) – 7:30 PM – Free for Members/$5.00 for Nonmembers
"Bold Visions for the Garden" presented by Richard W. Hartlage – A down-to-earth lecture on achieving the ultimate in garden design imparting a vision of the art and craft of gardening that transcends simple how-to. A thorough exploration of the layers of garden design to include: basic elements of color, scale, form, texture, time, light, setting, style, and architecture. Fresh ideas are amply illustrated with stunning photographs from gardens across the U.S. and Europe. Richard Hartlage is the Director of the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle, WA, and is an Ornamental Horticulture graduate from North Carolina State University. Richard lectures widely, and writes for Horticulture, Pacific Horticulture, and Fine Gardening, among others. His first book, Bold Visions for the Garden, was published in October 2001. Later this spring, Richard is looking forward to opening a new business called Dietz/Hartlage Landscape Architecture.
JC Raulston Arboretum e-Updates are published electronically every month for everyone interested in the Arboretum. Did you find this edition informative? What information would you like to see in future editions? Send Christopher Todd Glenn your suggestions.
© The JC Raulston Arboretum, March 2003