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JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

July 2008

In This Issue

Director's Note

Grant from North American Rock Garden Society

I am pleased to announce that the JC Raulston Arboretum has received a $2,000.00 grant from the North American Rock Garden Society to support further development and educational interpretation of the Scree Garden and the rooftop gardens. This grant will allow for the continued development and improvement of these popular garden spaces. Thanks to North American Rock Garden Society and JCRA members Bobby Ward and Charlie Kidder for assistance with this grant proposal.

Society for Economic Botany and Garden Centers of America Visit JCRA

In the past month, the JCRA has been host to some noteworthy groups. The Society for Economic Botany held their annual conference at Duke University in early June, and the JCRA was proud to be a co-sponsor. Over 150 U.S. and international scientists attended the conference, and as part of their activities, the attendees visited the JCRA for an evening dinner and tour of the collections. Later in June, the Garden Centers of America held their annual Summer Tour in North Carolina. The JCRA was pleased to host this group of over 100 garden center operators from across the United States for their evening program, dinner, and Arboretum tours on Monday, June 23. Attendees in both groups commented on the wonderful diversity and the professional appearance and presentation of the Arboretum collections, a testament to the efforts of all of our staff and volunteers.

Master Plan Progress

Renovation and expansion of the old Southwestern Garden was completed this spring, and this area has been renamed the Xeric Garden. We have had some challenges with water movement and soil erosion after some of the heavy rainfalls this spring, but our garden crew has worked hard to address these problems. We are proceeding with the establishment of an exciting collection of drought tolerant plants in this garden, and hundreds of plants have already been established, including numerous species of palms, agaves, yuccas, and woody lilies. Please visit the Arboretum to watch the development of this exciting garden. Also, we are nearing completion of the new main pathway that will parallel the Perennial Border. The pathway will extend from the brick walkway in front of the Geophyte Border and runs the entire length of the Perennial Border to the Necessary. This path will allow for easier movement from the rooftop gardens to the Necessary, particularly for our handicapped guests.

Summer Solstice Parties a Huge Success!

Over a two-week period, numerous JCRA supporters from around the state hosted Summer Solstice Celebration parties to raise funds for the JCRA, specifically the JCRA Endowment for Excellence, and the Master Plan. Hundreds of Arboretum supporters attended these parties, and I am pleased and excited to share that about $30,000.00 was raised to support these Arboretum initiatives. The entire staff and I are very grateful to all of the special people who hosted a Summer Solstice Celebration party and to all that attended a party and contributed to this fund raising and Arboretum awareness effort. One of my goals as director is to enhance the long-term financial stability of the JCRA by building the endowment fund, while at the same time moving forward with the Master Plan. These funds will help us accomplish both goals. Again, special thanks to each of the hosts and to Helen Yoest who conceived and coordinated the Summer Solstice Celebration fundraising activities.

Benefit Providers

Atlantic Avenue Orchid and Garden Center in Raleigh, North Carolina, is our newest benefit provider. They're offering 10% off of regularly priced trees and shrubs to our members. Other benefit providers include: Barefoot Paths Nursery, F. A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company, Better Tree Care Associates, Big Bloomers, Campbell Road Nursery, Down to Earth Designs, Fairview Greenhouse and Garden Center, the Garden Hut, Garden Supply Company, GardensGardens, Homewood Nursery and Garden Center, Hoyt Bangs Landscape Design Services, Indigo Marsh Nursery, Lasting Impressions, the Last Unicorn, Long Hill Bed and Breakfast, Market Imports, McDonald's Nursery, Mountain View Nursery, Nature's Select Premium Turf Services, Neomonde Deli, Night Magic Lighting, Norwood Road Garden, Oakmont Nursery, Outdoor Images, Ragazzi's of Cary, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Secret Gardens, Smith and Hawken, Summer Classics Garden Furniture, Wakefield Nursery and Landscaping, Willow Tree Landscaping, and www.wsiselectwebsolutions.com. For complete details, please visit the Arboretum's Web site or pick up the providers brochure at the JCRA. When requesting a discount at one of these companies, please remember to show them your membership card. – Denny Werner, Director

Regal Hibiscus

Hibiscus sinosyriacus 'Lilac Queen'Hibiscus sinosyriacus ‘Lilac Queen’ is one of the summer standouts of the JCRA Mixed Border. Related to and similar in several respects to the common shrub althea or rose-of-Sharon (H. syriacus), this hardy shrub has larger, more handsome foliage somewhat similar to the Confederate rose (H. mutabilis) as well as large lilac flowers with a red eye at the base. The petals are thicker than the old fashioned rose-of-Sharon and hold up to rain and inclement weather better. Best flowering is in full sun with ordinary to moist garden soil and yearly additions of organic compost or mulch will keep plants lush and healthy. The vigorous growth and robust nature of this shrub allow it to be grown in a variety of ways. It can be let go as a large shrub, limbed up to form a small patio tree, or cut back fairly hard in winter to form a smaller, tighter shrub.

‘Lilac Queen’ is growing happily in the Mixed Border where the lilac flowers are highlighted by the silver foliage of Phlomis cashmeriana and Abies concolor ‘Blue Cloak’ and backed by the deep green of Platycladus orientalis. This hibiscus species is not common in the United States., perhaps due to reports of a lack of hardiness. It has proven hardy in the open here since November of 2003. It is interesting, beyond its obvious beauty, as a potential breeding parent bridging the woody tropical hibiscus (H. rosa-sinensis) and the many herbaceous hibiscus species perhaps giving rise in the not too distant future to a whole new realm of hibiscus. – Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections

Coming Attractions – Highlights of July

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'In July, there is color, color, and more color in the east side of the Arboretum from the Bedding Plant Trials and the Perennial Border. In the Perennial Border and throughout the Arboretum, look for the flowers of Canna, coneflower, Hemeorcallis, Hibiscus, Monarda, Liatris, Phlox, Rudbecki, Salvia, and Verbena. A few more highlights include:

Geophyte Border
Dahlia 'Roxy' garden dahlia
Eucomis comosa' Sparkling Burgundy' pineapple-lily
Eucomis montana – pineapple-lily

Lath House
Acanthus spinosus – bear's breeches
Kadsura longipedunculata – Chinese kadsura
Zantedeschia – calla lily

Mixed Border
Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird' – dwarf summersweet clethra
Spiraea thunbergii 'Ogon' – golden Thunberg spirea

Rooftop Garden
Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii – Texas firecracker
Ceanothus ×delileanus 'Henri Desfossé' – French hybrid ceanothus

Scree Garden
Aloe cooperi – Cooper's grass aloe
Petunia integrifolia – wild petunia
Tradescantia rosea – spiderwort

White Garden
Hibiscus coccineus f. albus – white scarlet mallow
Sedum alboroseum 'Frosty Morn' – variegated blush stonecrop

Xeric Garden
Chilopsis linearis 'Bubba' – desert willow
Pelargonium sidoides – silver leaf geranium
Verbena 'Blue Princess' – hybrid verbena

Other Areas of the Arboretum
Aesculus parviflora 'Rogers' – bottlebrush buckeye
Buddleja species and cultivars – butterflybush
Clethra alnifolia cultivars – summersweet clethra
Emmenopterys henryi – Chinese emmenopterys
Lycoris squamigera – surprise-lily – Magnolia Collection
Magnolia grandiflora cultivars – Southern magnolia
Millettia taiwanensis – summer wisteria
Poliothyrsis sinensis – pearl-bloom tree
Rosa species and cultivars – rose
Tetradium barberi – Baber's beebee tree

This show is free. Visit often. – Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

July Calendar

Guided Tours – July 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2008 (Sundays) – 2:00 PM – Free

We invite you and your friends to join us for free guided tours through the Arboretum. Learn about the Arboretum's history, plants, and more. Tours are available to the public free of charge every Sunday (with few exceptions) at 2:00 PM from March-October. Tours are led by a dedicated group of volunteers and last approximately one hour (rain or shine).

Plantsmen's Tour – July 8, 2008 (Tuesday) – 9:00 AM – Free

"Return of the Natives" led by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections. Many of our eastern North American natives make great landscape plants in central NC.  Join us for a tour of some of the hot new selections as well as exceptional old standbys.

Please visit the "Calendar of Events" section on the JCRA Web site for a complete listing of our upcoming programs.

Recent Members Only Additions

One new video was added to the Members Only section on the Arboretum's Web site in June and is now available for viewing.

Content in the Members Only section is password protected and is only available to Arboretum members. In order to access these special features, members will need to know the password that was printed on the label of their latest Friends of the Arboretum Newsletter or included at the end of the e-mail with the latest monthly JCRA e-Update attached to it. The end of the e-mail is after Chris's signature line. The user name needed to log in is always "jcra."


JC Raulston Arboretum e-Updates are published electronically every month for everyone interested in the Arboretum and are e-mailed to the Arboretum's members. If you are a member and need to update your contact information or wish to be removed from this mailing, please contact Chris Glenn.

© July 2008, JC Raulston Arboretum


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