By Bob Lyons, Ph.D., Director
One of the easiest barometers of progress on virtually any front is a simple comparison of the past with the present. For the JCRA, I could compare a variety of situations within the time frame of my five year tenure here as Director. The one I' d like to focus on right now relates to the educational component of our mission.....in other words, how useful is the JCRA to our students in terms of formal coursework enrichment and how successful have we been in integrating students into our operational activities. A quick check of our stats, for Fall Semester 2003, reveals some very encouraging information. In that most recent semester, individual students have pursued Internal Learning Experiences (ILE), extended internships, and part-time paid positions. Our two ILE students have followed in the footsteps of earlier students and received academic credit for working alongside our staff members; our two 2003 summer interns were kept on through the fall semester as part-time paid and experienced assistants; and four undergrads were hired to provide assistance in the general operations of the JCRA. That makes a total of eight undergraduates engaged in the JCRA agenda during that semester alone, the most involved in any semester in the past five years! For coursework, the evidence shows that we' re right on target here, as well. A summary breakdown reveals that our parent department, Horticultural Science, subscribes the most to using our resources. In Fall Semester alone, a total of 11 courses engaging over 400 students placed the JCRA into their curricula, and instructors at nearby Meredith College and Wake Technical Community College saw fit to do the same. This is very exciting and a trend we intend to enhance and continue with your support. See Nancy Doubrava's article in this issue for more information.
Our assistance at the graduate level became even more visible with the graduation of a Master of Horticultural Science student, Tina Wilkinson. Tina's work focused on how visitors navigate their way through the JCRA, how they make pathway decisions, and how we might improve their experience while here. In her study, she applied Kevin Lynch's urban model of "legibility" to the JCRA, giving us greater insights into how we may analyze our current paths and develop in the future to enrich one's visit to the JCRA. It appears very unlikely that modeling of this type has ever been used for botanical gardens and arboreta, and so far, the results hold great promise for us. Tina's work was a first, indeed, and she worked closely with NCSU faculty Pat Lindsey, Ph.D., (her major advisor) and Robin Moore and myself (her graduate committee members) to complete her study.
A special note of thanks to all of you who responded to our first ever Annual Appeal conducted in 2003. By all measures, it was a major success and a great confidence builder for us in times when nonprofit organizations are sweating. At the time of this writing in mid-November 2003, the tally stands at a little over $13,000.00! Be sure to read more in this issue. Appeals like this are timed strategically. Mid to late summer is a "slow" period for us in terms of new member subscriptions, membership renewals, and unrestricted donations. Your generosity softened my concerns during this usually fragile financial time for the JCRA. In fact, I have directed more than a third of the Appeal revenues directly towards salaries for all of our paid student assistants; their work has become exceptionally valuable as we "plant" into our new grounds and update the existing ones!
There are two very special people I'd like to acknowledge in our newsletter. Tom Bland is the first; he is the owner of Apex-based Bland Landscaping and a member of our Board of Advisors. Last fall I made a special request of him and he came through for us with no questions asked. We were in the process of spreading massive quantities of mulch to finish off old construction areas, cover new planting areas, and apply to beds that were not yet mulched that season. I remember looking out my office window and walking our grounds, feeling very concerned about the amount of mulch yet to be spread. One phone call to Tom for some crew assistance and the date was set. Receiving help from Bland's crew for an entire day was truly a gift, leading to quite a dent in the mulch mounds! Thanks! The second person in this issue's spotlight is Sylvia Redwine, a person who is often behind the scenes with her good intentions and great help. Sylvia took charge when the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center opened and quickly assembled and managed our new interiorscape comprised of numerous tropical plants, including lovely orchids! Sylvia is a gem! She religiously visits each week, fastidiously watering, pruning, and otherwise tending to our interior plants. The McSwain Center looks fabulous to visitors, and those of us housed there also benefit by the plants she placed directly in our offices. I get plenty of compliments and am delighted to direct the credit right to her. Sylvia's work is most often seen only as the results. The next time you admire our ficus, orchids, begonias, and other assorted plants, please remember that we owe our gratitude to Sylvia Redwine.....thanks!
A look towards the future and a few additional notes are worth your attention. Stay tuned for more information about the JCRA-sponsored trip to Italy! I'm working closely with a great friend and tour organizer extraordinaire, Robert McDuffie, on the details for this 2005 excursion......more to come! Get on the Lyons' Den to receive the timeliest information. We've also been asked when we'll offer another photography workshop.....well, wait no more! The first JCRA Photography Master Class is coming in April and will be taught by three seasoned photographers....and we're serving up a new and healthy dose of the digital world this time around. Remember to sign up early when this class is announced, registration will be limited and always fills fast!
I am especially pleased to let you know that our technician position which was "frozen" for most of 2003 was officially "unfrozen" as of January 1, 2004. If I had fireworks, I would have set them off! Special thanks to my former department head, Tom Monaco, Ph.D.; our current head, Julia Kornegay, Ph.D.; and the efforts of NCAN and the entire North Carolina Green Industry for their work in our behalf to get this position opened up again for re-hiring. It is key and critical to our operations and overall health of our plant collections. You should also know that the existing staff is to be commended, thanked, congratulated, and admired for "filling in" where needed for most of 2003 during this vacancy. The Arboretum is a dynamic place and requires all the attention it did before the freeze, staff vacancy or not. Our talented staff pulled it off, even in the midst of new growth in and around the new McSwain Center, but they worked hard in doing so. It gives me great pleasure to let you know that Jon Roethling accepted our offer and assumed his new position and title as of January 1, 2004. Jon and his work ethic have been no strangers to the JCRA. He has worked as a student assistant at the JCRA in the past and most recently as an assistant to Todd Lasseigne in our green industry-supported position. Jon has a strong interest in horticultural plant materials and an equally strong commitment to the JCRA. He has accompanied other staff on trips to other nurseries, he has been with us at our trade shows, and he has even been our representative on plant exchange travels in the past. Jon has worked very closely with our own volunteer curators. Please join me in congratulating Jon when you see him! We had an exceptionally strong pool of candidates for this position and if I had additional positions, I would have hired them all! They are to be commended for their strong credentials.
Finally, as I close down calendar year 2003 at this writing, I am very excited about our upcoming season of student internships. In unprecedented fashion, we already have confirmed six, yes, count 'em six, internships locked in for summer 2004! In 2003, we launched a very uncomplicated way for anyone to sponsor a student internship.......kind of "Easy Philanthropy," or dare I use the fractured vernacular, "E-Z Philanthropy!" For as little as $2,000.00 (I realize this is really a lot of money but wait until you see where it gets us!), I can hire a student for 12 weeks at 20 hours/week. This goes a long way and provides an excellent experience at the JCRA while also allowing scheduling flexibility for summer school, for example. Well, summer 2004 will showcase the following named internships: The North Carolina Association of Nurserymen Internship, The Ben Anderson Internship, The North Carolina Commercial Flower Growers Association Internship, The Raleigh Garden Club Internship, The Sudden Impact Internship, and The Alan MacIntyre Internship. Imagine, six students in all getting a chance to work side-by-side our own JCRA staff. With so many interns this summer, I'll be able to assign them to staff who work in other specialty areas, in addition to those targeted for collections and grounds management. This is a first and I've been hoping to do this for a long time. I am indebted to all of our donors! What a great way for any philanthropist to get his or her feet wet and help us out; the impact is enormous and multifaceted.......you are not only directly responsible for assisting the JCRA but also providing an invaluable experience for a student interested in horticulture, landscape techniques, and arboretum operations. Many thanks!
After eight years of catching critters, greeting visitors, and leading Arboretum tours, Maize, the beautiful tortoise shell, decided to retire from her duties as an Arboretum cat. Beginning last September, she has taken up residence in a loving home, where she plans to spend her golden years relaxing on a favorite chair. She will be missed.
Sponsored by Barefoot Paths Nursery and Buchanan's Nursery
February 15, 2004
Friends of the Arboretum Lecture - Free
"The Winter Garden of J. C. Raulston - or Why Hollies Should Come With Mocking Birds"
Larry Mellichamp, Ph.D.
Free tours depart every 30 minutes from the
Zone 8 Greenhouse
Barefoot Paths Nursery and Buchanan's Nursery will be on location displaying some of their finest plants with winter interest.
By Pam Beck, JCRA Board of Advisors
The trouble with locating desirable books is that many of the good ones don't stay in print very long - but the great ones do. A stellar gardening book that has stood the test of time is The Winter Garden, Planning and Planting for the Southeast, by Peter Loewer and Larry Mellichamp, Ph.D. Originally published in 1997 by Stackpole Books, this $39.95 208-page hardcover book has 140 gorgeous color photographs taken by the co-authors and current JCRA Board member Ann Armstrong. The Winter Garden has remained in print due to both the wide scope of pertinent botanical information it offers to Southeastern gardeners and its friendly narrative writing style.
In this enjoyable book dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Lawrence and J. C. Raulston, the glories of winter gardens are explored ranging from Ann Armstrong's intimate home landscape in Charlotte to the large public acres of Callaway Gardens in Georgia. While acknowledging the contributions of English and Japanese garden writers and designers, the co-authors keep coming home to Edith Eddleman's long perennial border design at the JCRA in Raleigh or Peter Gentling's sweeping private garden in the mountains of Asheville for inspiration.
The book segues from elements of design into chapters on plants with attractive pods, fruits and berries, outstanding bark, evergreens, and choice plants for extraordinary wintertime flower and fragrance. Much of the book explores the stunning variety of plants growing in the author's gardens, so having a couple of renowned horticulturists at your elbow waxing on about the botanical attributes and growing conditions of a particular plant they personally enjoy is thrilling. Hearing the history and poetry behind each specimen is even more gratifying as the authors insert little asides such as plant folklore and literary quotations.
While conflicting opinions could result when two plant lovers explore the same beloved topic, the writing personality of these gardening professionals easily meld into one text. Often, it becomes difficult to differentiate between their narrative voice as Loewer and Mellichamp escort the reader through wintertime gardens and share their extensive list of over 450 winter interest plants. This factor really shouldn't be surprising since both of the authors are renowned North Carolina plantsmen and friends.
Peter Loewer resides in Asheville, NC where he continues to add to the almost two dozen gardening books he has already authored. He contributes articles regularly to gardening magazines, and is in demand on the horticultural lecture circuit still finding time to be an entertaining garden guide and NPR commentator. Loewer also creates elegant botanical drawings (some of which are housed in permanent museum collections), has served on the boards of several botanical gardens including the JCRA, is a fellow of the Royal Horticulture Society, and is devoted to his delightful garden.
Larry Mellichamp is a Professor in the Department of Biology at UNC-Charlotte and the director of the extensive UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens. An authority in the genus Sarracenia, Mellichamp is involved in propagation research as well as releasing several named pitcher plants into the trade. He is also an expert in rare and endangered plant species of the Carolinas. Between plant-collecting expeditions in Mexico, Costa Rica, Borneo, Hawaii, and South Africa, and all of his duties at the UNC Botanical Gardens, Mellichamp balances publishing papers in professional horticultural journals, promoting three books he co-authored, and traveling the garden lecture circuit.
The JCRA is pleased that Larry Mellichamp will be presenting "The Winter Garden of J. C. Raulston - or Why Hollies Should Come with Mockingbirds" as part of the Friends of the Arboretum Lecture series on Sunday, February 15, 2004 at 1:00 PM in conjunction with the annual "A Walk in the Winter Garden" program. This midday lecture is an appropriate topic for the JCRA considering the impact that J. C. Raulston had on the popularity of wintertime gardening by promoting renewed appreciation of trees and shrubs for their cold season interesting bark, berry, flower, foliage, and texture. For details about this talk, check the JCRA Web site lecture information page <www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum/calendar/event_details.php?ID=4> or call (919) 515-3132.
In addition to the lecture, a book signing and sale will be held offering The Winter Garden. If you have ever wished for more bloom, color, and fragrance in your winter landscape, this timeless book needs to be in your collection.
By Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist
Tuesday morning at the JC Raulston Arboretum and a landscape design class from NC State is busy tackling a project to design an entry area for visitors (HS 416 Principles of Ornamental Planting Design, Pat Lindsey, Ph.D.). Learning how to analyze the site, students take note of the lighting, temperature, air movement, and sounds from the nearby water cascade. Not far away, another group of students is overheard asking about a tree, as they learn how to identify plants at the Arboretum (HS 211 Ornamental Plants Lab, Paul Fantz, Ph.D.).
You can expect the unexpected from NC State student projects, especially when the powerful combination of enthusiasm, energy, and creativity are combined. JCRA projects take form as independent learning experiences (ILEs), graduate thesis projects, special research projects, and through the student assistant and summer intern programs. Routinely, classes can be found scattered throughout the grounds studying biology, horticulture, botany, and landscape design. Other colleges, such as Meredith and Wake Technical Community College, also frequently use the Arboretum as a teaching resource.
Ideas for student projects are limitless at the JCRA but Director Bob Lyons has prepared a comprehensive priority list to facilitate involvement. All departments at NC State University are invited to use the JCRA for teaching or research, and many already do so. Last year, a team of students from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE 481 Electrical Computer Engineering, Barton Greene) undertook the Pedestrian Counter Project, when a need developed to count visitors coming to the JCRA. Completing their Senior Design Project, the team designed and installed an electronic wireless counting system that currently records the number of visitors, compiles the information, and delivers it to staff computers.
The Contemplation Garden at the JCRA is another student project rapidly moving from planning to implementation. Design concepts originated in a landscape design class last spring (HS 416 Principles of Ornamental Planting Design, Pat Lindsey). Proposals were critiqued by staff, faculty, students, and the garden's donor, Priscilla Swindell. As a Special Project, one student has finalized the design using all the best attributes of the proposals and plants from the JCRA nursery. Watch as this area along Beryl Road becomes transformed into a superb garden, designed for reflection and thought.
Future student projects? Many are already underway and more are being planned. Watch as more exciting new gardens surrounding the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center develop, and the JCRA grows.
By Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist
The staff roster at the JCRA grew by four student assistants this fall, thanks to the many donors who contributed to the 2003 JCRA Annual Fund appeal. Your support enabled the Arboretum to hire Jeff Jones, Andy McIntosh, Sara Millar, and Seneca Toms through the fall and spring. They have been key players in not only keeping the Arboretum grounds looking great, but also assisting with the JCRA's nursery and propagating plants. Without their help it would have been difficult to complete several major projects including: the overhaul of the conifer collection, new plantings near the parking lot and the Necessary, cleanup of the Nandina collection, and mulching and sprucing up the entire Arboretum.
"Your Help - Our Commitment to Excellence!" was this year's Annual Fund appeal slogan. Through your generous contributions, these student assistants are helping to make that commitment a reality.
By Todd Lasseigne, Ph.D., Assistant Director
With 2003 drawing to a close, it is hard to imagine a more exciting time at the JC Raulston Arboretum, in terms of new plant acquisitions and plantings, than now. Assuredly, we now feel as excited about planting various areas around the Ruby C. McSwain Center as J. C. Raulston did back in the early 1980s when the former West Arboretum was first planted.
However, new plants simply do not appear out of nowhere. Rather, they are discovered, nurtured, propagated, and distributed by many oft-unsung plantspeople, nursery owners, and gardeners. The JCRA has benefited tremendously over the past three years from the generosity of countless people who have given freely of their new-found discoveries for us to add to our collections and evaluate here at the Arboretum. What follows is an account of only a tiny fraction of some of the more exciting plants that we have acquired in 2003 (and also in 2001 and 2002), in no particular order.
In March, 2003, we decided to send Jon Roethling (in his former capacity as Horticultural Assistant; now JCRA Research Technician) on a road trip to visit nurseries and friends in South Carolina and Georgia. Departing with only the Arboretum's F-150 gray truck (containing only Jon's luggage and a goodly portion of "gift plants"), little did I know that Jon would return with over 175 new accessions! Jon visited 12 nurseries, all of which donated plants to us and were happy to receive the plants Jon brought along with him. One of his first stops was at Transplant Nursery (Lavonia, GA), owned by Jeff and Lisa Beasley, and located just off of I-85 right inside Georgia across from the South Carolina border. The Beasleys are famous for their deciduous azaleas, and deservedly so with Transplant Nursery long being recognized as a mecca for these plants. Although the acquisitions donated by the Beasleys to the Arboretum are too numerous for me to discuss them all in detail here, the following represents the range of hybrids and species selections that were brought back.
In 1999, Transplant Nursery debuted their "Maid in the Shade" collection of hybrid native azaleas selected for floral fragrance and plant performance in shade gardens. Of the eight original selections, we have planted Rhododendron ×pennsylvanicum 'Nacoochee Princess' and R. 'Summer Lyric' in the District X Garden Club of North Carolina Wall Garden (also called the "Cascade border" by us for brevity's sake), in beds C12 and C09, respectively. 'Nacoochee Princess' derives from controlled hybridization between R. atlanticum (coastal azalea) and R. periclymenoides (pinxterbloom azalea), and is one of the offspring of the so-called "Choptank hybrids," themselves named due to their occurrence as natural hybrids along the Choptank River of the eastern shore region of Maryland. 'Summer Lyric', on the other hand, derives from crosses made by Jeff Beasley between R. prunifolium (plum-leaf azalea) and R. arborescens (sweet azalea). Other plants of note from the Beasleys include: Rhododendron 'Apricot and Yellow Choptank' (another bi-colored Choptank hybrid, this one a selection from the wild); R. arborescens 'Creek Side' (originally received by us as R. arborescens 'Running Arborescens', an aptly descriptive cultivar name, but one that had to be changed due to its use of Latinized words - deemed contrary to the rules of nomenclature for cultivated plants); and R. calendulaceum 'Dawn at the River' (a magnificent selection of flame azalea that bears tricolored flowers of red, orange, and yellow). Supplementing these Transplant Nursery acquisitions are a range of deciduous azaleas sold by Woodlanders Nursery (Aiken, SC) to us that Jon also acquired on this trip. These plants will all form the basis of a new deciduous azalea collection at the JCRA, greatly improving our representations of this increasingly popular group of ornamental, deciduous shrubs.
Departing Transplant Nursery, Jon visited Atlanta plantsman Ozzie Johnson, both at his private Marietta, GA garden (a plantsman's paradise) and at ItSaul Plants (owned also by Bobby, Richard, and Kathy Sauls of Saul Nurseries). ItSaul Plants, founded as recently as 1998, has quickly made a reputation of growing and selling unique plants to the nursery industry. One of their many newest plants to be sold is a superb gold-leaf form of the creeping raspberry, Rubus rolfei 'Golden Quilt' (PP13,436). (Rubus rolfei is most commonly known and listed in nursery catalogs under the now-invalid name of R. calycinoides, and it is sometimes also seen listed as R. pentalobus.) Rubus rolfei (as R. calycinoides) is best known by its popular cultivar, 'Emerald Carpet', which forms a low, dense, evergreen groundcover that bears textured, dark green leaves through the growing season, these leaves blushed with burgundy tones in the cooler months. 'Golden Quilt' is a branch sport from one of the clones commonly seen, and bears striking golden-yellow leaves, especially prominent on the new growth of the season. We have planted our plant underneath the specimen of Edgeworthia chrysantha 'John Bryant' growing in the Cascade border, in bed C07. While in Atlanta, Jon also received cuttings from a special mahonia that he and I had admired on separate visits to Ozzie's garden. This mahonia, although we are unsure of its exact identity, closely matches a mahonia seen in Japan on my travels there in 2001 and 2002 - Mahonia confusa 'Narihira'. 'Narihira' bears exceptional, dark, "black-green" leaves, of soft texture, with very narrow leaflets. The plant appears more like a dark green nandina than it does a mahonia. With the cuttings that Jon brought back from Ozzie's plant now rooted and growing happily in our greenhouse, we look forward to planting this exciting new plant out next spring.
While in Georgia, Jon also visited with University of Georgia Professor and plantsman, Michael Dirr, Ph.D. As he always has, Dirr was generous in sharing many of his own new-found or newly recognized plant treasures for us to use in Raleigh at the Arboretum. Among the plants brought back was a collection of remontant (or reblooming) Hydrangea macrophylla cultivars, including the popularly promoted H. macrophylla 'Bailmer', trademarked as Endless Summer"! by Bailey Nurseries (St. Paul, MN). However, some of our accessions received two or three years ago from Dirr's program bear special mention here. Back in 2001, while current NCSU Horticulture student Richard Olsen was working on his M.S. degree at UGA, I traveled down to Athens on a visit. While there, Dirr had instructed Richard that the Arboretum could receive any of a number of plants that he was distributing. Richard told me about the exciting work that was ongoing on the southeastern U.S. native Hypericum species by a student in the botany department at UGA. These hypericum plants were not new to me, as I had seen them displayed at the Southern Nursery Association trade show in Atlanta in 2000 as part of the display at the Center for Applied Nursery Research (Dearing, GA) booth. Although some plants still remain to be planted out in the Arboretum from the collection we acquired via Dirr and Richard, one that stands out beautifully currently grows in the Cascade border - Hypericum galioides × H. brachyphyllum. This natural hybrid between two southeastern U.S. species, H. brachyphyllum (Coastal Plain St. Johnswort) and H. galioides (bedstraw St. Johnswort), forms an evergreen shrub to subshrub, reaching only to 2' feet high and slightly wider, with thin, wiry, short pine-needle-like leaves, glossy dark green in color. In early summer, dozens of small, sunny golden-yellow, red-tinged Hypericum blooms are produced, studding the plant throughout the hot summer months. This plant, and others acquired from UGA, are sure to become more prevalent in the future, in line with Hypericum galioides 'Brodie', an outstanding native Hypericum which we have long admired, based on the specimen growing since 1995 in bed E43b near the Necessary.
Also dating back a few years (possibly 2000 or 1999, even) is a collection of Ilex glabra (inkberry) cultivars given to us by Dirr. For reasons unknown, these were not planted out into the Arboretum until January 2003 when the Cascade border was first started. Of the five cultivars used in the Cascade border, four of them derived from Dirr's collection given to us - 'Cape Cod', 'Densa', 'Dodd Compact', and 'Georgia Wine'. (The fifth cultivar, 'Red Tip', was acquired by us from Rosyln Nursery, Dix Hills, NY.) Of the four cultivars received from Dirr, we have especially admired 'Georgia Wine', which as its name suggests, bears purple-red colored winter foliage on a portion of the leaves, these complimented by the dark black berries typical of female members of this species.
One of Jon's last stop on his Georgia/South Carolina trip was at Nurseries Caroliniana (North Augusta, SC), owned by our longtime JCRA friend, Ted Stephens. Ted, always on the forefront of new plant acquisitions, has long, quietly supported the JCRA through his many donations of plants for us to use (such as the aforementioned Edgeworthia chrysantha 'John Bryant'). Of particular note from Jon's trip, as well as others brought back by myself and Chris Glenn on our annual return trip to Raleigh from the Southern Nursery Association trade show in Atlanta every August, are the following plants. First of these is Farfugium japonicum 'Jitsuko's Star', a new, double-flowering cultivar of the old Southern favorite, leopard plant, or Farfugium japonicum 'Aureomaculatum'. (Cultivars of this plant are still listed in nursery catalogs under the species' former name, Ligularia tussilaginea.) 'Jitsuko's Star', not only bearing its bold, round leaves (scalloped on the margins), held upright by long, thick petioles; also shows off its bright sulphur-yellow flowers, produced in mid to late autumn. Our plant of 'Jitsuko's Star', still in flower as of this writing, grows in a shady enclave of the Sunken Garden, located just outside of Chris' office window. 'Jitsuko's Star' is named for Jitsuko Johnson, the late wife of Ozzie Johnson.
A second plant received by Ted, which we are equally excited to have obtained is Ilex integra 'Ogon' (golden Nepal holly). Having seen this plant in Japan, where it was grown as a hedge, electrifying the landscape with its brilliant, cadmium-yellow new growth, I instantaneously decided that this was a "must-have" plant for the Arboretum. (It would assuredly have been on J. C.'s famous plant "lust list.") Ted purchased a plant for us, bringing it back and sending it back to the Arboretum via Jon's trip. It was such an exciting moment for me to see a plant in our possession, after having to wait a long 18 months after I first became aware of it (at the nursery of Kasahara Engei, Saitama, Japan) back in June 2001. Although Nepal holly has long been grown in the southern U.S., it has never become popular. Bearing lustrous, dark green leaves, not tipped with spinose tips on the leaf margins, and producing large, red berries on female plants, this holly prospers from the Gulf Coast area up to the Middle to Upper South. Kevin Gantt of Hefner's Nursery (Conover, NC) and I talked about the virtues of Ilex integra back at the IPPS meeting in Baltimore, MD back in October 2002; where he enlightened me of its hardiness in the colder part of Zone 7 and its landscape toughness. Clearly, 'Ogon', with its bright yellow new growth flush, has a place in North Carolina gardens and landscapes.
On a related note, I have been admiring our specimen of Ilex integra 'Green Shadow' which now grows in the Lath House in bed L22. This superb, variegated form of Nepal holly, dating also back to Japan from where it was brought to the U.S. by plantsman par excellence and Japanese horticultural expert Barry Yinger, was received by us from our friends at Heronswood Nursery (Kingston, WA) in late 2000. Planted as a 1-quart plant in the Lath House in May 2001, it now has reached over 6.5' tall, and has shown no signs of winter injury thus far. An even older specimen, planted at the NC State Fairgrounds by Raleigh, NC plantsman Tony Avent many years ago, is even more impressive, and attests to the notion that J. C. had earlier grown this plant, either removing it or losing it from the Arboretum collections for reasons unknown to me.
From Ted, we also received a plant that I have been eager to acquire: a new, variegated cultivar of our native trumpetcreeper - originating from (where else?), Japan! Our plant was received as Campsis radicans 'Wako White', and bears superbly white-splashed variegation throughout the leaves. This variegation does not appear to burn up in our summer heat, and it is complemented by the vibrant orange-red flowers typical of the species. Ted's plant was acquired directly from Japan, where it was purchased and then brought to the U.S. However, I was soon to learn of a "second" variegated cultivar of Campsis radicans - C. radicans 'Takarazuka Variegated'! And with a name like "Takarazuka," this also had to be a plant of Japanese origin! Well, voila! Along comes former JCRA employee, Tom Foley, now of Hines Nurseries (Vacaville, CA), who sent us a plant in 2003, along with many other gems (to be discussed in another article). On a visit to the Vacaville, CA location of Hines Nurseries back in 2001, I saw plants of Campsis radicans 'Takarazuka Variegated' (trademarked as Summer Snowfall"!) in production. These plants looked exactly like 'Wako White'! In researching this further, I found out that C. radicans 'Takarazuka Variegated' was introduced by Hines Nurseries to the U.S. from Shinri Wakaiki of Takarazuka City, Japan. It was patented in 2001 (PP12,245). Clearly, plants being sold in Japan as 'Wako White' (a corruption of "Waka," I presume) are the same as 'Takarazuka Variegated'. However, under whichever name, this is a superb plant, and a wonderful addition to the ranks of the trumpetcreepers, being the first variegated Campsis in cultivation, to my knowledge. Let's just hope that the variegation of 'Takarazuka Variegated' will slow down the growth rate of this plant, as C. radicans can sometimes grow with wild abandon. Thanks to Ted Stephens and Tom Foley for clearing up this nomenclatural confusion on our part. We have planted our specimen of this variegated trumpetcreeper at the base of the arbor in the Klein-Pringle White Garden, where it will assuredly flourish.
And this concludes my discussions of some of our new and exciting accessions from here and there. Stay tuned for more in our next newsletter. To be continued............, as always!
By Anne M. Porter, Director of Development
In December 1999, a very special friend of the Arboretum made the decision to support the building campaign by sponsoring a garden in the new Ruby C. McSwain Education Center complex. She selected the Contemplation Garden in honor of her two daughters who faithfully supported her return to the academic world more than 20 years earlier.
This JCRA friend, volunteer, and ardent supporter is Priscilla Swindell. Her two daughters are Courtney Thompson and Robin Bradley!
Priscilla had another special connection to the Arboretum. J. C. Raulston was the chair of her graduate study committee in the late 1970s, and by 1979, she had earned her NCSU associate degree in floriculture and ornamental plants and a master's degree in agriculture, with a major in horticulture and a minor in landscape architecture. This was to be just the beginning of an incredible partnership!
As the McSwain Center was completed, then officially dedicated on September 21, 2002, the surrounding gardens began their transformations. Priscilla met with Bob Lyons to discuss her vision of the Contemplation Garden. Pat Lindsey, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Horticultural Science, agreed to take on the garden as a special class project, and NC State University student, Danielle Marie Ray, volunteered her time and made the garden a special Internal Learning Experience (ILE) project. They all partnered together to create an amazing design.
As Danielle wrote in her concept statement, "The Contemplation Garden will lend itself to a journey, a meandering stroll for introspective thinking, or to provoke wonder and awe at the small miracles our busy lives quickly overlook....the intent...to bring peace to (their) day."
The Swindell Contemplation Garden is located just inside the pedestrian gate. Please watch as it transforms into a magical and tranquil place of beauty that will transport visitors to a soothing place of meditation, reflection, and contemplation. Thank you Priscilla, Courtney, and Robin for giving all of us this special gift!
There are still many naming opportunities available. Your gift to sponsor a garden is used to directly support the JCRA. This is a gift that will keep on giving - to the many people who visit the Arboretum and to the special loved one(s) who you choose to honor!
Would you like to make a significant difference in the life of a talented young student? Would you like to support the JCRA in an incredible way? Would you, your family, your business, or organization consider an investment of $2,000.00? Then a sponsored JCRA Internship may be just the win-win, tax-deductible gift opportunity that you have been looking for!
For a minimum of $2,000.00 per year, you can sponsor a named internship. It is so easy, and what a difference your gift will make to the JCRA and to these gifted students! Your sponsored named internship and the year of the internship will be permanently displayed and recognized at the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center.
Early one morning last fall, a dandy little group of garden club members drove all the way from Hickory to the JC Raulston Arboretum. The group included four ladies and one gentleman. Their ages - let's just say that the average age was around 80 years old! This group represented the Pioneer Garden Club of Hickory, NC, who had purchased the lucky ticket for the 2003 Gala in the Garden special pocket garden drawing.
The Dedication included a tour of the Arboretum, photo ops around the garden, a fine lunch, and great fellowship - a good time was had by all!
Many thanks to the Pioneer Garden Club, as well as to everyone who supported the JCRA through this special fund-raising effort.
This could be you or your organization featured for a special dedication next year!
That's right! Just like last year, you will have the opportunity to send in your tickets for a chance to name a beautiful garden at the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center complex. Tickets will be included in this year's Gala invitation or for more information, please call Donna Walker at (919) 513-3826. You can't "win" if you don't play! So please support the JCRA!
Includes cash, appreciated property (stock and real estate) or tangible personal property. A special thanks to all the generous Friends of the Arboretum who gave their gifts during the 2003 Annual Appeal!
Many gifts from active or retired employees qualify for matching gifts from their employers. Please check with your employer - this could double your gift!
Bequests and Planned Gifts
You may specify a gift by writing your will or living trust to include the JC Raulston Arboretum as a beneficiary. A planned gift is an incredible opportunity to capture tax-saving benefits now and leave a rich legacy for the future.
What better way to remember or honor a loved one, friend, business, or organization than with a special memorial tribute gift. There are many opportunities - from an engraved brick, to a garden bench, or a named garden. This is a gift that keeps on giving!
Real Estate or Securities Gifts
Donors pay no capital gains on the increased value with their gift of stock or other appreciated real estate.
For more information on these giving opportunities, please call or e-mail Anne Porter at (919) 513-3463 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
By Donna Walker, Development Associate
Did you miss this year's "Moonlight" in the Garden event? Well, I sure hope not! John Garner of Southern Lights did it again. John and his amazing crew installed thousands of dollars worth of temporary night lighting in the JCRA gardens and on October 3, 4, and 5, 2003 the JCRA was open to the public for night tours. The event was also sponsored by WRAL/Capitol Broadcasting and we thank them for their support.
Beginning at the JCRA Gift Shop and Bookstore, our guests proceeded into the gardens. Guides were in place at various stops along the way to give information about the individual gardens and the lighting fixtures used in each area. Everyone was fascinated by the beautiful fixtures and how the lighting complimented the natural beauty of the plants. Lighting was used to show the soft drift of pine needles, a pattern of light on a garden path, the reds and yellows of the roses, the bark of the trees, and the sculptured shapes of the wisteria vines. Once again, John used special lighting on the statuary in the wisteria garden to create interesting shadows. Especially intriguing were the groupings of glass flowers - the only colored lights used. John introduced the Lath House to lighting and most guests agreed it was spectacular - the highlight of the event. The whole garden became alive, friendlier, softer.
After the tour was completed, the guests were treated to hot cider and cookies and some time to socialize.
If you'd like more information about John or want him to come by your home to describe what he can do for your garden, give him a call at (919) 755-0380.
I hope you've been receiving our JCRA e-Updates. We've been highlighting three of our benefit providers each month. If you don't have a list of the providers, be sure to go on-line and print them off or call us and we'll send you a hard copy. Taking advantage of these discounts is a benefit of your JCRA membership. Go by or call these businesses and receive the discount they're offering. And please add your thanks to ours for their support of the JCRA.
Time to renew your membership? Or perhaps you've let your membership drop? Remember that the JCRA has much to offer and is a beautiful addition to west Raleigh. Please take time to complete a membership renewal form, available at the JCRA or online. You'll be supporting the JCRA and helping to keep our programs and plants in place.
It's always a good time to make a donation to the JCRA. And if you need a gift, an engraved brick placed in our pedestrian walkway is a great way to honor your loved one or celebrate an event. Come by the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center to see the bricks already in place.
The garden benches placed about the JCRA are all there to honor or remember someone. As you walk around the Arboretum and take a break by sitting on one of our many benches, consider making a donation to the JCRA to sponsor a bench. The benches are beautiful and useful and your gift goes into our general operations fund.
Call me at (919) 513-3826 or Anne Porter at (919) 513-3463 if you have questions or would like more information on any of these gift options.
You may remember that last May Henry Isaacs, an artist who frequently paints the Arboretum, held a painting workshop at the JCRA. Henry will again hold the workshop, this time for two days on May 22 and 23, 2004. Spots are filling up fast so get in touch with the folks at Gallery C in Raleigh to hold your place. Their phone number is (919) 828-3165. And be sure to hold Friday, June 4, 2004 for the artist's reception at Gallery C. Charlene Harless and her staff allows us to hold this enjoyable friend and fund raiser at their gallery in Ridgewood Shopping Center near Whole Foods (Wellspring). Another of our "don't miss" events.
And what's being held on the first Sunday in May? All together now. "The Gala in the Garden!" The biggest fund raiser of the year and great fun, the Gala will be held May 2, 2004 beginning at 3:00 PM. Honorary Chairs Wallace and Jeanette Hyde and Chairs Tom and Nancy Bland are already helping the staff put together the plans for what is hoped to be our best Gala yet.
We're hoping to have another used garden book sale. Get in touch with me or just come by the JCRA if you've got books to donate. Details for this tentative event will be posted on the JCRA Web site and announced through the Lyons'Den as the event's date approaches.
By Frankie Fanelli, Volunteer Coordinator
Volunteers contribute over 7,000 hours a year doing a vast array of activities! One new venture is staffing the JCRA Gift Shop and Bookstore. Over the past year we have been opening only one day a week and during special events. Beginning in March 2004, our objective will be to open the shop Monday through Friday from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM and one weekend a month. We are looking for volunteers that are willing to staff the shop once a week, every other week, or one weekend a month. Please contact me at (919) 513-7004 for more details! Volunteer support is critical for the success of this endeavor!
As for the ways that volunteers contribute their time and talents - the following photographs tell it all. Thank you volunteers for making 2003 a terrific year for the JCRA!
Barbara Kennedy (above on left) and Mary Caldwell (above on right) assist Anne Calta, Research Assistant, in the nursery taking care of weeds. Mary refers to this as the therapy job!
Virg Birkin and Bob Roth (above), Label Engravers, discuss engraving and signage techniques used at the JCRA with Guilford County Cooperative Extension staff and Master Gardeners.
John Buettner (above left), creator of the "Plastic Pot People" that graced the Paradise Garden through the summer, presented a program on his design techniques for the Volunteer Brown Bag. Thank you John for sharing your humor and creative talents! Nancy Simonsen and Jean Mitchell (above right) show off their plastic pots transformed with a faux finish following John's demonstration - every volunteer attending got into the action!
You may be asking yourself, "What is a Volunteer Brown Bag?" Every month we make it a point of having an educational and/or social gathering for active volunteers. The volunteers bring a brown bag lunch or dinner and JCRA provides the program/demonstration, sweets, and drinks. This is one way JCRA shows appreciation for all of the hard work volunteers contribute.
Bob Davis (above on left), Aquatic Gardens Curator, shared an interest close to his heart at a Volunteer Brown Bag, backyard chickens. Pictured are Bob, holding Boss Man, and Judy Morgan-Davis (above on right) with Precious. Bob explained the ins and outs of raising Dark Brahma Batams in the urban backyard - good information and lots of fun! Thanks Bob!-
The 2003 Friends of the Arboretum Annual Plant Distribution was a huge success thanks to the organization of Anne Calta and many volunteers. Over 40 volunteers participated in the set up for the Annual Plant Distribution. Another dozen volunteers, under the leadership of Donna Walker, Development Associate, smoothly checked in over 250 members on the big day. Kudos to the volunteers and staff that made this event such a success!
The carts in the foreground (above) remind us to thank a special team that worked like Trojans one September evening doing some serious repair work on the garden carts. Thank you Wayne Friedrich, Tim Hinton, Rick McGirt, and Walt Thompson.
Walt Thompson and Anita Kuehne (above) take a few minutes out from their duties at "Moonlight" in the Garden to be part of the show. Volunteers registered visitors, warmed cider, and directed guests from one light display to another! The volunteer support was most appreciated!
What is hard work without a little fun? JCRA volunteers, Jean Mitchell, Doris Huneycutt, and guest, Jerome Huneycutt, enjoy a good meal and company at the annual volunteer potluck and plant swap.
Tom Bumgarner and Marty Howard (above) select plants during the plant swap. JCRA volunteers are as generous with their plants as they are with their time!
The Poinsettia Open House was a team effort between the NCSU Floriculture group and the JCRA. Floriculture professor, John Dole, Ph.D., led the effort and Ingram McCall, Research Technician, grew the poinsettias. Thank you both for adding this event to your busy December calendars! Kathleen Thompson (floral designer extraordinaire) and Walt Thompson contributed a great deal of their time and talents to decorating and arranging poinsettias to show visitors creative possibilities other than the typical foil wrapped plant! Tim Hinton puts the crowning poinsettia on the tree - he was just one of 30 volunteers that made the weekend possible and this first time event such a hit! Volunteers set up and took down almost 400 display plants, guided Arboretum tours, greeted visitors, and the bookstore had a record sales day! Thank you so very much to all of the volunteers that took time out of their holiday season to share another aspect of the Arboretum with members and visitors.
Formatted into HTML by Christopher
Programs & Education Coordinator
JC Raulston Arboretum
Department of Horticultural Science
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
© The JC Raulston Arboretum, February 2004