Note: The JCRA launched a new Web site on March 1. Please visit us at This site,, is no longer being updated.

JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

July 2003

In This Issue

Director's Note

Donna PhillipsI'm pleased to welcome and introduce to you another one of our summer students, Donna Phillips. Donna currently has what I call the "hybrid" position....this is the position I created to share the workload with the Horticultural Field Lab in return for their on-the-job training. Donna is finishing up her Associates Degree in the NCSU Agricultural Institute and has jumped in with both feet! Donna is primarily responsible for maintaining and assisting with the entire Annual Trials area, the new set of container gardens throughout the new Ruby C. McSwain Education Center, mowing, and making sure all is visibly presentable after her intense maintenance. I'm indebted to the North Carolina Flower Growers Association for their financial assistance with this position. We will be in great shape with Donna's help as we approach our Field Day date of July 23, 2003! – Bob Lyons, Ph.D., Director

Developing News

June should be a time to begin easing into the warm summer months but not at the JCRA. Our staff stays busy no matter what time of the year. The Ruby C. McSwain Education Center has become a beehive of activities and we are so pleased with the beautiful and convenient facilities. We're still hoping to find a donor to renovate the old brick house in order to enlarge our meeting and office capacities.

Gallery C Event – Have you ever thought that a particular view at the JCRA was so beautiful that you'd like to capture it by photo or on canvas? We frequently have both amateur and professional photographers and artists in the garden. On May 31, 2003 we took the idea one step further and hosted Gallery C and Henry Isaacs at a garden painting seminar. A group of area artists joined Henry and put their visions onto canvas, enjoying the day even though it was a bit blustery! On Friday night, June 6, 2003, Gallery C held an artist's reception for Henry with proceeds going to the JCRA. The gallery was packed with avid art enthusiasts enjoying a glass of wine as they admired Henry's work. Thanks to Frankie Fanelli, Walt & Kathleen Thompson, and Steve Walker as well as the Gallery C staff, Charlene Harless, Adam Cave, and Molly Safrit for a wonderful event. Both Gallery C and the JCRA made many new friends at this fun event. Be sure to get by the gallery at 3532 Wade Avenue and see Henry's work as well as that of other artists.

The used garden book sale held in March was such a success that we'd like to be able to hold it annually. This will depend on the number of books donated. When you get one of those special housecleaning urges and find a few gardening book treasures that you're ready to give away, bring them by the JCRA. If you include your name and address and fair market value of the books, you can even get a gift receipt for your taxes. It's a win-win situation. – Donna M. Walker, Development Associate

Behind the Curtain

It is Christmas in June for the Raulston Arboretum. This past fall, Todd Lasseigne submitted a grant to the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust requesting a soil steamer cart. The trust generously granted us $6,700.00 to purchase the new steam cart. The two cubic yard cart will allow us to steam all of our media for the nursery to 120-140 F. This time tested method allows the steam to kill any weed seeds or pathogens in the soil. This should help us with controlling weeds in the nursery and hopefully reduce any plant losses due to disease. We look forward to using this great addition to our nursery. – Anne Calta, Horticultural Assistant

New Planning and Planting at the JCRA: Parking Lot Beds

Plants waiting to be planted in the parking lot beds.Continuing development around the new Ruby C. McSwain Education Center has been a high priority for both Todd Lasseigne and myself ever since completion of the McSwain Center. One high priority area is the beds located north of the new parking lot – currently mapped as beds W06 and W07. In preparation for the new plantings, approximately 60 trees and shrubs located in our field nursery were dug and heeled into a holding area until planting commences. Many of the Cercis that had to be either removed or transplanted due to construction are among those to be planted.

The biggest hindrance to our starting this project has come from the most unlikely of sources – too much rain – especially considering last year's drought. Keep your fingers crossed for a bit of drying to occur so that bed preparation can continue. As soon as more soil preparation is done, planting can commence. Keep an eye out as progress continues to be made in this and other developing areas.

Included among the plantings are the following trees:

Acer negundo 'Kelly's Gold' – golden box elder
Cercis siliquastrum – Judas tree
Tilia cordata
'Winter Orange' – orange-twig littleleaf linden
Ungnadia speciosa – Mexican buckeye
Acer saccharum
'Sweet Shadow' – cut-leaf sugar maple
Quercus graciliformis
– Chisos oak

Jon Roethling, Horticultural Assistant

2003 Tender Perennial Planting by The Necessary

Plants for the Tender Perennials Border.As soon as the rain ceases and we see some sunny days, installing a new Tender Perennials Border is on the agenda. The garden will be located in a cozy nook in front of The Necessary. The idea of this garden is to showcase various species of tender perennials that perform well in our area.

The design will feature a number of species that are useful as foliage accents, including Alternanthera ficoidea, Sanchezia speciosa, Manihot esculenta 'Variegata', and Duranta erecta. Plants with interesting flowers will also be used, including Abutilon megapotamicum 'Little Imp', Leonotis ocymifolia, Datura, and Cuphea cyanea. A variety of vines and grouncovers will also be utilized in the design, namely Senecio confusus, Torenia 'Summerwave Amethyst', and Verbena 'Laura Jackson', A variety of beautiful Plectranthus species will also be implemented in the design, including popular cultivars like 'Nicodemus' and 'Mona Lavender'. Other plants for the design include Lantana trifolia, Centrantherum camporum, Gomphrena 'Grapes', and Hibiscus 'Terry's Pink'.

We are very excited about all of our upcoming plantings, and this garden is no exception. These eye-catching tender perennials will definitely add a splash of annual color to this area of the Arboretum. We hope you will enjoy this new planting, as well as all of our other developing gardens, during your next stroll through the Arboretum. – Sara Millar, Ben Anderson Intern

July Events

Herbaceous Tours for Early Birds and Night Owls – July 19, 2003 (Saturday) – Midseason Annuals 10:00 AM – Perennial Border Tour 7:00 PM – Free

Join Director Bob Lyons as he takes you through the winners and wannabes of color in the JCRA Annual Trial Beds. Then catch your breath and return later in the evening for the runway tour of selected perennial species found within the JCRA Perennial Border. Pick and choose your way through these two tours or simply take them both. They 're free and open to the public!

Details for these events and all other JCRA events can be found in the "Calendar of Events" section on the JCRA Web site.

July's Featured Benefit Providers

I hope you're all taking advantage of the many wonderful businesses that are offering discounts, etc., to our members. If you can't find your brochure, call Heather Chapman at (919) 515-3132 and she'll send you another one. We'll be highlighting three of the businesses in each e-Update. This month's featured businesses are Better Tree Care Associates, Down to Earth Designs, Inc., and Dragonfly Perennials, Inc.

Better Tree Care Associates – Owner Guy Meilleur, has been a practicing and consulting arborist since 1965. He can assist you with diagnosis of tree problems, appraisal of existing trees and plants, hazard evaluation, care of your existing trees during construction, pruning, and general tree care. Guy offers to JCRA members the second hour of tree work free. You can reach Guy at (919) 387-7045

Down to Earth Designs, Inc. – Down to Earth Designs has been in business for almost eight years. Owner Ben Case worked at the JCRA as a student back when we were still the NCSU Arboretum and had J. C. Raulston as an advisor. They are a design/build company and recently added a maintenance division. Their specialty is water gardens, fountains, and ponds. They are located at 2017 Progress Court in Raleigh but have recently bought land on New Bern Avenue and will be building a new facility which will include a small resale area for ponds, water gardens, etc. You can get in touch with Ben at (919) 875-8008 or <> or drop by the office. Down to Earth Designs is offering a complimentary one hour on-site consultation and 10% off design services for a full plan (not applicable to installations).

Dragonfly Perennials, Inc. – Dragonfly Perennials is a garden design, installation, and maintenance company specializing in perennial gardens. Garden designers, Lori Hume, with over 20 years experience and a former NCSU horticulture student, and Sherri Koester, a well known local lecturer, established the company to fill the growing demand for southern perennial garden design and care. You can reach Lori and Sherri at (919) 468-5634. They are offering 10% off landscape design services to our members.

Be sure to give these folks or any of the others on our benefits brochure a call when their services fit your needs. – Donna M. Walker, Development Associate

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. To remove yourself from this mailing, please write Christopher Todd Glenn.

© The JC Raulston Arboretum, July 2003

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict