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JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

August 2004

In This Issue

Director's Note

It is always a pleasure to close out a fiscal year with good news. Running a non-profit organization can be a wild ride, especially these days, but the JCRA fared very well in 2003-2004. Our "General Fund" serves as the basis for most operations here, harboring those monies derived primarily from memberships, unrestricted donations, and whatever portion of the Gala net revenues so allocated to general operations of the JCRA. Total income for the fiscal year just past was $234,381.00 and total expenditures were $185,144.00, leaving a net balance of about $125,000.00. To give a little perspective, FY 2002-2003 saw a total income of $155,633.00 and total expenditures of $159,772.00. In light of a previous balance in this fund, we were left with $75,689.00 at the end of that fiscal year. The difference between these two fiscal years is dramatic and a true reflection of the generosity and support of our members, donors, and other friends.....thank you for getting the upcoming fiscal year off to a great start! – Bob Lyons, Director

Membership Drive

As a current member you are aware of the benefits of being a part of the Friends of the Arboretum. Recently you received a packet of information from me requesting your participation in our Membership Drive. All current members received three copies of our beautiful brochure with your name already placed on the membership form portion. You are asked to pass these along to three of your friends who are gardening enthusiasts but not JCRA members. Enclose a personal note with the brochure and encourage your friends to become a part of one of the areas most beautiful gardens and research facilities.

Some of our benefits are:

And you will receive benefits from bringing in new members. Each member who brings in $300.00 in new members during the month of September will receive a Connoisseur Plant. And the top ten hosts will have the first ten places in line at the October 2, 2004 Friends of the Arboretum Annual Plant Distribution.

If you have any questions or would like more brochures, please contact Donna Walker at (919) 513-3826 or <>.

Help us meet our goal of doubling our membership! Together we can do it! – Donna Walker, Development Associate

Out with the Old: Bringing the JCRA Nursery into the 21st Century

For quite some time now, Todd Lasseigne and I have been scratching our heads trying to solve various problems with our propagation infrastructure. Here at the JCRA, one such headache continues to be the dry zones in our mist system that always seems to play musical chairs (in this case musical mist nozzles). A dry zone would appear and we would fix it only to have it reappear in another location. These dry zones have a rather terminal effect on cuttings. Viewing this situation as untenable, I set out on a quest to pick the brains of some of our fellow nurserymen in order to find a solution. One name that kept surfacing was that of Mark Lurey, owner of ML Irrigation Systems Inc. (Laurens, SC). By a giant stroke of luck, Mark was exhibiting at the recent Johnson County Nurserymen's Association meeting at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds, which allowed us a chance to meet.

Peter Conden, JCRA Horticultural Assistant, contacted Mark and was able to bring him over to the Arboretum nursery for a walk through our facilities. Within a short period of time, Mark not only had solved our propagation mist woes, but also he had designed a new system for our new cold frame/nursery pad mentioned in the January e-Update. Not stopping there, Mark has also set us up with drip irrigation for our field nursery. I am happy to say that as of this writing the supplies are on their way, and so is the nursery, toward the 21st Century. I do want to wish Mark a special thank you for making this such an easy process. – Jon Roethling, Research Technician

Network...What Network?

Pittosporum trialsFor the past three months, I, along with Jon Roethling, have been busy at work on a project called the "North Carolina Statewide Plant Evaluation Network." Many of you may have heard mention of this "network" without knowing any of the details. Well, tracing back four years ago, as the newly hired JCRA director, Bob Lyons formulated the idea of evaluating plants on a statewide basis – proverbially from mountain to sea. Initially, potential cooperators were contacted in the summer of 2000 by Andy Upshaw, JCRA teaching fellow. Andy and Bob established a network of 11 cooperating sites, a combination of county Extension centers and NCSU and NCDA research stations.

In 2001, I was given charge of this project when I was hired as assistant director. My first task was to select the initial group of plants that would be grown at the JCRA from cuttings onto 3-gallon containerized plants. These would then be planted out at the test sites. Knowing that the cooperating investigators were eager to move forward with this project, I initiated the following: a) informing the cooperators that it would take some time to grow the first test "crop;" b) developing a list of Pittosporum taxa that would be propagated (totaling over 1,200 cuttings) and then grown out; and c) visiting all of the sites and meeting the cooperators in the summer of 2001. Three years, and nearly 800 3-gallon containerized pittosporums, later, the JCRA North Carolina Statewide Network has been born. Through the efforts of myself and Jon, and the huge contributions of former JCRA employees Mitzi Hole and Anne Calta, our first set of plants to evaluate over the following three years are now grown and planted in the ground. Come drought, flood, heat, cold, and deer, we'll let you know what we learn from sites scattered across North Carolina and ranging in elevation from 3,000' to nearly sea level.

Why Pittosporum, you ask? Well, that will just have to wait for another JCRA e-Update! – Todd Lasseigne, Assistant Director

Coming Attractions – Highlights of August

Lycoris ×haywardii – electric surprise-lilySome like it hot! Especially the tender perennials planted mainly in the new Entry Garden and along the walkway leading to the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center. The name,"tender perennials," may seem like a misnomer, but these plants perennialize (come back each year) in the warmer, typically tropical, areas of the world. In our region, they are tender and will die with the first frost.

Other gardens and collections to see at the JCRA that are exceptionally beautiful in August include: Annual Plant Trials and Demonstration Area, Elizabeth Lawrence Border, Mixed Border, and the Perennial Border. During your visit, take a peak at the Lath House renovation that is currently in progress.

Also watch for:

Abelia ×grandiflora Confetti™ – variegated abelia
Alstroemeria species and cultivars – Peruvian lily
Buddleja species and cultivars – butterfly bush
Canna 'Panache' – canna
Chasmanthium latifolium – river oats
Cortaderia selloana 'Aureolineata' – golden pampas grass
Cosmos sulphureus – sulphur cosmos
Emmenopterys henryi – Chinese emmenopterys
Echinacea species and cultivars – coneflower
Eupatorium purpureum 'Big Umbrella' – Joe-pye weed
Hedychium 'Gold Flame' – hardy ginger-lily
Helianthus salicifolius – willow-leaf sunflower
Hemerocallis 'Autumn Prince' – daylily
Hibiscus species & cultivars – mallow/rose-of Sharon
Hosta plantaginea 'Ming Treasure'– August lily
Hydrangea species and cultivars – French hydrangea
Koelreuteria paniculata 'Beachmaster' – dwarf golden raintree
Lagerstroemia indica cultivars – crepe myrtle
Lycoris radiata var. radiata – red surprise-lily
Lycoris squamigera – slender pink naked ladies
Magnolia grandiflora cultivars – southern magnolia
Rhododendron Autumn Coral™ – Encore™ azalea
Rosa species and cultivars – rose
Ruellia brittoniana – Mexican wild-petunia
Salvia greggii 'Alba' – white autumn sage
Sedum telephium 'Matrona' – common orpine
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'– goldenrod
Vernonia noveboracensis – ironweed

This show is free. We invite you to visit often. – Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

August Calendar

Plantsmen's Tour – August 27, 2004 (Friday) – 5:30 PM – Free

"Tender Perennial Madness" – "To be (hardy), or not to be (hardy): that is the question." As even the Bard could appreciate, there exists a plethora of plants that are suitable for use in NC gardens but that are not cold hardy. Some of these are former houseplants, now recognized as superb landscape plants; while others are heretofore unknown. Join Todd as we highlight some of our recent success stories, as well as newly acquired tender perennials that are suited to our climate and gardens.

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

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, August 2004

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