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 Please visit us at This site,, is no longer being updated.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

March 2004

In This Issue

Director's Note

I've taken several opportunities to express my excitement for all the student internships we'll have available at the JCRA this summer. However, there is one in particular that deserves special mention since it originates directly from our membership. As I was figuring funding allotments from our general budget for summer student help, it appeared that we'd have about $2,000.00 to support this effort. Just as I was about to designate this budget item, a light went off. $2,000.00.......this was exactly the minimum requirement to set up one of our privately funded summer internships, so why not configure one from monies derived from membership dues? So, thank you, all JCRA members! Newly created this summer will be the Friends of the Arboretum Internship, courtesy of the generosity of our members and standing right alongside our seven other internship opportunities! Thanks from me and an advance thanks for the recipient! – Bob Lyons, Director

Planting the Seeds for Development

A Win/Win!

Don't you just love it when a situation arises and you just know that it is a "win/win" for everyone? For many years the JC Raulston Arboretum (JCRA) and the Raleigh Little Theatre (RLT) have worked together – each supporting the other during galas and other fundraising efforts. We have that opportunity again this May to partner together for another real win/win situation.

RLT is having their Garden Tour on May 8 & 9, 2004, and patrons of the Garden Tour will receive 10% off JCRA Bookstore items through May 31, 2004 when they present their ticket stubs at the Bookstore. This is a great opportunity for "old" friends of the Arboretum, as JCRA members already get 10% off. (Show your membership card and your RLT Garden Tour ticket and get 20% off!) Plus, we hope this offer will bring many "new" friends to visit the Arboretum.

Look for RLT Garden Tour 2004 gift package at the Gala in the Garden Silent Auction. What at great Mother's Day gift!

Ticket information:
Raleigh Little Theatre Garden Tour 2004
May 8 & 9, 2004 – Mother's Day Weekend!
Visit nine private gardens throughout Raleigh and the beautiful Raleigh Rose Garden
Tickets are $15.00, students $10.00
All proceeds benefit Raleigh Little Theatre, Raleigh's oldest community theatre
To order call (919) 821-3111

The 2004 Gala in the Garden Special Drawing!

That's right! Just like last year, you will have the opportunity to purchase tickets for a chance to name the lovely Parking Circle Container Gardens at the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center complex. Tickets will be included in this year's Gala invitation, or you may purchase them at the front desk of the McSwain Education Center. 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! – Anne Porter, Director of Development

Charge Card Information

I'm sure you're all as careful with your charge card bills as my husband is, so when you go over your bill after renewing your membership or making some other kind of donation to the JCRA, don't be surprised if you see a charge made to "NC State Advancement Services." Under certain situations, they are the department at NC State who process most of our contributions. They do a great job for us and are extremely understanding when someone calls to check.


Don't forget to mark your calendar for Sunday, May 2, 2004 for Gala in the Garden. Also, our gala invitation will be out in a few days. If you've moved or made any change in your address, don't forget to notify Faye Koonce at (919) 515-3132 so you'll get your mailings from us in a timely manner. Call Donna if you're interested in becoming a corporate sponsor or would like to offer an item for the silent auction. This is the JCRA's biggest fund raiser and we need everyone to be involved! – Donna Walker, Development Associate

The Lath House: These Times, They are a' Changing

Lath HouseFor those of you walking into the Arboretum's lath house these days, you will notice a stark change. Not only is a part of the eastern wall gone (removed during the transplanting of the Manglietia yunnanensis and Taxus wallichiana var. chinensis specimens back in December), but the roof is also missing. Yes, missing! Thanks to the hard-working efforts of Jon and his able student assistants, Seneca Toms, Sabrina Mueller, and Matt Kudla, this seemingly daunting task was completed with "only" three days of work. Our aging lath house is finally beginning its long-overdue retirement, with the prospects of an ever better replacement structure coming along. Teaming up with NCSU Landscape Assistant Professor, Anne Spafford, and her HS 495-C class, "Landscape Construction," we at the JCRA are excited about building a new lath house, one that will not only serve as a structure in which to grow shade-adapted plants, but also one that appears as a visually interesting structure on the Arboretum grounds. Teaming up with Bob Lyons, Jon and I were able to sit in on Anne's class, where we heard all of the students present their conceptual ideas for development of a new lath house structure. Encompassing a diverse range of ideas, some integrating more fully the lath house with the Japanese Garden, others not, we are now primed to move forward in developing a plan of action on how we will rebuild this integral component of the JCRA. Stay tuned! – Todd Lasseigne, Assistant Director and Jon Roethling, Research Technician

Behind the Gate

PittosporumsThere are a lot of things you do in a nursery to grow a nice healthy plant for someone to plant in the ground and enjoy. Well, what I would like to share with you is a different story of over 1,200 pittosporums (Pittosporum sp.) in our nursery. Todd has been charged with overseeing a statewide evaluation network. The decision was made to evaluate pittosporums with the hope of finding some with cold hardiness to enjoy in the Piedmont and even the mountains of North Carolina. Eleven trial sites will be used across the state from the mountains to the coast.

In the fall of 2001, Mitzi and I began propagating over five different species, several cultivars, along with different germplasms of the species. We had a lot of success and a couple of difficult species that seemed to be sensitive to too much water. We had some disease problems until we were able to figure out the proper amount of water. Once they were rooted, we potted them up into one gallons and squeezed them in a greenhouse for the winter. They spent the summer outside under irrigation and really began to grow. As old man winter came along they were moved back into a greenhouse where they survived a bout of ethylene poisoning from a malfunctioning heater. Keep in mind that the whole time we are keeping all of the twelve different batches separate, watered, fertilized, and pest free.

This past summer, with the help of student workers Lee and Judy, we spent several weeks potting all of the pittosporums into three gallon pots. We put them all in greenhouses under shade and set up irrigation systems to keep them watered. We ran into a bit of a problem with a bad batch of the media not allowing the plants to take up nutrients. White leaves are not what you are looking for in most healthy plants. Once a liquid fertilization program was implemented all of the plants really took off which also means the aphids were in heaven with two greenhouse of nothing but tender new growth to munch on. This brings us back to covering the houses with plastic and moving half of the plants into a greenhouse to make it through their final winter in our nursery.

This spring Todd, Jon, and I will spend lots of time on the road to install the pittosporums across the state. Needless to say I will be sad and happy to see them go. I am sad because I have learned so much growing these plants the past three years and the reality is that many of them will not survive the trials. I am happy to see them go to make more space in the nursery and hopefully one day someone in Asheville will be able to enjoy the fragrant white or yellow blooms of a pittosporum. – Anne Calta, Horticultural Technician

Movin' On: The Entry Garden

Entry GardenAs the momentous task of mulching the Arboretum is finally coming to a close, I now have a deeper appreciation for the crew that paints the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course, now I am left looking at the dry erase board in my office at that column titled Upcoming Projects. Sitting at the top of the list for the moment is the relocation of the Entry Garden from its current location at the old parking lot entrance to a bit further west at the new parking lot entrance.

This project not only will give greater emphasis to our entrance (hopefully removing any confusion for those who haven't visited since the closing of the old parking lot), but also will assist with another goal, removal of the wall in China Valley. We hope to encourage more interaction with the fantastic plants residing in this area by removing this barrier and creating a more welcoming facade. – Jon Roethling, Research Technician

Coming Attractions – Highlights of March

Pieris japonica 'Shojo' – red Japanese andromedaTake heart! Spring is back! Farewell to witchhazels, flowering apricots, and the many other stunning winter delights that have kept our spirits high during January and February! If you can't get out, be sure to take a peek at the weekly photographs of the JCRA by visiting our new "Now Showing."

This month we eagerly greet many early spring favorites such as forsythia, Japanese camellia, primrose, loropetalum, spirea, quince, and a multitude of early spring bulbs. The sweet fragrance of winter daphne still fills the air.

The Magnolia Collection awakens with Zen magnolia (Magnolia zenii), in flower behind the Necessary in late February. The star magnolias (Magnolia stellata 'Chrysanthemiflora', 'Jane Platt', and 'Waterlily') and Loebner magnolias (Magnolia ×loebneri 'Leonard Messel' and 'Merrill') are next to flower.

Japanese andromedas (Pieris japonica 'Valley Valentine', 'Tilford', and 'Scarlett O'Hara') flower clusters hang gracefully in the Lath House, while azaleas, such as, Rhododendron 'Wolfpack Red' open their buds.

Carolina jessamine (Gelseminum sempervirens 'Woodlanders Pale Yellow') is covered with flowers as this evergreen vine rambles high up over the entrance to the Butterfly Garden by mid-March.

Redbuds (Cercis) are striking with their purplish-pink flowers throughout the JCRA, especially those of the lovely Mexican redbud (Cercis canadensis subsp. mexicana) growing at the far east end of Mixed Border, and the white-flowered redbud (C. canadensis 'Alba') in the Klein-Pringle White Garden.

Fragrant winterhazel (Corylopsis glabrescens var. gotoana) flowers can now be found in the Mixed Border and the Winter Garden.

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. – Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

March Calendar

Plantsmen's Tour – March 3, 2004 (Wednesday) – 1:00 PM – Free

The JCRA Conifer Collection houses many different kinds of gymnosperms – Chamaecyparis (the falsecypresses), Cupressus (the "true" cypresses), etc. Join Todd on this tour as we will focus in only on the pines (Pinus) and Japanese cedars (Cryptomeria) that have successfully grown here for over 15-20 years. You'll learn that there's a lot more to white pines than Pinus strobus and that Cryptomeria japonica offers a wealth of cultivars for any garden.

Salute the Shoots – March 7, 2004 (Sunday) – 1:00 PM-5:00 PM – Free tours. Roy Dicks' performance – free for members, otherwise $10.00.

The JC Raulston Arboretum Welcomes Spring! Chase away your winter blues and welcome spring at the JCRA! What better way than with the wit and wisdom of the late Beverley Nichols, one of Britain's most beloved garden writers. Nichols scholar and actor, Roy Dicks brings Beverley Nichols' musings to brilliant life as he reads from Merry Hall, Down the Garden Path, Garden Open Tomorrow, and other well-known works. Sip hot cider, munch on homemade goodies, and find your favorite Nichols books at the JCRA Bookstore!

Triangle Camellia Society Show and Lecture – March 13, 2004 (Saturday) – 12:30 PM-4:00 PM – Free

March 13 will be a day devoted to the Camellia at the JC Raulston Arboretum. A camellia display show will be held from 12:30 PM to 5:00 PM in the Ruby C. McSwain Education Center and will include a seminar on camellia culture from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM. Be sure to start the day with a tour of selected JCRA camellias at 11:00 AM.

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture – March 18, 2004 (Thursday) – 7:30 PM- Free for members, $5.00 for nonmembers

"Summer Flowering Bulbs: Fabulous Flowers and Foliage" presented by Frankie Fanelli, Graduate Student, NC State University. Summer flowering bulbs should be growing in every North Carolina piedmont garden! Frankie will discuss bulbs that have proven to add spark to the garden with flowers, foliage or both. The science of bulbs that every gardener should know will also be included. Both gardeners and travelers alike will enjoy the background photographs taken during her travels.

News & Observer Birdhouse Competition at the JC Raulston Arboretum – March 26, 27, and 28, 2004 (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) – Sponsored by the News & Observer and the JC Raulston Arboretum – Free

This multi day event is comprised of several mini events including a Friday evening lecture by John Dole and a birdhouse show (entries should be submitted on Friday evening or Saturday morning), bluebird demonstrations, and special tours on Saturday and Sunday.

Plantsmen's Tour – March 30, 2004 (Tuesday) – 1:00 PM – Free

Magical Magnolias (Unless They are Frozen)" – Spring brings forth many flowers, perhaps none as grand as the deciduous magnolias in full bloom. Join Todd as we walk through the Magnolia Collection, focusing in on the many and varied deciduous magnolias available to gardeners in North Carolina. Come sunshine or freezing weather, we'll showcase the diversity of this group, as well as mentioning new cultivars soon to be planted out in the JCRA and new directions being taken by magnolia breeders.

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

Benefit Providers Showcase

The Benefits Provider list has been a huge hit with our members. We're working on updating the list for March-February 2004. You can check on-line after March 15 to see the new list or contact Faye to have one sent to you. Want to have your business included? Call Donna Walker at (919) 513-3826 to join up. And please take advantage of the discounts these fine folks have offered to us.

The highlighted businesses for this month are: Secret Gardens, Inc.; Site Light; and Smith & Hawken.

Paula Bashler of Secret Gardens, Inc. in Savannah, Georgia invites all JCRA members to come south to visit. Specializing in unusual plants for over nine years, this family owned business is located off Highway 17 at 4605 Garrard Avenue in Savannah. You can reach them at (912) 233-1419 or at <>. They'll give 10% off all stock plant material to our members.

Site Lighting, a regional wholesaler of garden lighting, home based in Richmond, has been in business for 19 years. Bruce LaPierre offers wholesale-contractor prices to our members. They have a huge selection of quality outdoor lighting. Located at 430 Southlake Boulevard, Richmond, you can also contact him at (800) 635-1068.

Smith & Hawken – what more needs to be said. In business for 25 years (at the Crabtree Valley mall location since 1999), Chris Henderson and his staff, some of which are NCSU grads, specialize in unique furniture and gardening accessories. He offers a 10% discount excluding clearance and furniture. Their address is 4325 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, 27612. Or call them at (919) 786-1557. – Donna 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, March 2004

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