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JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

August 2007

In This Issue

Best Wishes to Frankie Fanelli

Frankie Fanelli has decided to leave her position as volunteer coordinator at the JC Raulston Arboretum and pursue other professional opportunities. I have known Frankie since she came to NC State University as an undergraduate student in the Department of Horticultural Science in fall 1997.  She earned her B.S. in horticulture in spring 2000, and subsequently pursued a graduate degree in horticultural science, which she earned in December 2004.  Even during her undergraduate program, Frankie demonstrated a love and passion for the JCRA, which eventually led her to assuming the position of Volunteer Coordinator in 2001.  During these past 6 years, Frankie has worked tirelessly on behalf of the JCRA, and under her leadership, volunteer service has risen to over 9,000 hours annually at the JCRA.  All of us on the staff of the JCRA will miss her friendship, her smile, and her passion.  Frankie, thank you for all you have contributed.  We wish you the best. – Denny Werner, Director

New Volunteer Coordinator

Barbara KennedyI am pleased to announce that Barbara Kennedy will be assuming the position of JCRA volunteer coordinator effective July 30, 2007.  Barbara has been a volunteer at the JCRA since 2001, and has assumed many roles in her volunteer services over the years, including tour guide and leader of the "Tuesday Morning Roving Garden Group."   She earned a degree in horticulture from NC State in 2003.  She also has a B.S. in business education from the College of New Jersey, and a M.S. in business from Georgia Tech.  Barbara currently resides in Raleigh.  Please welcome Barbara to the JCRA staff. – Denny Werner, Director

A Banana Fit for the King

Musa velutinaThe pink velvet banana sounds more like something that might be found in the jungle room at Graceland than an imposing statement in the protected garden.  Musa velutina, a fairly hardy ornamental banana from the Assam region of India, makes an impressive clump of thick herbaceous stems to 6' tall.  Individual plants are topped by large (3’) leaves held on sturdy petioles giving an overall height up to 10’.  Most hardy bananas don’t have a long enough season to produce fruits or even flowers in temperate regions, but the pink velvet banana will reliably flower and fruit by late summer.  The upright flower structure consists of large pink bracts forming a cone 3"-4" long which peel back successively to reveal the rows of 1"-1.5" pale orange flowers.  Clusters of small, pink, fuzzy bananas will form shortly after the flowers.  These fruits are filled with hard seeds rendering them mostly inedible, but wonderfully ornamental.  As the fruits mature, the banana skin will split open to reveal the white fleshed fruit inside.  Although not as hardy as the textile banana (M. basjoo), the bright pink fruits of M. velutina make it well worth growing.  Plant it in a protected spot and mulch heavily during the winter.  Bananas are heavy feeders and the more water and fertilizer they are given, the faster they will grow.  Cut back in the fall before a freeze or the stems will turn into a slimy, stinking mess.  Divide in the spring as necessary.  Check out the pink velvet banana in front of the Visitor Center, the King would be proud. – Mark Weathington, Assistant Director

Fall 2007 Educational Program Preview

The fall 2007 educational program season is quickly approaching. Many great programs have been scheduled including the newly reintroduced Plantsmen's Tours. The following two programs are a preview of what's to come.

Photography Workshop – September 8, 2007 (Saturday) – 8:00 AM-4:00 PM

Most photograph workshops feature only beautiful shots. This often hinders the learning process. The tendency is to admire images while thinking, "Wow, I'll never be able to do that." What participants don't realize is that preceding many winning shots is a whole series of shots that didn't make the grade and ended up in the "circular file." This workshop will feature a technique that has proven most effective in workshops Susan Bailey and Melissa Southern have taught in the past. Picking up on the theme of Budd Titlow's (also a Carolinas' Nature Photographers Association – Triangle Region member) photo-essay published in the October 2005 issue of Outdoor Photographer, they'll show workshop participants how creative thought combined with patience and willingness to "work a subject" can turn ordinary shots into prize-winning images. To accomplish this, they'll show a step-by-step series of "out-takes" (including the problems and corrections for each) that led to some of their most successful images. The photography workshop is limited to 15 people and costs $100.00 for JCRA members.

JCRA Arborfest – September 15, 2007 (Saturday) – 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Bring the family to the Arboretum and learn about new plants for your garden, rain gardens, composting, tree care and planting, and other timely garden topics from NC State faculty, Wake County Master Gardeners, and other professionals. There's much to enjoy during the JCRA Arborfest including keynote speakers, speakers in the gardens, tours, plant sales, informational booths, Master Gardener Plant Clinic, youth activities, lunch, and a raffle. Arborfest is free and open to the public. – Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Coming Attractions – Highlights of August

Lycoris squamigeraExceptionally beautiful areas this month include: Annuals Trial and Demonstration Area, the Mixed Border, and the Perennial Border. Be sure to visit the new Scree Garden located at the west side of Ruby C. McSwain Education Center and all the new plantings on the A. E. Finley Rooftop Terrace.

Klein-Pringle White Garden

Eupatorium purpureum 'Joe White' – white sweet-scented Joe-Pye weed
Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan' – white eastern purple coneflower
Phlox paniculata 'David' – garden phlox

Lath House
Rhododendron Autumn Coral™ – Encore™ azalea
Salvia greggii 'Alba' – white autumn sage

Mixed Border
Sedum telephium 'Matrona' – common orpine

Perennial Border
Alstroemeria species and cultivars – Peruvian lily
Canna 'Panache' – canna
Cosmos sulphureus – sulphur cosmos
Helianthus salicifolius – willowleaf sunflower
Hemerocallis 'Autumn Prince' – daylily

Scree Garden
Sedum 'Lajos' – sedum

Theme Gardens
Crinum 'Bradley' – crinum-lily – Paradise Garden
Hedychium 'Gold Flame' – hardy ginger-lily – Paradise Garden
Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'– dwarf rough-leaf goldenrod – Butterfly Garden
Vernonia noveboracensis – ironweed – Butterfly Garden

Other Areas of the Arboretum
Buddleja species and cultivars – butterfly-bush
Echinacea species and cultivars – coneflower
Emmenopterys henryi – Chinese emmenopterys
Heptacodium miconioides
– seven-son's tree
Hibiscus species and cultivars – hibiscus and rose-of Sharon
Koelreuteria paniculata 'Rose Lantern' – late-flowering golden raintree
Lagerstroemia indica cultivars – crepe myrtle
Lycoris radiata var. radiata – red surprise-lily
Lycoris squamigera – naked ladies
Magnolia grandiflora cultivars – southern magnolia

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

August Calendar

Guided Tours – August 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2007 (Sundays) – 2:00 PM – Free

We invite you 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).

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

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

© August 2007, JC Raulston Arboretum

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