Plant of the Month
Hardy Herbaceous Hibiscus
by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections
When many people think of hibiscus, they picture the tropical H. rosa-sinensis which is so often featured on Hawaiian shirts or tucked behind the ear of a South Sea islander, but there is a whole world of different hibiscus from tropical shrubs to small temperate zone trees, annuals, and herbaceous perennials. Gardeners generally include the woody-stemmed, root-hardy types in with this last group since the woody stems die to the ground each winter. These herbaceous hibiscus are some of the most reliable performers in the garden.
Depending on your taxonomist, the total number of species is about 225 and many selections and hybrids have been named. They are mainly used as ornamentals, but various species are used in skin care products, to make paper, as food (dried, fresh, and candied), and most widely as a tea. Having had several types of hibiscus tea, hot and cold, I would say the Jamaican type of tea with its added rum is indubitably the best. In fact, many of the other "teas" I've had the pleasure of experiencing around the world might be improved with a splash of Appleton Estate Reserve Jamaican rum.
The large flowers, often up to 8" in diameter, of some of the species and cultivars make them a favorite for use in the landscape as does their long flowering time. Many selections start flowering in June and don't finish until September. Quite a few of the showiest hybrids come from our native H. moscheutos and H. coccineus. These native hibiscus are found growing in the eastern United States in marshy, boggy areas but will perform admirably in less damp locations if given good garden soil. Flower color ranges from pure white to brilliant shades of pink and burgundy sometimes with bicolors and pinwheel effects as well in the more complex hybrids.
Japanese Maple Grafting Workshop
by Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
Saturday, July 28, 2012
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
Grafting is the only method possible to propagate some plants. Many rare and expensive plants are grafted. In this workshop, participants learn to graft Japanese maples from two experts. Tim and Matt Nichols, Nichols Nursery, will discuss and demonstrate grafting techniques and then will individually assist each participant as they graft their own plants.
JCRA staff will collect scion wood prior to the workshop. However, participants will be asked ahead of time which cultivar they're most interested in grafting. The workshop's fee covers all needed supplies, including grafting knives. Each participant will graft a minimum of five Japanese maples.
For more information, or to register, please call (919) 513-7005. Advance registration is required.
We may schedule an afternoon workshop on the same day once the morning workshop is full and if there's enough demand for another workshop. If you're interested in an afternoon workshop, please let us know.
Juried Print Competition at the JCRA
by Monica Hudak, 2011 Programs and Education Student Assistant
Calling all photographers! Do you have an eye for beauty? Would you like to share your work with other people who would appreciate it? If so, the Juried Print Competition is for you. Adults and youth can submit original photographic prints made from images taken at JC Raulston Arboretum during the last two years. Distinguished judges will determine the winning images and cash awards will be presented. The winning prints along with the judges' favorites will be displayed at the Arboretum during the month of September for the public to see. Don't delay! Start capturing your favorite images at JC Raulston Arboretum today. Maybe yours will become "Best in Show."
The Juried Print Competition is sponsored by the JC Raulston Arboretum and the Triangle Carolinas' Nature Photography Association. The show begins on August 28, 2011, and ends on September 30, 2011.
This competition is open to all levels of photography experience and to photographic prints only. There will be four prizes for adult entries: Best in Show will win $200, 1st place will win $100, 2nd place will win $75, and 3rd place will win $50. There will be a Best in Show for the youth category (age 16 and under) with the winning prize being $50.
Western North Carolina Nursery Trip
by Christine Ramsey, JCRA Volunteer
Friday–Sunday, September 7–9, 2012
Visit Six "Destination" Nurseries in One of North Carolina's Great Vacation Destinations
Western North Carolina is home to cool mountain air, stunning vistas, and some of the Southeast's most gifted and passionate nurserymen. From prized orchids, to dwarf conifers, rare Japanese maples, and stunning native plants, get the insiders' tour as a VIP guest.
Three days, six nurseries, thousands of stunning plants—join Mark Weathington, the JCRA's assistant director and curator of collections, on a long weekend that will change your gardening perspective.
- Appeldoorn Landscape Nursery – Specializing in evergreen and dwarf conifers, Appledorn also grows a wide variety of distinctive native plants, rock garden plants, woody landscape specimens, trees, and ornamental grasses.
- Meadowbrook Nursery/We-Du Natives – Native azaleas, rhododendron, and mountain laurel headline an extensive list of southeastern plants in a 20 acre park-like setting complete with trails and a lovely lake.
- B. B. Barns Garden Center – Western North Carolina's largest selection of orchids and much, much more. B. B. Barns is a favorite shopping and plant education destination for serious gardeners from three states.
- Nichols Nursery – Rare Japanese maples are the passion of the Nichols family. See more than a 100 hard-to-find species grown on site at their East Flat Rock nursery.
- Mountain Meadows Nursery – Unusual evergreens, dwarf conifers, and miniature hosta are all grown on-site at this extraordinary 30 year old farm.
- Western North Carolina Farmers Market (including Jesse Israel and Sons Nursery) – Legendary Asheville growers with a devoted clientele that crosses state lines to buy their top-performing plants.
For more information, please visit the JCRA's Web site or call Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005.
What's Happening for Children and Youth
by Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator
What's Happening for Children and Youth
Thanks to all the families, volunteers, and staff who came out to the Arboretum to celebrate the summer solstice. Our first ice cream social brought to the Arboretum over 200 guests who completed a scavenger hunt,, played games on the lawn, and made beautiful weaving artwork. Check out the weaving projects at the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor's Center next time you visit the Arboretum!
In July, mark your calendars to participate in some great children's programs. Garden Storytime continues on July 13 and 27 at 10:30 AM for ages 3 to 5 with their caregivers. On July 25 at 10:30 AM, Rhonda Sherman will present a program on worm composting for ages K5 and up. Children that attend will make their very own worm bin to start composting at home!
Older youth, ages 12 to 16, have an exciting opportunity to bring their digital cameras to the Arboretum on July 28 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Susan Bailey will present a program where youth will learn basic camera operation, exposure, lighting, composition, and characteristics of successful flower images. During the workshop, youth will go out into the gardens with Susan to take photographs. Participants are encouraged to enter their images in the Juried Print Competition in August, sponsored by the JC Raulston Arboretum and the Triangle Carolinas Nature Photography Association.
If you have questions or would like to register for a children's program, please contact Elizabeth Overcash, children's program coordinator, at (919) 513-7007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Anne M. Porter, Director of Development
A big thank you to Peggy Titus for hosting a Summer Solstice Garden Party to benefit the JCRA Endowment for Excellence.
Around 40 friends gathered to enjoy Peggy's remarkable garden and sample her outstanding cuisine. It was a wonderful evening with friends and nearly $800 was raised for the Endowment. What a great way to celebrate and show your support!
If you or your friends would like to host a party to benefit the JCRA, please contact Anne Porter at (919) 513-3826 or email@example.com.
What kind of party? Your party is only limited to your imagination!
by Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist
Visit Showtimes for a much more detailed listing of what's in flower in July at the Arboretum.
Recent Members Only Additions
by Chris Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
No new videos were recorded for the Members Only section on the Arboretum's Web site in June. However, all videos from 2007 through 2012 are still available for your summertime enjoyment.
Content in the Members Only section is password protected and is only available to Arboretum members. In order to access these special features, members need to know the password that was printed on the label (use all lower case letters) of the latest Friends of the Arboretum Newsletter or included below.
user name = jcra