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May 2013 JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update

In This Issue

Plant of the Month

Late Spring and Summer Programs

A Good Time Was Had by All at the Gala in the Garden—An Asian Reflection

Cool Off on the JCRA's Great 70 Degree BC Getaway

Children's Program Update

Coming Attractions

Recent Members Only Additions

May Events

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture
"Going to Carolina for My Mind … and the Plants!"
Jared Barnes, Graduate Student, NC State University
Thursday, May 9, 2013

7:30 PM (reception begins at 7:00 PM)

Plantsmen's Tour
"Spring Explosion"
Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
1:00 PM

Propagation Workshop
Christopher Todd Glenn and Tim Alderton
Saturday, May 18, 2013
9:00 AM–3:00 PM
(a June 1 workshop is also available)

Chidlren's Program
Cut Flower Workshop
Sunday, May 19, 2013
2:00 PM–3:30 PM

Children's Program
Garden Storytime
Friday, May 24, 2013
10:30 AM


British Columbia Trip
"The Great 70 Degree B.C. Getaway"
Sunday, August 18–Saturday, August 24, 2013

Plant of the Month

Hydrangea quercifolia

Hydrangea quercifolia 'Little Honey'

by Mark Weathington, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections

Hydrangea quercifolia (hydrangea from the Greek for water jar in reference to the fruit shape and quercifolia from the genus name Quercus or oak and folia for leaf in reference to the oak-like leaf shape) or oakleaf hydrangea grows naturally from North Carolina and Tennessee south to Florida and west to Louisiana. It grows as an understory plant often along the edges of woodlands and streams. It makes a relatively large shrub in the wild and can often grow to 10'. There is a great deal of diversity among plants growing in the woods and many have been selected for different traits from size to flower length to fall color, and other characteristics.

Oakleaf hydrangea is a fairly coarse shrub which can make it difficult to fit into smaller landscapes. It bears large leaves with deep lobes much like a red oak. Leaf color ranges from glossy, deep green to matte green and often turns to spectacular burgundy and red in the fall. The stout stems have orange exfoliating bark and the winter appearance can be quite attractive after the leaves have dropped. The flowers are held in late spring on erect to nodding panicles which can be as long as 14" on some selections. The white, sterile florets cover the small, fertile flowers to a great degree and while starting creamy white turn to pinkish-rose then tan and are persistent on the plant.

Massing oakleaf hydrangea is a particularly effective way to use them in a landscape where there is room. They can also be used as part of shrub borders and as specimens in woodland gardens. Oakleaf hydrangeas are tough performers in the landscape with few insect or disease problems. They are happiest in part shade with a moist root zone but will tolerate considerable sun and dry soil once they are well established although they will often look wilted by mid-day in sunny, dry areas. Never fear, they will generally perk back up by the next morning.


Late Spring and Summer Programs

Propagation Workshop

by Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

While the the spring Friends of the Arboretum Lecture series is coming to an end in May, we're not taking a break for the summer. We're hosting numerous workshops and other educational programs in May, June, and July. Here's a few of the exciting programs happening in May, June, and July.

Propagation Workshops

Saturday, May 18, 2013 – 9:00 AM–3:00 PM

Saturday, June 1, 2013 – 9:00 AM–3:00 PM

Mastering Lightroom Digital Photography Workflow

A Full-day Seminar Presented by Tim Grey and Hosted by the Capital City Camera Club and the JC Rauslton Arboretum

Saturday, June 1, 2013 – 9:00 AM–5:00 PM

Floral Design Workshops with Jihye Schumann, American Institute of Floral Designers Member

Summer Garden Design
Saturday, June 29, 2013 – 9:00 AM–11:00 AM

Contemporary Centerpiece
Saturday, June 29, 2013 – 1:00 PM–3:00 PM

Orchid Repotting and Care Workshop with Suzanne Hens, Ph.D., and Ralph Sears, Triangle Orchid Society

Sponsored by the Triangle Orchid Society and the JC Raulston Arboretum

Saturday, July 13, 2013 – 9:00 AM–12:00 PM

Concrete Workshops with Beth Jimenez and Amelia Lane, Lasting Impressions and JCRA Volunteers

Hypertufa Troughs
Saturday, July 20, 2013 – 9:00 AM–12:00 PM

Cast Concrete Leaves
Saturday, July 20, 2013 – 1:00 PM–3:00 PM

We have many more educational offerings during this time. Please consult our Calendar of Events for a complete listing.

A Good Time Was Had by All at the Gala in the Garden—An Asian Reflection

Gala dragon

by Anne Porter, Director of Development

Thanks to all the Gala sponsors, guests, volunteers, and staff for making this one of the best Galas ever. The preliminary tally shows that we reached and exceeded our $80,000 net Gala goal, and this is great news!

The Gala is much more than just an annual garden party. The proceeds raised not only support vital JC Raulston Arboretum staff positions, but critical unrestricted funds that are used for its daily operational expenses and ongoing research of new and exciting landscape plants. The Gala proceeds directly help to keep the gates open, the gardens in top shape, and the plant collections and education programs impressive.

Please look for all the 2013 Gala pictures as they are posted on the JCRA Web site and relive the day. Even with a little rain—it's always a great day in the garden!

The Gala Asian Dragon

If you have not seen it with your own eyes, you must pay a visit to the JCRA events lawn soon.

Each semester in Will Hooker's small-scale landscape design studio, HS 400, a required course in the Department of Horticulture Science's Landscape Design Option, the class builds a sculpture made primarily of bamboo. Hooker initiated using such projects to teach the construction process given that the Landscape Design Option is a design/build discipline. This spring, the JC Raulston Arboretum commissioned Hooker's class, co-taught with Anne Spafford, to build a sculpture to commemorate the opening of the new walk through Asian Valley during this year's Gala in the Garden. With the walk passing through the Japanese Garden, the arboretum staff requested a sculpture piece reflecting the Asian theme.

As usual, everyone in the class, including Hooker and Spafford, submitted their ideas for the sculpture in the form of sketches. The class chose the idea submitted by Justin Durango, a summer 2012 intern, which was a Chinese dragon flowing in and out of the ground plane, and consisting of a 9' tall head, three body loops, and an 8' tail which has a rotating double spiral.

The class harvested over 100 bamboo culms ranging in size from 2"–3" in diameter and being 20' long from a grove in Durham. After cleaning the culms, the class divided up into teams and proceeded to build the various component parts, with the construction taking place in front of Kilgore Hall. In total, the Asian dragon took 15 days to build and install, with the class and 26 other volunteers putting in close to 1,200 hours of labor to complete the task. All involved were totally exhausted but very pleased with the results. The Asian dragon is a must see!

Class Builders

Alex Cooley   Patrick McLaurin
Caitlin Davis   Brandon Ramos
Justin Durango   Herb Ritter
Kurtis Durrant   Junyan Zhou

Volunteer Builders

Jessica Adams   Ben Jones
Phoebe Andrews   Kevin Kearney
Christian Britt   Tony Mayer
Tom Brown   Leena McDonald
Allen Clineff   Katie McKnight
Allison Durham   Jaclyn Mills
Don Edwards   Dorian Perez
Michael Edwards   Mercy Rognstad
Will Ericson   Lauren Sammis
Vann Fussell   Alana Stanley
Ryan Galloway   Chris Tharp
Katherine Hoke   Kate VanVorst
Carrie Hutchens   Amanda Wilkins

Cool Off on the JCRA's Great 70 Degree BC Getaway

August 18–24, 2013

University of British Columbia Botanical Garden

by Christine Ramsey, JCRA Volunteer, and Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Escape our summer heat on a week-long tour of the lush landscapes and gardens of British Columbia—all at their summer peak.

Join Mark Weathington, assistant director and curator of collections, for an unforgettable trip to the Vancouver and Victoria regions of balmy British Columbia.

Enjoy average high temperatures of 70 degrees, cool nights, and long sunny days as you tour world famous gardens, botanical collections, and some of Canada's greatest green spaces.


Sunday, August 18

  • Depart from Raleigh (morning)
  • Arrive in Vancouver (noon)
  • Nature sites north of Vancouver

Monday, August 19

Tuesday, August 20

Wednesday, August 21

  • Ferry from Vancouver to Victoria
  • Nature sites on Vancouver Island

Thursday, August 22

Friday, August 23

Saturday, August 24

  • Depart from Victoria (morning)
  • Arrive in Raleigh (late evening)

Important Dates

Sunday, May 19 – If possible, please let us know if you're interested in going with us to British Columbia. Our nonrefundable airfare deposit is due on May 20.

Tuesday, June 18 – Deposit due

Friday, July 19 - Full payment is due


$2,400 for members, $2,450 for nonmembers per person, based on double occupancy; $2,950 for members, $3,000 for nonmembers per person, based on single occupancy. Nonmember prices include an Individual membership. Price includes airfare (Air Canada) from Raleigh-Durham International Airport lodging (Best Western Plus Downtown Vancouver and Days Inn Victoria on the Harbour), transportation in British Columbia, breakfast, one dinner in Chinatown, and admissions. Participants wishing to use their own transportation to British Columbia may subtract $880 from the price.

For more information on JCRA's Great 70 degree B.C. Getaway contact Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005 or chris_glenn@ncsu.edu.

Children's Program Update

by Elizabeth Overcash, Children's Program Coordinator

April showers bring May flowers, and that is exactly what we are studying this month—flowers! Bring your children and join us for our Cut Flower Workshop on Sunday, May 19 to learn more about the parts of a flower, types of flowers, when to cut flowers, and arranging flowers. Every participant will leave with their very own cut flower arrangement to enjoy at home.

Want more? May's Garden Storytime is May 24. Last month we talked about seeds. To find out what this month's theme is going to be, you'll have to come join us in the garden!

Girls Scouts can now schedule a visit to the Arboretum and earn their Flower and Gardener badges while they are here. The program covers all five steps for both badges, and only costs $10 per participant. Contact Elizabeth Overcash at (919) 513-7007 to schedule your troop's visit!

Coming Attractions

by Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

Geophyte Border
Buddleja loricata   Parodia (hybrid)

Buddleja loricata
mountain sagewood


Parodia (hybrid)
hybrid cactus

Philadelphus scaber   Iris speculatrix

Philadelphus scaber
rough mock-orange


Iris speculatrix
Hong Kong Iris

Sinningia 'Scarlet O'Hara'   Cornus wilsoniana

Sinningia 'Scarlet O'Hara'
hybrid hardy gloxinia


Cornus wilsoniana
Wilson's dogwood

Calycanthus 'Aphrodite'   Lilium 'Vermeer'

Calycanthus 'Aphrodite'
hybrid sweetshrub

  Lilium 'Vermeer'
hybrid lily

Visit Showtimes for a much more detailed listing of what's in flower in May at the Arboretum.

Recent Members Only Additions

by Chris Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Three new videos were recorded for the Members Only section on the Arboretum's Web site in April.

Click on the images below to play the videos or visit the Members Only section to for a complete listing of all videos.

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture Video - "Miniature Dwarf Beearded Irises" - Bob Pries, Eastern North Carolina Iris Society - Click to Play

Plantsmen's Tour - "I Have a Feeling I'm Not in Zone 4 Anymore-JCRA Favorites for a Wisconsin Native" - Click to Play

Friends of the Arboretum Lecture Video - "Great Gardens, Part II: South Africa, Italy, France, and Brazil" - David White, North American Rock Garden Society - Click to Play

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
password =

Your Membership Makes a Difference—Please Join or Renew Today!

The JC Raulston Arboretum is free to the public, but it is not free to operate. Memberships keep the gates open and the gardens in top shape. Membership gifts are the primary support for the Arboretum's daily operations and vital for its success.

Thank you for your support and advocacy of the JC Raulston Arboretum through the membership program. It's fast and easy to become a Friend of the Arboretum, and there are many great benefits for you and your family. Join or renew now using our secure Web site, or contact Judy Morgan-Davis at (919) 513-0264 or jvmorgan@ncsu.edu.

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. If you are a member and need to update your contact information or wish to be removed from this mailing, please contact Judy Morgan-Davis.

Contact information:
JC Raulston Arboretum
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522

(919) 515-3132


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