NCSU’s Raulston Arboretum announces Garden Festival, Southeastern Plant Symposium, Rare Plant Auction

JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC – [Courtesy Robert B Butler]
Saturday, April 30, following a two-year hiatus, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University reintroduces Raulston Blooms! – a springtime garden festival and plant sale for all ages.

“Especially exciting for staff right now is seeing the truly eye-popping, mouth-watering selection of plants coming out of our greenhouses and from nurseries around the country,” said Mark Weathington, Director of JC Raulston Arboretum (JCRA).

Rain or shine, the garden gates open at 10 AM and close at 4 PM. Exhibits and activities include:

  • JCRA’s Spring Plant Sale – including Superior Plants Nursery, Pine Knot Farms, DirtBag Gardens, and Raleigh PawPaws Urban Farm
  • The 20th Annual Birdhouse Competition – competitive categories from Serious to Flights of Fancy plus four age groups 4 to 16
  • Fun, hands-on activities for children and adults
  • Invited artists and crafters ­– Cedar Works by Frank, Katie Brooks’ paintings on dried leaves, Elisabeth Wheeler’s wood pattern scarves, Bonsai Bottles Terrariums, and more
  • Four food trucks plus NC State Howling Cow ice cream
  • Gardening talks with the experts, including Danielle Hochstetter’s Tea 101; Bryce Lane’s Spring Gardening Tips; Danesha Seth Carley, Ph.D. discusses Pollinator Gardening, and the Horticulture Hour (to answer all your burning gardening questions) with JCRA Staff and Friends
  • Educational displays and demonstrations, including Bluebirders of Wake County, Five County Beekeepers, Wake Audubon, Entomology Student Association and Herpetology Club at NCSU, North American Rock Garden Society, and more
  • Family scavenger hunt
  • Used gardening book sale
Raulston Blooms! proceeds help fund the daily operations of the Arboretum.
Raulston Blooms! Annual Birdhouse Competition – JC Raulston Arboretum
A prelude to Raulston Blooms! in-person plant sale, the Arboretum’s online plant sale concludes Friday, April 15, 2022.

On June 10 and 11, JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Garden combine resources to host the 4th Southeastern Plant Symposium and Rare Plant Auction. This year’s program is live and in-person in Raleigh’s vibrant downtown and internationally online.

“Southeastern Plant Symposium is designed for serious gardeners, people who love plants, nurserymen, nurserywomen, horticulturalists, botanists, plant nerds and plantaholics,” said Weathington. “It’s high-level, featuring many of the world’s top botanical and horticultural experts. If you want to learn about plants, we want you there.”

Expert presenters include:
  • Eleftherios Dariotis (aka Liberto Dario on social media), Horticultural genius, Athens, Greece
  • Dan Hinkley, Plantsman and founder, Gardens of Windcliff, and Director Emeritus and founder, Heronswood, Indianola and Kingston, WA
  • Kelly D. Norris, Gardener, Curator, Artist, and Owner, Three Oaks Garden, nationally renowned garden designer, Des Moines, IA
  • Peter Zale, Ph.D., Associate Director of Conservation, international plant explorer, Plant Breeding and Collections, Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
  • Tony Avent, Founder and Co-owner, Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery, Raleigh, NC
  • Ian Caton, Co-owner, Wood Thrush Natives, Floyd, VA
  • Shannon Currey, Marketing Manager, Hoffman Nursery, Rougemont, NC
  • Janet Draper, Lead Horticulturist, Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
  • Richard Hawke, Plant Evaluation Manager, Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago, IL
  • Hayes Jackson, Urban Regional Extension Agent, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL
  • Adrienne Roethling, Executive Director, Paul J. Ciener Botanic Garden, Kernersville, NC
“We hope you’ll join us for two intense days of talks and the chance to visit both JC Raulston Arboretum and Juniper Level Botanic Garden,” said Tony Avent, Founder and Proprietor of Juniper Level Botanic Garden (JLBG). “You’ll have a chance to chat with the speakers and participate in the now famous, Rare Plant Auction.

“Many of the plants in the auction will not be found anywhere else in the world. We want to get plants out wherever we can, conserving them for science and for the benefit of all people.

“We promise you’ll leave with a head full of gardening and new plant information you’ve never imagined,” added Avent.

Southeastern Plant Symposium is presented by Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs.

The Gathering Lawn – JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC – [Courtesy Robert B Butler]