J.C. Raulston - Writing Project


J. C. Raulston, founder of the N.C. State University Arboretum (now the J.C. Raulston Arboretum) in Raleigh, was its director for 20 years until his death in December 1996. During that time, his influence on professional horticulturists, landscapers, nurserymen, students, and plant lovers extended beyond North Carolina and the South to the U.S. and around the world.

When he arrived in North Carolina in 1975, the nursery industry offered only a narrow range of standard plants. This palette was quietly and steadily increased through J.C's drive and leadership and the cooperative response by the nursery industry. By the end of his first decade at NCSU, the green industry had experienced significantly increased sales.

In his time, J.C. was widely credited for introducing more plants into contemporary horticulture than anyone else. He did this on a shoe-string budget, much of it supported by the Friends of the Arboretum, an organization of volunteers who shared J.C’s enthusiasm for plants, and by the partnership with the North Carolina nursery industry.

This fall (2006) the JC Raulston Arboretum celebrates its 30th anniversary with a symposium celebrating the life and plants of J.C. with speakers who were his colleagues, students, fellow plant professionals, and nursery industry contacts. Titled “Plan and Plant for a Better World", the symposium will be held in Raleigh on September 22-24, 2006. For information on the symposium, visit the Raulston Arboretum website or contact Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005.

Recognizing his national and international stature, it’s fitting that J.C.’s life be honored. Bobby Ward and Roy Dicks are working on a book about J.C., including the plants he promoted and introduced and his influence on students, colleagues, and the nursery industry. We are including reminiscences, anecdotes, and comments from people who knew J.C. and have developed a questionnaire for that purpose.

If you’d like to receive one or to discuss J.C. with us, please contact us at bobby@bobbyjward.com, or at the following address:

930 Wimbleton Drive
Raleigh, NC 27609  
Telephone (919) -781-3291
Fax  (919) 783-0654






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