Quarterly Newsletter of
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
Autumn Issue  September 2017
Quarterly News and Updates
In this issue: 10th Birthday Party highlights, The Word Garden installation, Parking Lot updates, and more...
Jensen-Olson Arboretum 10th Birthday Party
A Juneau Community Celebration!
In late July 2007, the Arboretum opened its doors as a public garden - 10 years later we are still growing and celebrating. On July 29, 2017 we ushered in a milestone at the Arboretum complete with bugs, art, cake, ice cream, tours, and music! The Birthday Party was a huge success thanks in part to the many volunteers and community members who helped to make it possible. Festivities included a Bug Day! children's program (set to happen again in 2018 - even bigger and better) led by Michelle Warrenchuk (JOA Education Coordinator) and Liz Graham (USFS) with about 35 kids in attendance - bug nets, bug learning, and bug crafts could be seen throughout the garden. Kirk Duncan of CBJ P&R served cake and led visitors in singing Happy Birthday. JOA Docents and Friends of Jensen-Olson Arboretum members were on site to answer questions and provide information. Bluegrass Holiday played great music for the crowd and tents were set up with many photos to provide a pictorial look back at the first 10 years. What a fantastic birthday!

Special thanks to Julianna Humphreys and Morgan Humphreys Davis for sharing some of the photos they snapped during the celebration - both in The Word Garden and during Bug Day! activities.
The Word Garden installation: building a garden from the ground up... 
As part of its 10th birthday celebration, the Arboretum opened The Word Garden. Conceived in early 2016 as an opportunity to transform un-utilized space within the Arboretum while also engaging a growing visitor demographic of children and youth, The Word Garden allows visitors an opportunity to become one-time authors and poets. With funding from the Juneau Community Foundation, Friends of Jensen-Olson Arboretum, American Primrose Society (APS), and many individual donors, The Word Garden is a valued addition to the Arboretum. A very special thank you to the CBJ Parks&Recreation Juneau Youth in Parks Program for committing 2 days of labor to provide the heavy lifting associated with soil and gravel placement - 9 participants as well as their leader all armed with shovels and wheelbarrows made short work of the task!

During the ribbon-cutting, local (and world famous!) geologist Cathy Connor offered a perspective on deep time; later she and Arboretum Manager Merrill Jensen armed with scissors, cut the ribbon opening the new addition to about 300 community members who walked into the space and began unwrapping the carved word stones for placement among the gravel - thank you, Juneau community for opening The Word Garden! The perimeter is planted with trees, woody shrubs, and many perennials including some new Primula species; funded by APS and still to be installed is an interpretive panel highlighting the national collection. Word stones will be stored out of the weather during winter months, but are otherwise available for the muse that guides you.

    The Word Garden...a few of the numbers...
310 plants - herbaceous perennials, trees, and woody shrubs
15 cubic yards soil
5 cubic yards pea gravel
168 word stones
8 dozen doughnut holes
1 excavator
2 dump trucks of debris
5 CBJ Landscape Crew members - thank you!
9 Juneau Youth in Parks members - thank you!
1 compressor to refill wheelbarrow tires
5 extra large pizzas
7 wheelbarrows
8 pitchers of strawberry lemonade
1 pound grass seed
30 feet green ribbon
1 geologist and 1 horticulturist
25 lunch sandwiches
3 planting days (labeling forthcoming)
1 interpretive sign (forthcoming) highlighting the  nationally accredited collection of Primula
1 road trip with stops at 7 Oregon and Washington nurseries to procure plant material
300 helpful community members unwrapping, discovering, and placing word stones  
Parking lot updates (AKA: the Summer of Construction continues...)
Where is the new parking lot? When will it be ready? Why are those trees flagged?  
The required bid process, including various design considerations has taken longer than anticipated; however, parking lot construction is still slated for 2017 with paving likely to occur in early 2018. Arboretum Manager, Merrill Jensen and CBJ Project Engineer, Lori Sowa have been working with DOT, CBJ, SEAL Trust, and other organizations to finalize design plans (including flagging some trees which will remain in place if possible). A public comment meeting was held in early Summer and the contractor selection process is now underway. When complete, the parking lot will offer 20 parking spaces and a new entry configuration to the Arboretum. Stay tuned - lots more information including details about parking changes and the new access trail is forthcoming.
Sneak Peek: 
Juneau hosts the
American Primrose Society Annual Conference and Show
May 2018 
The Jensen-Olson Arboretum is a member of the American Primrose Society (APS) and also holds the nationally-accredited collection for the genus Primula - accredited by the Plant Collections Network of the American Public Gardens Association.
In 2016, the APS asked the Arboretum and the APS Juneau Chapter to host an upcoming annual conference and show. Membership in the Juneau Chapter is small and hosting this event will take a collective effort; Arboretum Manager Merrill Jensen discussed the possibility of co-hosting with the Juneau Garden Club - they agreed! Shortly after that, the Friends of Jensen-Olson Arboretum as well as the Juneau Master Gardeners offered their interest and assistance in the many planning and hosting duties.

Mark your calendars! May 4 - 6, 2018 the Arboretum staff, together with the organizations listed above will host the APS National Conference and Show here in Juneau.

Merrill has secured the keynote speaker (internationally noted Primula expert and enthusiast, Pam Eveleigh) for the event and arrangements are coming together for the various venues. Activities will include an evening reception, tours, seminars, and a judged show of potted P rimula.
It is an honor to be asked to host this event - the Arboretum staff will commit all its Spring efforts and energy toward a successful conference weekend and toward polishing the grounds for weekend visitors from across North America. With this in mind, the Arboretum will not participate in the annual Mother's Day Plant Sale during 2018, but we'll be back with full tables of primrose and other garden treasures in 2019.
Jensen - Olson Arboretum
A few F requently A sked Q uestions
we hear and answer...
A sampling of questions that we often hear from garden visitors. Submit your question to collectionsfjoa@outlook.com and we may answer it in a future issue.

Q: How does the Arboretum prepare its potted tulips and how many do you plant?

A: Early next week approximately 600 bulbs, primarily tulips, will arrive at the Arboretum from various suppliers. Yes; 600! Each year in mid-late Summer, Arboretum Manager Merrill Jensen places the order for spring-flowering bulbs...many of those bulbs ( Galanthus, Fritillaria, Narcissus, Corydalis) are planted into the ground and added to the Arboretum's permanent collection, but most are destined for life in a pot to provide brilliant Spring color adjacent to the many benches throughout the Arboretum.

Container-planting tulips in the late Fall and tending them through the Winter is a long and labor-intensive process with BIG rewards! Here at the Arboretum, approximately 20 clay pots, each with a diameter of 18" are prepared with a soil mix and then planted with 30-35 tulip bulbs per pot. These pots are watered at the time of planting and then placed in the root cellar for the cold treatment required by tulips.

Using vents and fans, it is a delicate balancing act throughout the Winter to maintain a cold, but not freezing temperature in the cellar. Pots are watered in place 3 or 4 times between November and the point in March at which they are taken outdoors and placed under frost cloth.

During March and April, outdoor temperatures are monitored on a daily basis and frost cloth is added or removed accordingly. Generally, in mid April, the pots are then moved to their bench location to provide colorful blooms through late June. These potted plants are among the most asked about and photographed of all the flowers at the Arboretum.
Potted tulips at the Arboretum, Spring 2017
~ Editor's Note ~
Merrill and Kelly Jensen write to express their thanks to the following:  members of Friends of Jensen-Olson Arboretum, members of Juneau Garden Club, CBJ P&R, members of American Primrose Society, and others whose names are in our hearts...Thank You for the many gifts, cards, and expressions of appreciation for work completed at JOA over these first 10 years as a public garden - your kind words and thoughtful gifts to us throughout 2017 have been very gracious. In short, Thank You for your many Thank Yous!
~ Look for these highlights in the Winter issue of TWIGS ~
*A look back: the first year for JOA Docents
*May 2018 - a National Primrose Show...updates and details
*Where is the new Arboretum entry and who is partnering to create the interpretive signs along the trail?
Humulus lupulus 'Aureus'
Golden Hops Flowers
Autumn at the Arboretum, September 2017
*Look for a start of the 2018 Arboretum calendar in the upcoming issue...
Is it time to renew your Annual Membership? Visit our website to renew today!
         Mission Statement              
  The vision of the Arboretum is to provide the people of Juneau a place that both teaches and inspires learning in horticulture, natural sciences and landscaping - to preserve the beauty of the landscape for pure aesthetic enjoyment - to maintain the historical and cultural context of the place and its people.
                                                                                                                         Caroline Jensen 
     Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum Partners  
Juneau Garden Club

Juneau-Gastineau Rotary Club
   Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum Board Members   
*Pat Harris, President *Morgan Humphreys Davis and *Julie Nielsen, Co-Vice Presidents 
*Kim Garnero, Treasurer *Vacancy, Secretary *Vacancy, Membership Coordinator
Members at Large: Chiska Derr, Laurie Lamm, Deb Rudis
Ex-Officio Member: Merrill Jensen
Newsletter Editor: Kelly Jensen
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
friendsjoa@gmail.com | friendsjoarboretum.org
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.
Contributions to FJOA are tax deductible.
Caring for Caroline's Garden
Jensen - Olson Arboretum
23035 Glacier Hwy       Juneau, Alaska 99801    907.789.0139
Visitor Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 9am - 4:45pm, year round

Nationally Accredited Plant Collection of the genus Primula
Merrill Jensen, BS Ornamental Horticulture
Arboretum Manager and Horticulturist