Quarterly Newsletter of
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
Summer Issue June 2018
Quarterly News and Updates
In this issue: the Meconopsis Blues, an abundance of thank yous, and a few more infrastructure updates...
Is that color real?! Yep!
Our most popular plant – Meconopsis , the Himalayan Blue Poppy
June is the dumbstruck month. Visitors to the Arboretum find themselves standing in awe of our Meconopsis display. How can one blame them when confronted with a large planting of other-worldly blue flowers that many people have never seen before?  Meconopsis are but one member of the large Papaveraceae (poppy) family that includes common garden plants such as Oriental poppy, bleeding heart and bloodroot. The name Meconopsis comes from the Greek mekon - poppy, opsis – alike. The Arboretum currently has 12 species and cultivars in the collection. At one point we had 20 different species, but 8 of those were monocarpic. This means that the plant flowers, sets seed and then dies. Of the perennial (non-monocarpic) Meconopsis, the one most widely planted at the Arboretum is the cultivar ‘Lingholm’. Its blue is brighter than some of the other species and this cultivar is, I believe, easier to grow than most others. For an in-depth history of this cultivar and others, see the Meconopsis Group. Based in Scotland, this group studies this complex cultivar and is the go-to source for information on the entire genus. 

With its very exacting climatic conditions in which to successfully grow, most people are unfamiliar with or have not seen Meconopsis. Fortunately, Juneau’s cool, maritime climate is perfect for its cultivation. I killed numerous flats while attempting to grow them in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, noted for the exceptionally wide range of plant material one can grow there… just not Meconopsis! Out-of-state visitors to the Arboretum always ask if they can grow them in their area; my answer usually includes explanations of significant cool and damp conditions for the majority of the year, and living in Alaska or Scotland for growing success. I also add that visitors can simply lust over the photos posted on the Arboretum’s Facebook page…much to the chagrin of my southern gardening friends! :>) While somewhat easy to grow from seed, it takes 2 – 4 years to reach blooming size. And as with growing many perennials from seed, patience is a necessary component. We occasionally offer plants for sale during Juneau’s annual Mother’s Day sale.  Meconopsis prefer a well-drained soil, with full sun to part shade in order to thrive. I fertilize ours once in the Spring as soon as the foliage emerges from the ground with a good, all-purpose liquid fertilizer to boost them into the blooming season. M Jensen
Meconopsis 'Lingholm'
Infrastructure improvements continue...
Come see what’s happening…
As noted in the Spring Issue, this year is a busy one at the Arboretum with new and continuing construction of many needed improvements. These projects are funded from a variety of sources ranging from private donations to the 1% Sales Tax Initiative. Still in our transition months, please watch for changing traffic and trail patterns as they take shape, and come visit late in the growing season when we expect to have the Arboretum visitor entry fully completed.

Visitor Parking
At long last, the parking lot and its associated plantings are finished. Signage is in place indicating visitor parking with no overnight parking, and we have only the gate left to install - look for that later this season. As part of this project, we have designated the lower lot as ADA parking (or those with mobility issues) only.
Arboretum Entrance/Access Trail
Coinciding with the new parking is the new Arboretum access trail meandering through the forest and arriving at the kiosk. Trail Mix performed the lion's share of the design and installation, with assistance from Arboretum Staff as well as 2 days of volunteer gravel hauling courtesy of Juneau-Gastineau Rotary Club members and CBJ Youth Employment in Parks. Thanks to all who made this new entry trail possible. This is now the access point to the Arboretum. As part of the trail, we have installed a new gate delineating entry to the Arboretum; many thanks to Larry Crist for his volunteer efforts to build and install the gate.
Arboretum Entry Court
The focus of the entry court is a yellow cedar arch leading into the cultivated areas of the Arboretum; with special thanks to volunteer Bill Ehlers and his team, the arch is almost complete and plantings will begin later this season.
Infrastructure Wish List
A welcome panel (with visitor information and other signage) is also planned for the area adjacent to the parking lot. The timing of its construction is subject to available funding. Another improvement that could possibly be installed this season is a permanent restroom. It too, will be dependent on securing construction funds.
Sharing the bounty and providing educational experiences...it's a win!
Most of you who have followed the Arboretum history over the last 10 years (and its 100 years before that as an Alaskan homestead!) are well aware of the historic Veggie Garden. However, you may not know that during the peak harvest season, children attending Summer day camps often assist with harvesting produce while learning about cultivation. Seasonal gardening staff here at the Arboretum then deliver that produce about once every 10 days to The Glory Hole for their guests as well as to the Zach Gordon Youth Center for participants in their programs - learning and eating...it's a win!

Children's Program #1: A Success

Yoga! And word stones! The first children's program of 2018 conducted by Education Coordinator, Michelle Warrenchuk included a short lesson in yoga and its benefits with stops for poses throughout the garden. After stretching and wiggling, students toured The Word Garden and concluded the program by creating a personal word stone to take home and enjoy.

Upcoming children's programs include Art at the Arboretum (July 14th; 11 - Noon) and BugDay! (August 11th; 1 - 4, registration required). Look for details soon to arrive in your email Inbox.
FJOA is pleased to announce the following new Board Members
Many thanks to the following individuals who volunteered earlier this Spring to begin service on the FJOA Board: Pat Hartman, Mary Mathisen, and Pat White. Thank you to these new members, and to those continuing on the Board, for your creativity and commitment in support of the Arboretum. Thanks also to those who have so ably served over the last several years and have recently stepped down from Board service; Laurie Lamm, Julie Nielsen, and Deb Rudis...we appreciate you!
FJOA receives Thank You note from American Primrose Society
The American Primrose Society (APS) has sent a special thank you to FJOA for its financial contribution to the recent National Show and Conference held here in Juneau. It was a great event inspiring lots of Juneau growers!
~ Look for these highlights in the Autumn issue of TWIGS ~
* 2018 recap in photos...a little early
(much progress to share and a picture IS worth a thousand words...)
Paeonia lactiflora 'Sugar 'n Spice'
Summer begins at the Arboretum, June 2018
*July 14 - Children's Program: Art at the Arboretum, 11:00 - Noon

*July 14 - Annual Picnic (a combined group event): Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum, Juneau Garden Club,
Juneau Chapter American Primrose Society; Noon

* August 11 - Children's Program: BugDay!, 1 - 4pm; registration required
(look for details soon to arrive in your email Inbox)

All events at the Arboretum unless otherwise specified

Is it time to renew your Annual Membership? 
Visit our website to renew today!
Arboretum Wish List

Thank you for asking and for considering a donation. We appreciate it!

Donations may be dropped off during visitor hours at the Arboretum with a staff member.
* Don Abel gift card (any amount) - where we purchase a specific type of compost
* Glacier Gardens gift card (any amount) - where we purchase some of our plant material
*1 box, 30-gallon plastic trash bags (non-scented)
         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, Vice President *Kim Garnero, Treasurer 
Members at Large: Chiska Derr, Pat Hartman, Mary Mathisen, Pat White
Ex-Officio Member: Merrill Jensen
Newsletter Editor: Kelly Jensen
TWIGS - a quarterly publication 
Spring/March ~~ Summer/June ~~ Autumn/September ~~ Winter/December

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 TM of the genus Primula
Merrill Jensen, BS Ornamental Horticulture
Arboretum Manager and Horticulturist