Quarterly Newsletter of
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
Summer Issue June 2019
Quarterly News and Updates
In this issue: volunteers make a BIG difference; Thalictrum : the tall and short of it; meet and greet with Karli Arnold; Lovely Loo fundraising still in progress
A GRAND note of thanks to some very special volunteers
Over the last 12 years since opening as a public garden, visitors have regularly commented on how much they appreciate expanses of grass intermixed with the flowerbeds and the vegetable garden; most importantly, the grass provides walking paths from which to view the Arboretum's flowering plants, but it also provides space for picnic blankets, small chairs, and maybe best of all, soft, grassy hills for rolling and tumbling as so many of our young visitors love to do.

With so much love for this element in the garden landscape, it can occasionally become loved to death. Early this Spring, Arboretum Director, Merrill Jensen decided the time had come for renovation in certain areas of the much-beloved lawn to address trip hazards and mowing concerns.

With thanks to the Juneau Gastineau Rotary Club for a generous donation of funds and soil-hauling labor, and with thanks to the Thunder Mountain High School Boys Basketball Team for their commitment of time and soil-hauling labor, Arboretum visitors will soon see the green shoots of newly-seeded lawn. Until those areas are returned to the visitor traffic pattern, please bring a blanket and enjoy any of the other lawn areas.
Special thanks to the following donors who made this project possible...
~ Juneau Gastineau Rotary Club
~ Thunder Mountain High School Boys Basketball Team
~ Valley Domino's Pizza for feeding the whole volunteer crew
~ Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum Board Members for providing salads
~ Julie Nielsen for delivering fresh, hot pizza to a hungry crew
Meadowrue: the tall and short of it

Meadowrue, Thalictrum, is a genus of approximately 200 species that are part of the much larger Buttercup family. They are found in temperate regions world-wide except in Australia. 

Caroline Jensen apparently enjoyed them as she had planted them throughout her garden. Their ease of growth, early to mid-summer bloom time, and compound foliage led her to try different cultivars of varying flower colors. The most common ones she planted are Thalictrum aquilegiifolium or Greater Meadowrue. Their fluffy pink, purple or white flowers, depending on cultivar, stand up to 4 feet above the surrounding foliage. Another one that she planted is T. flavum, Yellow Meadowrue, which grows to about 6 feet tall and has fluffy, pale yellow flowers which stand out against its blue-gray foliage and chalky blue stems.

Knowing the diversity of the genus, I started looking for other unique Meadowrue to add to our collection. I was aware that there are native ones in Alaska which led me to look for the smallest of the genus, T. alpinum, the Arctic or Alpine Meadowrue. 

This one grows on the high ridges that surround Juneau, but is quite challenging to locate. In Southeast Alaska, they only grow to a few inches tall and are difficult to spot in the tundra vegetation. After many trips to the alpine, I finally located some and (thanks to my collecting permit), they are now part of the Alpine Bed Collection. Given their small stature, I rarely notice them in bloom… Topping the other end of the height scale is T. ‘Elin’ a hybrid form whose flowers reach almost 12 feet tall! Look for it reaching to the sky in the large crescent-shaped bed on the front lawn.

One drawback to growing Meadowrue is that aphids find them quite to their liking. Only some plants, and I’m not sure why, get almost completely covered with powdery gray aphids to the point where you can barely see the stems or flowers. Of course this distorts their growth and is unsightly. Visitors ask what I do to treat them… nothing! Aphids are a source of protein for many birds that live at the Arboretum including hummingbirds, kinglets and warblers, so to keep our bird visitors safe, I do not use anything and let nature take its course.
Merrill Jensen
Introducing Karli Arnold
Can you spot the Seasonal Gardener in this photo?
The Arboretum is pleased to announce that Karli Arnold has joined the staff in the role of Seasonal Gardener. Karli was born and raised in Southeast Oregon where her family operates a cattle ranch and alfalfa hay farm southeast of Burns. She participated in volleyball, basketball, and track at the Crane Union High School.

Karli brings a strong work ethic as well as a history of working on the land and gardening. She has custom hayed in Oregon, and most recently, has operated her own landscaping business in Bend. Karli enjoys gardening and hiking; we're hoping she enjoys it so much, she'll decide to stay another season!

Strolling through the garden, please greet Karli and offer your thanks for all her good work to keep the Arboretum growing and blooming.
Karli and Merrill work in the vegetable garden on the shores of Pearl Harbor on a sunny Juneau afternoon.
Lovely Loo Update
Fundraising is still underway for the Lovely Loo, slated to be installed at the Arboretum later this year. Donations may be made through the Juneau Community Foundation or on the website of Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum or by using the Arboretum donation box and designating your gift toward the Lovely Loo.
~ Look for these highlights in the Autumn issue of TWIGS ~
*Curating A Collection *Lovely Loo Construction Update
* Combined Annual Picnic
and Juneau Chapter, American Primrose Society;
July 13th, Noon
(details forthcoming to your email inbox)

*Children's Program 2:
Art at the Arboretum ; July 20th, 11 - Noon; registration not required

*Children's Program 3:
BugDay! ; August 10, 1:00 - 4:00; registration with fee, required via Eventbrite (details forthcoming to your email inbox)

Still need to set up your 2019 Annual Membership?
Visit our website to join 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

         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-Gastineau Rotary Club
   Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum Board Members  
*Pat Harris, President *Pat Hartman, Vice President *Kim Garnero, Treasurer *Secretary, Pat White
Members at Large: Chiska Derr, Mary Mathisen, Lauren Smoker
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 PrimulaTM
Merrill Jensen, BS Ornamental Horticulture
Arboretum Manager and Horticulturist