Quarterly Newsletter of
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
Summer Issue June 2020
Quarterly News and Updates
In this issue...a greeting from the newly-elected Board president; calendar updates; a First Friday recap; an article about new acquisitions in the collection; and a little more...enjoy!

~~ A message from your new Board President ~~
Hello Friends of the Arboretum,
At the Annual Meeting April 16, I was elected President of the Friends Board. I am grateful to Pat Harris for her extended and steadfast leadership these past te n years. Also grateful for the other board members - Mary Mathisen as Vice President, Kim Garnero as Treasurer, Lauren Smoker as Secretary, and at-large members, Michelle Duncan, Pat Harris, and Aurah Landau, as well as Chiska Derr, our board member emeritus .
A special thanks to Pat Hartman, who over the past three years has helped the board in many ways. Her organizational experience will be missed.
I have some big garden shoes to fill, as Pat has led the board since its inception. The pa th is well defined however, and I am glad of that. Please take a moment to thank Pat Harris for her leadership and guidance taking the Friends Board to the stature it has today.
Our fundraising effort last year was quite a success . Thanks to everyone who bought tickets. Combined with a grant from the Rasmus o n Foundation, we were able to secure funding for the lovely new loo’. We hope to have this project completed this summer.
Our goal for this year is a printed field guide to plants of the Arboretum to be available for visitors. Kim G and Kelly J are working on a grant proposal for funding the design and layout. Merrill J is working on text and photos.
Because of the pandemic, m any of our summer activities have been cancelled. We all hope that the efforts to flatten the virus curve work so we can slowly get back to ou r roster of activities and fundraising.
Until the n , the garden is open Wednesday through Sunday, with social distancing guidelines in place. Come early and often to view the ever-changing landscape.
The garden has been in the capable hands of Merrill and Kelly Jensen for these past thirteen years and has grown into such a place of beauty.
Please renew your membership and encourage others to do the same. Your membership dollars and donations go directly into projects that enhance the Arboretum.
Thank you and enjoy the Arboretum.
Pat White
FJOA President
Event updates to report

The Arboretum is open during regular visitor hours, but with COVID concerns still among us, we have several cancellations and postponements to report:

Cancelled: Children's Program 2; Annual Picnic for combined gardening groups

Postponed til further notice: 2020 Seasonal Docent Volunteer Service, Docent Training, Party Honoring Life Members

Yet to be determined: BugDay! 2020. We will make an announcement regarding BugDay! on or before July 17th. Please watch your email inbox, the FJOA website, and the JOA Facebook page for the final announcement.
A recent literary creation from a visitor as discovered in The Word Garden
Save the Date!
Honoring the Work of Pat Harris
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum plans a Noon celebration on Saturday, July 18 (with distancing guidelines in place) to honor the work of founding FJOA Board President, Pat Harris. Look for details coming soon to your email inbox.
Arboretum Director Merrill Jensen, and Seasonal Gardener Extraordinaire Karli...working on just a few of this Summer's projects. Please come stroll the garden and enjoy all the enhancements.
March First Friday Photography Exhibit - a brief recap
Together with Centennial Hall, FJOA hosted an evening highlighting the Arboretum with photos taken by Arboretum Director Merrill Jensen. This event also served as the release date for Arboretum photo note cards showcasing those same photos which were on display. Cards are available for sale through FJOA Board members and will soon be available in select locations throughout Juneau.
Many thanks to those who made the evening such a fun and successful event.
Many thanks also to Michael Penn for sharing some Arboretum images from his "archives".
Arboretum Director Merrill Jensen in mid-May performing the every-5(ish)-years inventory/count of individual primrose in the Collection.
This is but one of the many requirements associated with national accreditation status for a genus (awarded to JOA in 2012).
How many individual primrose plants are in the ground at Jensen-Olson Arboretum? Take a guess! Give us your estimate!
2020 bloom of Malus domestica (cultivar unknown), The Grand Old Apple Tree , as referenced in two previous issues of TWIGS.
Noteworthy new accessions to the JOA Collection
One of the more satisfying aspects of my job is acquiring new plants for the collection in accordance with our Plant Collections and Acquisitions Policy. As a certifiable plant geek, the opportunity to track down new plant material and watch it mature is both satisfying and rewarding. The downside to the hunt is that occasionally a new plant fails to thrive for one reason or another. Most of the failures are due to Juneau’s interesting, and intermittently challenging climate. Still, adding to the collection remains mostly a joyful endeavor and the following are just some of the latest acquisitions which have settled in nicely. Visit the Arboretum and look for some of these new treasures.

Acer palmatum 'Ryusen' – Japanese Maple. Sporting the palmate leaves found on most Japanese maples, 'Ryusen' is one of the very few weeping Japanese maples with strongly pendulous branches which create a waterfall effect. This weeping habit also makes it a perfect fit for narrow spaces. Fall color is orange to red. Look for this unusual tree in the Entry Plaza.

Narcissus 'Hillstar' – Daffodil. An unexpected find on the grounds. This beautiful daffodil showed up in our annual shipment as an off-type of another daffodil that I increase in number each year for the collection, ‘Tweety Bird’. ‘Hillstar’ blooms later than ‘Tweety Bird’ and has beautiful creamy white cups surrounded by bright yellow petals. I was pleased to discover this off-type in The Word Garden, and after research to learn its name, will now place an order for these to plant this fall in the beds around the Gardeners’ Shed.

Hamamelis × intermedia 'Arnold Promise' – Witch Hazel. This shrub was selected for its very early spring bloom (when, in most places only the Snowdrops are out). The thin, yellow, crepe paper-like petals glow in the early spring light. The upright, ascending branches form a vase-shaped shrub that can grow to 12 feet tall (unlikely in Juneau). The original plant was developed through a breeding program at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University. Fall color is yellowish-orange. Our only specimen is in The Word Garden.

Aruncus 'Misty Lace' – Goat’s Beard. This is a dwarf form of Goat’s Beard that was developed at the University of Georgia. Our native Aruncus can get as tall as 8’, but ‘Misty Lace’ flower heads only get about 2’ tall and are a perfect fit with other summer-blooming perennials. Look for these in The Word Garden.

Dicentra spectabilis 'Valentine' – Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart. This is an improved version of the garden standby bleeding heart, but with vivid red flowers. A little-known fact about Dicentra…they contain alkaloids that are quite toxic to dogs and cats (humans too if you ingest them). These are also in The Word Garden.

Primula Belarina® – Primrose. A series of polyantha primrose varieties with large, fully double flowers in a range of vibrant colors. Belarina® Nectarine received numerous visitor comments of admiration and awe this past spring – it was one of the most commented upon plants in all of the collection during that period of bloom. Longevity in Juneau is still out for debate. Six different selections reside in The Word Garden.

Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea' – European Purple Beech. With time, this forms a large, stately tree with dark purplish foliage. Specimens that I’ve seen in old, established public gardens around the world are some of my favorite trees. The smooth, gray bark is an interesting feature. This tree was planted to replace one of our bear-damaged mountain ash. Look for it near the glasshouse.

Primula tosaensis – Tosa Primrose. A little-known primrose confined to the mountain forests of Japan. The literature indicates that it is very rare in its restricted natural range. The pale pink flowers are similar to other mountain-dwelling Japanese species that are part of our Nationally Accredited Primula CollectionTM; P. kisoana and P. jesoana. All of these species require a shady site with rich, organic soil. Look for these near the Chilkats View Shelter.
* stay tuned for event details in your email inbox throughout the coming months as we adjust schedules based on safety measures related to COVID
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Arboretum Director Jensen, and FJOA Board Member Lauren Smoker enjoying time to chat in the garden during Alaska Public Gardens Day.
~ Look for these highlights in the Autumn issue of TWIGS ~

*Event highlights as they are available

*A Look Back - a letter from the Arboretum Director

*The Arboretum and its trees
         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 White, President *Mary Mathisen, Vice President *Kim Garnero, Treasurer *Lauren Smoker, Secretary
Members at Large: Michelle Duncan, Pat Harris, Aurah Landau
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