Quarterly Newsletter of
Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum
Winter Issue December 2019
Quarterly News and Updates
In this issue: BugDay! 2019 - recap and thanks; Seeds and Supplies;
2020 Calendar: a sneak peek; and more...
BugDay! 2019 - another buzzing success
BugDay! 2019 included loads of sunshine, lots of new volunteers, and 25 participants who received Bugology Certificates. 

This year, we replaced an outdated station with a new station which offered more interactive learning and an opportunity for gooey hands! We also added group Bug Bingo. 

Many thanks are due to all our volunteers and staff who made this possible, but especially to Michelle, our Education Coordinator, who developed the curriculum and conducted volunteer orientation, and to Liz and Isaac of the USFS, for bringing the stars of the show, for their work in collection and identification, and finally for their generosity in providing lenses to each participant for further observation.

Often we are asked if we will ever include bees and bee hives among the BugDay! celebrities...while there are apiarists in Southeast Alaska, our limited staff resources preclude us from adding bee hives to the mix - either permanently on-site or temporarily during educational programs.

Public gardens serve as an important conduit of information regarding all types of pollinators, and we are committed to providing written resources about the value of honey bees, and all bees!, but at this time, we aren't able to add bees to the program.

Plans are already underway for next year’s BugDay! (along with other education programs) – stay tuned for more details, and if you haven’t already, purchase your 2020 membership today to receive information firsthand including the Arboretum annual events calendar.
Painted bugs and temporary tattoos make another appearance.

A team of energetic and committed BugDay! bug station volunteers gather for orientation led by JOA Education Coordinator, Michelle W. (above). Participants return with their wild collections to the identification station (right).

Please remember the Arboretum
when you apply...your gifts make a difference!

2019 PCG donations supported education programs, plant acquisitions, site access improvements, and the future Lovely Loo.
Resources: seeds and supplies
During the long, darker days of Winter, it’s natural for gardeners to think of the next growing season and all that it promises. There’s no better time than a cold, snowy (or rainy) day to sit down with a cup of one’s favorite hot beverage and a stack of seed catalogs. Perusing the pages of a catalog or scrolling on a computer looking for the next season’s seeds is an extremely rewarding pursuit. It’s always fun to see what new introductions might find their way to the garden. Also, it’s a great time to review which cultivars worked and which didn’t.

Over the years I have returned again and again to a handful of companies which consistently offer superior products and services. Here is the short list of those that have proven themselves year in and year out…

It’s also a great time to check out the horticultural supply houses and research new tools to add to the mix or to locate replacements for those that have worn out over the years. Well-crafted tools (and their annual maintenance) are as important for the true gardener as are seeds; I have used the following rule of thumb for my purchases and it has served me very well: buy the most expensive tool(s) your budget will allow. Research the tools and manufacturers well enough that you’ll know the highest quality tools available. As your budget allows, purchase those tools. 

By strictly following this mantra, I still possess and use the tools I purchased over the first few years after I decided to get a degree in horticulture and make it a lifelong profession. Each Winter, I take great pleasure in giving my old “friends” a thorough cleaning, sharpening, and for some, a new coat of paint finished with varnish. Some of my original purchases are Felco pruners; I purchased the “oldest” set in 1986, and the “newest” in 1998. My go-to spades and forks also have many decades of use to boast. Again, here is the short list of my favorite suppliers…

Yes; Bulldog tools, made in the UK and distributed by US supplier Clarington Forge, are expensive. However, amortizing that cost over decades of use, versus regularly replacing poorly-made tools, results in a lower overall cost. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” is so true with respect to tools, especially for the serious gardener.

This Winter, I hope you take some quality time to sit and enjoy dreaming of next year’s garden, both ornamental and edible, while you stay warm and dry.

Merrill Jensen
Arboretum Horticulturist and Manager

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Lovely Loo Update
Thanks to all who have supported the Lovely Loo with your donations and raffle ticket purchases!

Fundraising is still underway for the Lovely Loo. 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. We look forward to an early Summer installation.
FJOA Board Members (left to right) Pat White, Lauren Smoker, and Kim Garnero, volunteering on behalf of the Arboretum and the Lovely Loo project. Thanks ladies, for all your efforts!
Gardeners' Shed Renovation

The gardeners' (and docent team) shed renovation project is almost complete!

We are pleased to report that renovation of the seasonal gardeners' shed will soon be complete. As long-time Arboretum visitors will know, the shed is used as employee work space for seasonal staff gardeners, volunteer work space for our docent team, and general storage space throughout the year...this is a small, but essential space serving multiple uses! And it was time for an upgrade! With CBJ funds financing the bulk of the renovation, and volunteer efforts to provide the rest, the shed is almost complete. Next up: finishing touches and Spring landscaping! Look for a full report with photos in the Spring issue...
~ Look for these highlights in the Spring issue of TWIGS ~
*Docent Training Opportunity in 2020
*Gardeners' Shed Renovation Report
*Photography Exhibit Highlighting the Arboretum
* 2020 Arboretum Calendar of Events announcement; early February
* Photography Exhibit by Merrill Jensen; March
*Friends of Jensen - Olson Arboretum Annual Meeting; early April
*Annual Super Plant Sale; May 9
(details for these and many other events forthcoming...)
Set up your 2020 Annual Membership today and get all the Arboretum news for the new year!

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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, Aurah Landau, 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