Upcoming Events at the Arboretum

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Air Plant Terrarium Workshop

Wednesday (FILLED) OR Thursday, February 11 OR 12, 2015, Noon—1:30 p.m.

In the Frances Plecker Education Center, $35 fee

Image of a globe-shaped terrarium with plant

With Jan Sievers Mahon, Arboretum Director

Don't miss this fun way to learn all about air plants! In this 1-day workshop, you'll create an air plant terrarium, or an "airarium," with all supplies provided, including air plants, a glass "orb" terrarium, moss, stones, and decorative finishing touches. Everything needed is provided by the arboretum for the $35 registration fee. For additional cost of $25 per, make as many "airariums" as you wish!

This workshop is facilitated by Jan Sievers Mahon, the Arboretum Director. The workshop will include a lecture and overview of everything you'll need to know about these blooming plants that are in the bromeliad family with pineapple and Spanish moss, plus their environment, and how to best care for them in their "airarium."

NOTE: All registrations ON OR AFTER Monday, January 26, will be for the 1-day session on Thursday, February 12, as the session on Wednesday, February 11 has reached maximum capacity. Thank you to all registrants!

Click here for online registration, or phone (540) 568-3194. Attend and make one, or make a set!



2015 Valentine's Day Carriage Rides

Saturday, February 14, 2015, 5:00 p.m.—8:00 p.m.

Image of a horse-drawn carriage

Give a "special someone"
the memory of their lifetime!

Create a celebration that goes beyond ordinary to exceptional. In a private luxurious vis-á-vis carriage, riders are drawn by beautiful horses with an experienced coachman.

Celebrate Valentine's Day carriage rides by moonlight, Saturday, February 14th, from 5:00 pm until 8:00 p.m.

Reserve now and make romantic dreams come true!

Purchases support Harrisonburg's favorite place for marriage proposals... the EJC Arboretum!

  • Adult rides by the individual seat in a carriage selling six seats are $12 per person. Children eight years and younger are $8. Infants 2 years and younger who ride on a lap are free.
  • Private carriages for any party size of one to six persons of any age are $65.
  • Up to six individual seats are sold in each carriage. Private carriages seat any group size up to six people for a group size that is the private ride purchaser's choice.
  • Paid reservations are made by phone using any major credit card, or walk-in weekdays, business hours, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, at the Frances Plecker Education Center with cash or check.
  • Walk-up rides days of events might be available but are not guaranteed. Call ahead for walk-up riders. (540) 568-3194.
  • Please arrive at the Frances Plecker Ed Center 10 minutes ahead of your scheduled ride time. Rides leave on an exact 20 minute schedule. There is no guarantee that late arrivals can or will be re-seated on a later ride, and late arrivals rides may be forfeit.
  • Each carriage ride is approximately one mile in length and completes a circuit through the arboretum forest on a graveled, unlit route.
  • Moderate inclement weather: carriage roofs go up! Dress for weather forecast! Extreme inclement weather: postponement may be posted on arboretum website, day of. In inclement weather, check the website for an announcement on the day of, www.jmu.edu/arboretum. If no cancellation posts on website by 10:00 am day of, rides proceed.
  • Tickets are transferable! Credit, cash, check carriage ride ticket purchases are non-refundable. Rides support the EJC Arboretum.
  • A negotiable minimum $15 additional charge for private carriages only that are requested after the close of the event's scheduled rides may be negotiated at carriage driver's discretion. (No individual seat rides are sold after close of event schedule.)


Fairy Houses and Gnome Homes

Monday, February 16th, March 16th, April 20th, and May 18th, Noon—1:00 p.m.

In the Frances Plecker Education Center

Image of a Gnome home in a forest

The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum invites you and your children to come hear a story about fairies and build your very own fairy house or gnome home!

Join us in the Frances Plecker Education Center, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm on Monday, February 16th, March 16th, April 20th, and May 18th for indoor story time followed by an outdoor activity.

Bring your brown bag lunch to enjoy during the story.



Frances Litten Botanical Lecture

Tuesday, February 24, 2015, 7:00—8:30 p.m.

In the Festival Conference Center, Ballroom C

Black and white photo of Frances Litten

The 9th Annual Frances Litten Botanical Lecture is free and open to the public on a first come, first seated basis, in Ballroom C of the Festival Conference Center on the campus of James Madison University. Free parking without a permit is available in JMU parking lot C-12 for this event. The lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. and will once again give the public practical tips and information about many exciting and innovative uses of common plants in landscape designs and home gardening. Learn about transforming any garden into an outdoor gallery of pleasures with the 2015 talk, Art and Artifacts in the Garden with Doug Croft a staff horticulturist at Chanticleer Garden. Book and arboretum products sales after the lecture 8:30 pm to 9:00 pm.

The Frances Litten Botanical Lecture Series each year is dedicated to the memory of Frances A. Litten, 1929—2005 of Bridgewater, Virginia. Mrs. Litten was born March 18, 1929 in Owenton, Virginia. Married in 1949 to Donald D. Litten, together they raised a family of three children, and became grandparents of six.

A 1949 Graduate of then Madison College, Mrs. Litten was a teacher in both Shenandoah County and Rockingham County. She devoted herself to worthy causes, serving on the Advisory Council of the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and the North River Library. She was active in Greener Harrisonburg and in JMU alumni affairs.

An accomplished horticulturalist, Mrs. Litten was a member and past president of the Round Hill Garden Club. She served on the Board of Directors of the Shenandoah District of the Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. She was also a flower show judge, accredited by the National Council of Accredited Flower Show Judges.


Photo of Doug Croft working in a garden

Doug Croft received his B.S. in Horticulture from Virginia Tech in 1996.

He subsequently worked as the Horticul-ture Intern at The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.

Although a native of Virginia, Doug realized a wealth of Horticulture expertise exists in the Delaware Valley and after completing his internship took a job working as Horticulturist at Haverford College Arboretum, and currently is a horticulturalist at Chanticleer Garden.



Other Events Coming Soon in the New Year

  • February 24, 2015, Frances Litten Invitational Dinner Tuesday, 5:30-7:00 pm, Festival Conference Center, Ballroom B. By invitation only, the 9th annual Frances A. Litten Invitational Dinner is a gathering of colleagues and friends of founding arboretum board member and educator, Frances A. Litten.

  • February 28 & March 7, 2015, Winter Chilren's Art Workshop,  Both Saturdays from 1:00 to 3:30pm in the Frances Plecker Education Center (FPEC), with facilitator artist Jewel Yoder Hertzler. These two sessions offer children's education on plant identification as well as basic botanical drawing, all materials included in a $35 cover charge. Advance online registration needed.

  • March 17, 2015St. Patrick's live Highland Pipes Free Public Concert. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket and a picnic dinner for a free public live performance of Highland Pipes.

  • March 17, 2015, St. Patrick's Day Dinner Lecture, in the FPEC offered on St. Patrick's Day annually, 6:00-8:30 pm. Enjoy fine genuine Irish cuisine and brew.

  • March 25, 2015, Birding Workshop, Wednesday, noon-1:00 pm in the FPEC. In partnership with the Rockingham Bird Club, an avifauna notable and photographer of Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley avian species Diane Lepkowski, lectures on songbirds to raptors, giving an annual spring lecture and forum discussion in the *FPEC. This workshop partners with guided birding trail walks in April or May.

  • March, 2015, Spring Children's Art Workshop,  date to be announced online approximately a month ahead, 4:00 to 6:00 pm, in the Frances Plecker Education Center, (FPEC). The Tues, Wed, and Thurs workshop offers children’s education on plant identification as well as basic botanical drawing, all materials included in a $35 cover charge. Advance online registration needed.

  • December week prior to Christmas, date to be announced, to the 31st, 2015, Winter Holiday, EJC Arboretum offices closed to reopen tentatively January, 2016


  • Interested in seeing more of what's coming up next? Please check our Annual Calendar of Events.

     EJC Arboretum Events and Programs are Virginia Green.

    Promotional photographs are taken by staff of arboretum events.
    Written requests to the Web manager to remove a photograph will be honored.