A TITAN?!, Plant Sale, New Events and More...
Director's Update April 2018
Greetings Garden Friends and Patrons !

The spring is here! I know because I just saw the Garden’s turtle, Nugget, swimming around in the pond looking for a bite to eat. As in any garden, the spring is bringing an amazing assortment of occurrences and opportunities!
One of our corpse flowers has a large bud and, if everything is as it appears to be, we’re looking at a bloom sometime in May! While you’re viewing this bud you’ll also be able to see the bud of a second titan arum that appears to be vegetative – in other words it isn’t a flower. You can check it out when you visit the plant sale on April 13 and 14th. Okay, hold on. I think I got that wrong. Most of you will be interested in getting to the sale a day early, before all the good stuff is gone, so you’ll be visiting on the 12th for member’s day (you can become a member here) to grab up all the rare native plants that you can only find here.

Besides all of the above, we are also happy to report on the completion of the hardscape that will become our new native fruits region. This work was accomplished with your help through an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign. Thank you! We can’t wait to update you when we get the plants for our new orchard into place!
Some New Events for Earth Day!
We have two great events planned for Earth Day! Since I began this job, I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing people from a variety of different academic departments here at UNC Charlotte. Three of the people that I have had the most fun planning stuff with include Dr. Mark West, the Chair of the Department of English, and two professors within that department, Dr. Matt Rowney and Dr. Jen Munroe. These guys do fascinating work! Our conversations have led to a collaboration resulting in a new event called Gardens and Verses: An Earth Day Celebration. From 11:00 until 2:00 on April 19, stations will be placed throughout the gardens offering attendees the opportunity to learn how to write in specific genres of poetry as well as to contemplate the particular natural settings the Gardens have to offer. A literary scavenger hunt will familiarize participants with the wide range of plants contained in the gardens. There will be literary readings and an "open mic" for those who wish to share original work. Some light snacks will be provided.
Besides our collaboration with the English Department we will also have a fascinating gardening class taught by one of my favorite gardening instructors, Don Boekelheide. The title of the talk will be Gardening for Earth Day: Butterflies, Songbirds and Bees and will focus on how we can make a difference in our gardens. Growing food is part of the mix, but there’s much more that we can do, by working together, to make the world a better place. Come for the class and stay for Gardens and Verses!

Register Here
Plant Spotlight: Spider Azalea
The azaleas have begun to bloom in all of their glory. I love all of the azaleas, especially the fragrant natives which you will be able to purchase at the plant sale, but one of the most interesting is the spider azalea. Look at the shimmering hair on the leaves and the delicate pink of the flower petals. These are truly some of the most unique flowers that we have in the Gardens!
That's all for this month! Again, don't forget to visit us for our Annual Spring Plant Sale April 12-14, and check out the list below for all of the fun and educational programs and events we're offering over the next few months.

I look forward to seeing you in the Gardens!
Jeff Gillman Ph.D.     
Director, UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens