News from Dr. Jeff Gillman
Director's Report February 2020
There's an odd perception among the non-gardening community that winter is "down time" for those of us who work in the Gardens. Nothing could be further from the truth. We've had a Symposium, An Orchid sale, Classes on orchids, pruning, botany, and more , and that's all besides our ordinary day to day maintenance! But we can't be done with the winter until we have the Winter Walk this Saturday. This event is one of our favorites because it's our chance to show how interesting a garden can be during those months when nature seems to be taking a pause. If you are interested you can sign up here, but do it quickly! The walk is tomorrow!
Save the Date for our Spring Plant Sale!
Preview day will be Thursday, April 9 from 12-3 p.m. Preview day is open to Gardens' Members and UNC Charlotte faculty, staff, and students ONLY.

For the best selection and a 10% discount (or more for Green and Gold members!), become a member today ! You can also come to the sale on Thursday, April 9 and join that day. The sale will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday, April 10-11 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information can be found here .
March Classes Added - Register Today
We've added several classes in March over the past few weeks! There will be two sessions of "Why Natives?" - an hour long informative lecture about the benefits of incorporating native plants into your home garden. These sessions are only $10 and they include a $10 gift certificate to the Spring Plant Sale where we have an amazing selection of native plants! On March 14, we'll hold a Hardscape Workshop focused on pebble mosaics with Ed Davis, where participants will bring home their own pebble mosaic ! We're also excited to add an evening workshop at the end of the month for beginning gardeners - "Where Do I Start? Planting a Flower Bed" is only $25!

In addition to those classes, we still have spots in Dr. Larry Mellichamp's 2 day Advanced Botany class, Dr. Carrie DeJaco's 2 day Basic Ecology class, and our 6 week Sustainable Gardening series that starts on March 16th and comes with a certification from Landscaping for Life. These three classes are also part of our Certificate in Native Plant Studies program !
Plant Spotlight: White Mulberry
White mulberry is not a tree that excites plant enthusiasts. The fruit is OK, but not extraordinary, and there are better choices in the landscape. Then why, you are asking, am I talking about white mulberry? The answer is simple. White mulberry is the plant preferred by silkworms. The silkwork is a type of moth that feeds on mulberries and, when it pupates, produces the silk used to make shirts, scarves, and other fancy and expensive articles of clothing. What you may not know is that after the silk is removed from the silkworm's cocoon the pupa is left over. This pupa is actually used by people across Asia as a valuable source of protein and in some regions is considered a delicacy! You can find out more about silkworms and other edible insects in our podcast The Plants We Eat where we have taken a small detour to find out more about our six legged friends!
That's all for this month! Click below for a full list of our upcoming events. I look forward to seeing you in the Gardens!
Jeff Gillman Ph.D.     
Director, UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens