News from Dr. Jeff Gillman
Director's Report January 2021
Valentine's Raffle and Auction and more!
Typically, this time of year is loaded with events such as our annual Orchid Sale, Ganache in the
Gardens event, and the Winter Walk, but with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, we have to be a bit more flexible and creative with our plans. This year our winter fundraiser is incredibly important to our budget as the University deals with COVID related issues and so we have put something special together that should excite all of our patrons, from beginning gardeners, to plant experts, art lovers, and more: a Valentine's Raffle and Auction!

This is a great opportunity to snag your sweetheart (or yourself) a unique or rare gift!
Raffle tickets are only $5 each, and the prizes range from custom made bog gardens to orchid collections, books, and, of course, native plants!
Our auction is the best place to find one of a kind gifts, like tours of private gardens, exclusive private classes (I’m particularly excited about the private propagation class that I’ll be teaching) and even hard-to-find plants such as a corpse flower and Korean sweetheart tree! So, link on over to our site and check out the great list of truly unique items that you can win either at our auction or raffle.
If you want a fun and interesting Valentine's date idea, why not join us for one of our Online Orchid Care demonstrations, or our Online Lunch and Learn Chocolate lecture with me and Esa Weinreb, Head Chocolate Maker at The Underground Truffle, on February 8? You can find these events and more on our website here.
Some Sad News to Share

On December 17, 2020 UNC Charlotte lost Dr. Jeffrey Meyer, Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies. Below is a note from Dr. Larry Mellichamp about this longtime friend of the Gardens. Dr. Jeffrey Meyer (1938 – 2020), a longtime friend of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, passed away on December 17 from complications of failing health. Dr. Meyer was a faculty of Religious Studies at UNCC since 1973. He was always curious about nature and took several of our University and certificate botany courses. He signed up for field botany and completed the course including the final exam so that he could experience it as a student. Jeff was a member of the Gardens Board of Advisors for several years and was instrumental in helping design and present our Asian Garden at its dedication in 2011.

Jeff wrote the text for a brochure and the information sign at the Asian Garden entrance. He was interested in the holistic person and helped interpret the garden as more than a plant collection, but a synergism of people, nature and ideas. He was a kind and gentle man, and his positive outlook was an inspiration. He always thought the Gardens was a very important part of the University. Memorials may be made to UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens or Charlotte Friends Meeting.
Korean Sweetheart Tree
Korean Sweetheart Tree (Euscaphis japonica) is an extremely rare plant here in the United States, but we recently managed to grow a few of these trees from seed, and now we’re auctioning one off! This is a small tree that only grows about 20 feet tall. It has slightly fragrant blooms in the spring, but what it is known for are its fantastic red seedpods that are
reminiscent of our own native plant hearts-a-bustin’ (Euonymus americanus). This would make a truly unique and wonderful gift for a plant lover on Valentine’s Day!
That's all for now! We look forward to seeing you in the Gardens soon.
Jeff Gillman, Ph.D.     
Director, UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens