Introducing Amy, Volunteer Needs, New Membership Option and more...
Director's Update August 2018
Introducing Amy Tipton, Assistant Director
Instead of me writing a long, boring introduction, I’m going to let our new Assistant Director, Amy Tipton, introduce herself, so, without further ado, here’s Amy!
"My affinity for plants form some of my earliest and fondest memories—walking with my grandmother in the woods as she identified spring wildflowers, the soft snow of falling crabapple petals as I swung in a hammock, and drying four-leaf clovers in a miniature plant press. 

Although my initial university education and career did not involve plants, I developed broader skills which inform my work. I gained experience teaching: drawing at Miami University (Ohio), art appreciation at Eastern Kentucky University, literacy with AmeriCorps, 7th grade science through a National Science Foundation Fellowship, and ecology at University of Kentucky. I worked in outreach and administration within a regional arts council (where I served as Executive Director), a public university, and a private school (as Director of Student Affairs).

At the age of 30, I decided to return to school to follow my passion. I began an intensive graduate field studies program at Eastern Kentucky University. I completed my M.S. with an inventory of the plants within two Kentucky state forests. I worked in the EKY herbarium, and served as student curator of the educational collection. Post-graduation I worked as a botanist in the Daniel Boone National Forest (KY), and served as an arborist for the Asian Longhorned Beetle eradication program (OH).

I am passionate about native plants and trees in particular, and have served on the boards of the Kentucky Native Plant Society and the Covington (KY) Urban Forestry Board. I have been invited to speak at a variety of natural history and native plant events, written various botanical articles for journals and newsletters, and have presented research at state, regional, and national conferences.

When my mentor and advisor, Ron Jones, was completing Kentucky’s definitive botanical reference, Plant Life of Kentucky , I produced over 50 pen and ink drawings for the book. Later, I was awarded the Anne Ophelia Dowden Education Grant for the development of a portfolio of native plant drawings and engravings.

Within my role of Assistant Director of the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, I will be managing and expanding our educational offerings and community outreach. This is a job which I am delighted to undertake, and for which I feel particularly well suited, considering my experience in teaching, administration, and botany. I am anxious to share my passion for plants with the UNC Charlotte community and the Charlotte community as a whole. I welcome any suggestions for classes, workshops, tours, or outreach, and can be contacted at ."
Like to get Dirty?

Then have we got an opportunity for you! We are in the process of putting together volunteer groups for both our outdoor gardens and for our weekend hosts. If you want to share your time with other people who enjoy being in the Gardens, please contact me and I will be happy to help you find a place in the Gardens! I can be reached at
Photography Membership
Photographers love these Gardens for obvious reasons! We are now offering a new Supporting Photographer Membership for professional photographers which includes a private tour of the Gardens to identify spots that might work for your style of photography.

You can see some of the amazing shots that photographers have taken on our Facebook page here .
Photo: Natural Bloom Photography,
If you are interested in obtaining a Supporting Photographer Membership you can find out more about the benefits and sign up here .
Plant Spotlight: Gordlinia grandiflora
One of the most fascinating trees in the gardens, this tree is a cross between Gordonia lasianthus and Franklinia alatamaha . Crossing two different genera like these is difficult and a rare accomplishment, but researchers at North Carolina State University succeeded in 2002. One of the parents of this plant,  Franklinia, was discovered in 1765 by the Alatamaha river in Southeastern Georgia and has never been seen anywhere else. It was named by the famous botanist William Bartram for his friend Benjamin Franklin. It has been extinct in the wild since 1803. The other genus in this cross, Gordonia (loblolly bay), is an evergreen tree found in acidic swampy soils of pinelands and bays in the Atlantic and gulf coast. Both are members of the tea family.
That's all for this month! Click below for a list of our upcoming events. I look forward to seeing you in the Gardens!
Jeff Gillman Ph.D.     
Director, UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens