Podcast Contest, Orchid Sale, Course Catalog and more...
Director's Update February 2019
First things first. We need your help!
At the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens our mission is to bring the world of plants to people any way we can. One of the methods that we recently adopted is a podcast called The Plants We Eat . Just last week we were thrilled to learn that The Plants We Eat was selected to be a part of the Queen City PodQuest , a podcast contest put on by our local NPR affiliate WFAE. The first round of the contest is a public voting round.

You are allowed to vote once per day from now until February 17 .
If we win, and even if we lose, competing in this contest will help bring the world of plants to many more people . So, cast a vote for The Plants We Eat and help the world wake up to the fascinating history, biology, and culture of the food growing in our fields and forests!

Can't remember to vote daily ? We've made it easy for you. Simply fill out this form and we'll send you a daily reminder email until the 17th.
There's a Garden in My Beer
T he new year really started with a bang for us! Last week we partnered with Free Range Brewery to host Author and Fifth Hammer Brewery owner Mary Izett who presented There’s a Garden in my Beer. It was a wonderful success with lots of information, gardener fellowship and, of course, beer! Personally, I think that this was one of the most unique and interesting offerings that we have undertaken and, here at the Gardens, we are really proud of how it all turned out.
Without a doubt the event for which we have been receiving the most buzz is our upcoming annual Valentine’s Day orchid sale which runs from February 9 until the orchids run out. This year we will have all of the orchids we usually do, but we’ll also have a new event, Ganache in the Gardens .
On February 10 we will be open special hours, from 11:00am until 4:00pm , and we will have Esa Weinreb of the Underground Truffle discussing and selling her amazing chocolates which she makes from the seed up! What Esa does is well beyond your typical chocolatier. Yes, there will be samples ! We will also have live music with Todd Tipton (Classical Guitar) and Jennifer Dior (flutist) and mini talks about the amazing cacao tree and the chocolate that comes from it.

You can see a full schedule here:  https://gardens.uncc.edu/ganache-at-the-gardens/
New Course Catalog
With the addition of our Assistant Director Amy Tipton and Education Coordinator Wendy Wilson we are greatly expanding our educational offerings . Some of the new courses that we are particularly excited about include botanical drawing and botanical watercolors, but we also have a course on Advanced Botany, Wildflower Identification, and many more!

You can see there full course catalog here , and see all of our events here .
We are excited to have joined the world of Twitter recently. Visit our page and follow along here: https://twitter.com/UNCCGardens
Plant Spotlight: Vanilla
I get most excited about plants that are both beautiful and useful. One of those plants that we have at the McMillan Greenhouse is the Vanilla Orchid. It has amazing blooms that only last for a short time, but which, if they are fertilized, develop into vanilla beans. We have a few of these vines at the Garden. They aren’t hard to grow, but they are difficult to pollinate. In fact, one of the most significant agricultural advances made in the 1800s was the discovery of how to manually fertilize Vanilla, a discovery that was made by a twelve year old orphaned slave! To find out the whole story check out our Vanilla episode on “The Plants We Eat” Podcast wherever you get your podcasts, or you can just find it on our webpage here:  https://gardens.uncc.edu/series/the-plants-we-eat/
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
Members and UNC Charlotte community Preview Sale: Thursday, April 11. 12-3pm
General public sale: Friday and Saturday, April 12-13. 9am-3pm.