Meet the 2016 Wildflower of the Year!

Happy New Year and 50th Anniversary!

Did you know that 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Botanical Garden as a public garden?

On Arbor Day in 1966, the Garden opened a nature trail built by work-study students as its first public offering. Today, that nature trail has grown to include 10 acres of native plant display gardens, an extensive network of nature trails through the Piedmont, and a state-of-the-art Education Center. 

2016 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Botanical Garden Foundation, the non-profit membership organization that supports the Garden.

Past, present and future will be our theme for 2016 and we have planned special exhibits, events and programs all year long. We hope you will join us in celebrating our golden anniversary.

Damon Waitt, Director
North Carolina Botanical Garden

In this issue...

Happy New Year and 50th Anniversary!

Meet the 2016 Wildflower of the Year: Northern Rattlesnake-master

Q & A with Greg Fitch, BGF President

In Your Garden 

Upcoming Events - Exhibits, Darwin Day, Chapel Hill Garden Tour

Upcoming Classes 
Northern rattlesnake-master (Eryngium yuccifolium), an unusual prairie species native to the eastern and central United States, has been named the 2016 North Carolina Wildflower of the Year by the North Carolina Botanical Garden and the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc.

With a basal clump of leathery strap-like, blueish green leaves and a single upright flowering stalk, this distinctive species more closely resembles a yucca plant than its closest relatives in the carrot family (Apiaceae). Northern rattlesnake-master attracts a steady abundance of diverse pollinators, and its interesting form and texture make it a great garden plant.  

Perhaps the earliest known use of Northern rattlesnake-master dates back 8,000 years, when prehistoric North Americans used the fiber from its thick leaves to make shoes and sandals. The common name of this species comes from early 18th century accounts of Native Americans applying a root preparation to their hands and arms to protect them while handling rattlesnakes and also brewing a root tea to use as rattlesnake antivenin.

Read more about this plant and view a list of the past North Carolina Wildflowers of the Year online.

Q & A with Greg Fitch, incoming President of the Botanical Garden Foundation

Q. Where is your favorite place at NCBG? 

A. There are many parts of the Garden I love, but what I enjoy the most is Mason Farm. I love seeing the Piedmont prairie in the former farm fields, the ever changing landscape, the new boardwalk, the peace and quiet of the place. John K. Terres’s description of its flying squirrels in his book cracks me up. We’re so fortunate that this parcel is protected and managed by the Garden. 

Learn more about Greg in the online Q & A.


The Do's and Some Don'ts of Pruning
A workshop with Charles Tomberlin, Landscape Manager, New River Landscaping Inc.
Saturday, January 23, 1-4 p.m.
Did you know pruning of dogwood, maple and elm should be done during the coldest weather? Keep those loppers and saws handy if one of yours could use a trim! Learn about the different types of pruning equipment and safety, the best pruning techniques, and the proper time to prune. Pruning is a beneficial horticultural practice for the overall health of plants, as well as stimulating new growth and flowering. Click for more information and to register.

Winter Spectacle
As many plants settle into a winter slumber, what is there to see at the Garden? A lot!

Our Winter Spectacle exhibit, on display through March, highlights our region's winter flora and our certificate programs. 

In the DeBerry Gallery...
January 4 - February 28 - Winter Spells. Photos of winter studies by Eric Saunders and oil on canvas winter landscapes by Rita Baldwin. Join us for a reception for the artists on January 31, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Darwin Day Lunchbox Talk
February 12, 12-1 p.m. Celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809 with the Garden! Allen Hurlbert of the UNC-Chapel Hill Biology Department will explore how the wondrous force of natural selection has shaped the patterns of diversity among vertebrates, invertebrates, and plant communities. Free. Click to register.

Chapel Hill Garden Tour

Step into Spring Prelude Party - April 28, 6:30-8:30 p.m. - Wine and hors d'oeuvres followed by recognition of the tour garden hosts and a special presentation by Chip Callaway, Landscape Architect and Historic Preservationist. Click for more information and to buy tickets or call Victoria Castor at 919-962-2231.

Garden Tour - April 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. & May 1. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. - Visit seven beautiful, private gardens and the NC Botanical Garden rain or shine. Click for more information and to buy tickets.

Youth & Family Program
From salamanders to birds, we have a lot of going on for children in the next few months. In fact, we just added Starting from Seeds, a Family Gardening Workshop on January 16. Preschoolers will surely enjoy Winter Backyard Birds on January 30. These classes fill up fast, so don't delay! Find out more about all of our Youth and Family programs online. 

Nature Explorers Summer Camp 2016 
Does your child love being outside and exploring nature? Are you looking for a high-quality summer camp that features small group sizes, hands-on science learning, and experienced educators? Nature Explorers Summer Camp is for you! Kids will discover the native plants, animals, and habitats of North Carolina through nature hikes and activities, games, arts and crafts, stories, and more. Camp dates and themes available online Jan 15. Camp registration opens Monday, Feb 1 at 12 noon. Register early; space is limited!

Introduction to Botanical Illustration
Saturday, Jan 16 (Inclement Weather Date: January 23); 1:00 – 4:45pm 

This half-day class covers examples of various types of botanical illustrations and botanical art; explores the history of botanical illustration. Find out more and register.

Saturdays, February 6, 13, 20, 27 (Inclement weather date: March 5); 9:15 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Basic principles of botany including taxonomy, anatomy, morphology and physiology are covered. Class time is divided between lectures and examining/dissecting samples. There are also opportunities for making observations in the gardens. 
Find out more and register.

Edibles in Watercolor: Pomegranates
Saturday, February 13, 2016; 1:00 PM - 4:30 p.m.
An afternoon watercolor workshop for painting pomegranates, the festive fruit of winter. Instruction includes color matching as well as the techniques of painting wet into wet, dry brush, and top glazing. Some watercolor experience helpful. 
Find out more and register.

Find out about all of our upcoming classes and programs online
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