So much to see at the Garden this month!

Happy Holidays!

From our family to yours, we wish you peace this holiday season. Please find joy in knowing you, as a friend of the North Carolina Botanical Garden, are helping to conserve the natural heritage of North Carolina and the southeastern United States. In addition, you are helping us offer a helping hand to community members in need. Consider donating today.


- Happy Holidays!
- Audubon exhibit
Holiday party
- Holiday gift ideas
- Bee-autiful sculptures
- Sculpture in the Garden
- Saving Our Birds
BGF welcomes members 
Holiday hours
- Upcoming classes

Audubon photography exhibit through December 22

Stop by the DeBerry Gallery through December 22 to see the amazing photos from the Audubon Society's award winning photos collection. We have twelve photos on display, including one by our very own volunteer extraordinaire, Barbara Driscoll!

The entries to our photography competition are also on display through December, and we will have a reception for this exhibit on Sunday, December 4, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

On January 3, we will open our next exhibit, a collection of illustrations of North Carolina native plants and gardens by mother and son Linda Henley and James Keul. 

Botanical Garden Foundation Holiday Party

Sunday, December 11, 3-5 p.m.
Calling all members of the Botanical Garden Foundation (those of you who have made a gift at or above dues level in the past year)! Bake up a batch of cookies or other treats and join us for our annual holiday party in the Pegg Exhibit Hall. If you aren't a member, don't worry! You can join! Find out more about membership >

Check off your holiday shopping list at the Garden!

Holiday cards and more in the Garden Shop

Sending holiday cards to friends and family? The Garden Shop has a wide selection of holiday cards that showcase the gardener and nature lover in you. And while you are here, don't forget to cross off some of your holiday shopping. We carry artwork and handicrafts made by local artists – you’ll find jewelry, home goods, educational and nature toys, books, seasonal plants and more. And, if you just can't decide, consider a gift certificate for the gardeners in your life. Members, volunteers and staff receive 10 percent off every purchase in the Garden Shop!  

Give an experience

What do you give the person who has everything? A class at the North Carolina Botanical Garden! For those kids with rooms full of toys, we recommend our Winter Backyard Birds (February 18, 10-11:30 a.m.) or Vernal Pool Wonders (March 4, 1:30-3:30 p.m.) See a full list of classes online.

Give a gift membership

A gift that lasts throughout the year! Members receive our magazine, the Conservation Gardener, twice each year, a 10 percent discount on classes, gifts and books, and plant sales, a $6 credit at the Daily Plant Sale, eight free packets of native plant seeds each spring, invitations to special Garden-sponsored events, and the satisfaction of supporting a garden committed to conservation. Click here to buy a gift membership.

Botanical Art and Illustration
2017 Calendar

The alumni and students of the Certificate Program in Botanical Art and Illustration have created a new calendar for 2017. The calendar, available in our Garden Shop, contains 14 original pieces of art. We have sold out of desktop calendars, but wall calendars are still available. 

Homegrown and Winter Spectacle

The Homegrown sculpture by Patrick Dougherty has been a great addition to our Garden during the last two years, but it has reached the end of its lifespan. The sculpture will be disassembled in January.

But first...Winter Spectacle will be returning to the garden with the New Year! Garden guests will have the opportunity to enjoy this exhibit about natural winter interest beginning in January and it will run through February. Within the exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to write down their New Year’s resolutions and put them on display hanging on the Homegrown sculpture. Be sure to stop by next month and celebrate an exciting new year with us at the Garden!

Bee-autiful sculptures 

Be on the lookout for beautiful native bee nest sculptures created by UNC students in the Coker Arboretum and Carolina Campus Community Garden!

This fall, local biologist and artist Forrest Greenslade, PhD, led undergraduate students in the Be A Maker (BeAM@Carolina) Maker-in-Residence program to create sculptures that will serve as nests for native mason bees. The Maker-in-Residence program allows students the opportunity to learn from skilled makers to design and build objects using tools and technologies in new “makerspaces” around the Carolina campus.

After initial classes about the biology and ecology of native bees from NC State entomology research associate Elsa Youngsteadt and the building of wooden nesting unit prototypes under the direction of Greenslade, students in the program went on to design paper maquettes that formed the patterns for the metal sculptures that would house their nesting units. With the help of BeAM laser cutters and metalworking tools, they created the final products out of aluminum, bronze, wood and other media.

Mason bees, the focus of these sculptures, are highly efficient pollinators, and unlike bumblebees and honeybees, they do not produce wax from which to build their homes nor do they form colonies. They are solitary and choose their nests from naturally occurring gaps and tubes. Creating tubular nests for them, in this case out of cardboard and parchment paper, encourages the mason bees to stay and pollinate the area and may help increase their population. And fortunately for humans, they are gentle and rarely sting.

At the end of November, Greenslade and Coker Arboretum curator Margo MacIntyre installed the students’ finished sculptures in the Arboretum and in the Carolina Campus Community Garden, both of which are managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden. The sculptures will serve not only as homes for these important pollinators but also as a beautiful addition to the Carolina landscape.

For more information about the Maker-in-Residence program, visit:

For more information about building native bee nests and about this fall’s workshop, visit Greenslade’s blog:

And see some of Greenslade's own sculptures at our Sculpture in the Garden exhibit! Photo by Forrest Greenslade

Sculpture in the Garden 2016 ends in 10 days!

The year is coming to a close...and so is our annual sculpture show! Stop by through December 11 to see this year's outdoor display of works by North Carolina artists. And if you have already seen the exhibit, drop by again to see how nature’s changing backdrop brings new perspectives to each piece throughout the season. 

Saving Our Birds exhibit and programs end December 16

Our Saving Our Birds exhibition inspires awareness and understanding of North Carolina’s native birds and encourages citizens to help conserve the habitats they need to thrive. The exhibition includes an informational exhibit and numerous programs for both novice and veteran birders, children and adults. Continue reading > 

Botanical Garden Foundation welcomes new board members

The Botanical Garden Foundation (BGF) held its annual membership meeting on November 18. In addition to interesting presentations and a fun-filled social following the meeting, the BGF membership elected four new members to its Board of Directors. New directors include Brie Arthur, Bo Howes, Jenny Routh and Lysandra Weber. Read more about them online. >

Holiday Hours

Planning to visit the Garden over the holidays? If so, please note:

  • The Garden will be closed for the university's holiday break, December 24 - January 2. 
  • Coker Arboretum, Battle Park and the Piedmont Trails will remain open as usual, dawn to dusk every day. 

Upcoming Classes



Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. • $44 
Birds are abundant on many schoolyards, especially in winter, and their bright colors and fast movements catch student’s attention. Learn simple ways to incorporate bird observation and citizen science projects into your teaching. You’ll participate in some fun, hands-on activities and help collect data that we will submit to citizen science projects. Walk away with a basic guide to local winter feeder birds, a starter bird feeder, a native shrub that provides a food source for birds, and lots of ideas to help you enjoy and study birds in your schoolyard! Register Now >


Sunday, December 4, 2-4 p.m. • Free, preregistration required
Bring your coloring book talents to decorate and ornament our NCBG50 Holiday Tree. Using mixed media - colored pencils, watercolors, markers, etc- color on paper 35 years of the Wildflower of the Year designs by Dot Wilbur-Brooks. Register Now >


Tuesday, December 6, 12:30 p.m. • $15 ($13 Members)
Bring your lunch and join Nicolette Cagle for a discussion of Annie Dillard’s nonfiction book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. This story is a first-person point of view, detailing the narrator’s explorations of nature and life in the area of Tinker Creek in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. The book records the narrator's thoughts on solitude, writing, and religion, as well as scientific observations on the flora and fauna she encounters. Register Now >


Saturday, December 10; 12:30–4:30 p.m. • $45 ($41 Members)
Lichen’s small and intricate structures are challenging subjects for the watercolor artist. Drawing for accuracy, working under magnification, using fine-point drybrush, maintaining small-scale clarity, and incorporating pencil and dip pen for precision will be covered in this workshop. Register Now >


See our full schedule of upcoming classes online!

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