So much to see at the Garden this month!

Garden celebrates 50 years with gala

On October 22, the North Carolina Botanical Garden and the Botanical Garden Foundation celebrated their 50th anniversaries with a black tie gala. Honorees included Tom Kenan, Joan Gillings, Harriet Martin and Florence Peacock, and Tom Earnhardt was awarded the Flora Caroliniana award. See photos > 


- Gala recap
- Fitch Lecture
- Photo Contest winners
- Sculpture in the Garden
- Saving Our Birds
- C
ompost your pumpkins
- Garden Shop
- Holiday party
Holiday hours
- Overheard at Coker
- Upcoming classes
Youth & Family

Fitch Lecture sold out!
Book signing details

We are excited to host Thomas Rainer, author of Planting Design in a Post-Wild World, as the speaker for our annual Jenny Elder Fitch lecture on Sunday. Registration is full for this event. For those of you who are already registered, Rainer will sign books before the lecture from 1-2 p.m., and after the lecture, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. 


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 a few months. Be sure to stop by soon to see it!


Native Bird Photo Contest awards and show

Stop by the DeBerry Gallery during November and December to see the entries in our Native Bird Photo Contest held this past year. A reception will celebrate the photographers on December 4, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Award winners include: 

1st Place – Barbara Driscoll
“Ruby and the Cardinal”
2nd Place – Jean Anne Leuchtenburg
“Great Egret”
3rd Place – Alan Clark
“Scarlet Tanager Female on Dogwood”
 Best in Show – Alex Cardona
“The Red Eye”
The DeBerry Gallery will also host the 2016 Audubon Photography Award Winners Traveling Display December 1-22.

Sculpture in the Garden 

Our annual sculpture exhibit continues through December 11. That means the show is about half over! Stop by several times throughout the season to see how nature’s changing backdrop brings new perspectives to each piece throughout the season. And take advantage of those photo ops before they are gone!!

Saving Our Birds exhibit and programs 

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 runs through December 16, and includes an informational exhibit and numerous programs for both novice and veteran birders, children and adults. Continue reading > 

Compost your pumpkins @ the CCCG!

Do you have some jack-o-lanterns left from Monday's festivities? If so, bring them to the compost pile at the Carolina Campus Community Garden (CCCG)! In fact, you can drop off compost anytime of the year in the bin outside the fence at 236 Wilson Street in Chapel Hill. 

New mugs and more at the Garden Shop

Don't forget to cross off some of your holiday shopping at the Garden's gift shop. These hand-thrown pottery mugs will be available soon!  We also 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!  ...Garden memberships make great gifts, too!

They're here: 
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 and comes in both a wall-hanging and a desktop version. 

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 >

Holiday Hours

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

  • The Garden will be closed on university holidays, including Thanksgiving and the day after, November 24 & 25. We will be open that weekend, November 26 & 27. 
  • The Garden will also 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. 

Overheard at Coker Arboretum

Have you ever heard of a Permission Tree? How about a Paranormal Tree? We had not either, but we were treated to the creative reading of the tree signs today by a group of elementary-age students who were in the Coker Arboretum for a break. The Coker Nuts, the Arboretum’s volunteer corps, heard these students reading all the signs they saw and when they came to Chinese Parasol Tree (Firmiana simplex), they read “paranormal tree”, but the best was definitely the “permission tree” upon their encounter with the label for our native persimmon, (Diospyros virginiana). I am sorry we did not have a “permission” to share with them.

Upcoming Classes



Saturday, November 5, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. • $65 ($58 Members)
Lichens are symbiotic organisms that consist of fungal, algal and/or bacterial partners. Among the first life-forms to live on land, lichens have occupied nearly every habitat on Earth and grow on many of the surfaces of our environment. This class introduces students to the fascinating world of lichen biology, the dazzling diversity of the local lichen flora, and their importance as indicators of environmental health. Includes lecture, demonstrations, and a field trip. Register Now >

And coming December 10, 12:30-4:30 p.m., learn to paint lichens in watercolor!


Saturday, November 5, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. • $36 ($32 Members)
Come to this class ready to learn your backyard birds. There will be a classroom session on identifying backyard birds and then we will proceed to the NCBG bird blind (built by the New Hope Audubon Society) to look at and identify the birds. Bring your binoculars. Register Now >


Monday, November 7; 10 a.m.–5 p.m. • $100 ($92 Members)
Thomas Rainer, author of Planting Design in a Post-Wild World, headlines this workshop with a presentation about how native plant designs create landscapes that are resilient, beautiful and diverse and become wildlife preserves for sustaining plants and animals. Other topics include native plants for lawn alternatives, native plant propagation and bird-friendly site design. Register Now >


Thursday, November 10; 12-1 p.m. • Free
Nest boxes help birds – just look at the Eastern Bluebird for a success story! The Brown-headed Nuthatch is getting a similar leg up from North Carolinians inspired by Audubon North Carolina’s ‘Lookin’ for a Good Home’ campaign to help the nuthatch. Learn all about this squeaky little bird – a quintessential southerner – and how you can help Brown-headed Nuthatch families in your neighborhood and your community. Register Now >


Sunday, November 13; 2:30-4 p.m. • $18 ($16 Members)
Join us for this special poetry reading. Jeffery Beam, Ralph Earle, Jay Bryan, Melissa Dowland and Bill Ross will read poems which include birds as a way of touching on universal themes. Birds of many kind fly in and out of their selections. Register Now >


We also have Backyard Birding for Science (Thursday, November 17, 12-1 p.m.) and much more! See our full schedule of upcoming classes online!

Upcoming Youth & Family Programs



Saturday, November 5; 1 – 2:15 p.m. •  $10 ($8 Members)
Ages 5-10. Join us as we dig in to garlic, learn to identify its parts and many uses, how to plant and care for it, and take home your own seed! We’ll also harvest the last of the fall vegetables and plant cover crops to put the garden to bed for winter. Register Now >


Friday, November 11; 10 – 11:15 a.m. •  $10 ($8 Members)
Ages 3-5. Gobble, gobble... it’s turkey time! Learn about the big, spectacular wild turkey with fun stories, craft, play, and hands-on walk through the fall forest. Register Now >


Saturday, November 12; 2 – 3:30 p.m. •  $15 ($13.50 Members)
Ages 6-12. Birds make their nests and raise their babies in all kinds of places – high on a tree branch, hidden in a shrub, or in a hole in a tree. Join New Hope Audubon Society to learn step-by-step how to build a home 'tweet' home for the Eastern Bluebird, and how you can help protect this cavity-nesting songbird by putting up a birdhouse. Register Now >


Saturday, November 19; 2 – 3:30 p.m. •  $10 ($8 Members)
Ages 5-12. It can be a challenge for songbirds to find food during the winter. This holiday season, decorate outdoor trees with edible ornaments and give the birds and other wildlife the gift of a delicious holiday feast! We’ll start with a reading of Night Tree by Eve Bunting and then create natural treats from pinecones to popcorn to hang in the Bird Garden and for you to take home. Register Now >

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