30th Annual 
Sculpture in the Garden Exhibition

Through Sunday, December 9
Free and open to the public, Sculpture in the Garden is an annual outdoor sculpture exhibition uniting the work of North Carolina artists with the curated landscapes of the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Learn more at


- Sculpture in the Garden
- Sculpture Events
- BOOtanical
- Fitch Lecture
- Fall Members Meeting
- Mason Farm Update
- Built to Burn
- DeBerry Gallery
- Coker Tours
- Plant Sale
- 2019 Calendars
- Garden Guides
- Piedmont Patch
- Winter in the Garden
- Upcoming Classes
- Let's Do Lunch!
- Youth & Family Classes

TONIGHT! Sculpture in the Garden Artists' Reception

Thursday, October 4, 5:30-7:30 p.m. 
Meet participating artists, purchase sculptures, and enjoy beverages and hors d’oeuvres. A jurist will announce selections for Best in Show and Honorable Mentions, and you’ll be able to cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award (announced October 14). Tickets are $30 per person. Get tickets at the door!

Sculpture in the Garden Community Day
Sunday, October 14, 2-4 p.m.
Take a tour of the show, enjoy refreshments, and vote for your pick for the People's Choice Award! At the end of the afternoon, we'll announce the People's Choice Award winner. Free and open to the public.


BOOtanical: Pumpkins in the Garden

Friday, October 26, 5:30-8 p.m.
A nature pumpkin carving contest along with pumpkin viewing, live critters, crafts, and treats. Funds raised benefit Wonder Connection, the Garden’s program to bring the wonders of science to hospitalized children through meaningful learning experiences. This event sold out last year, so register early! Register now >

Annual Jenny Elder Fitch Memorial Lecture:
The Foodscape Revolution

Sunday, November 4, 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Reception and book-signing to follow

Visionary horticulturist Brie Arthur joins us for a presentation on her signature design technique of foodscaping, a sustainable landscape practice that integrates edible and ornamental plantings to create beautiful and functional gardens. Working with everyone from home gardeners to public school systems, Brie is changing the way green spaces are designed and utilized. Encouraging everyone to think outside the box, Brie will discuss how pairing edibles in a traditional ornamental landscape increases biodiversity and adds purpose to underutilized, everyday spaces. Brie will highlight the best edible and ornamental planting combinations, and attendees will get a sneak peek of scenes from her next book, Gardening with Grains (January 2019), which shows how beautiful, sustainable, and easy it is to grow your own carbohydrates. Free. Register now >

Botanical Garden Foundation Annual Meeting

Friday, November 16, 2 p.m., Reeves Auditorium
Save the Date! All Garden members are invited to participate in this annual meeting and vote for new board members. More information about the nominees coming soon!

Mason Farm Biological Reserve Post-Florence

damaged boardwalk at Mason Farm Biological ReserveAfter significant flooding from Hurricane Florence, most of the pieces of Mason Farm Biological Reserve have been put back together, including the parking lot, passage across the stream, and trails. One exception is the beloved boardwalk that was damaged by high water. The boardwalk is closed until further notice, but don't let that stop you from visiting the rest of the Reserve--the Bidens aristosa (bearded beggarticks) are beautiful! Be sure to get a permit (available at the Garden's information desk) before heading out.

Built to Burn

Venus flytrap in burned groundDid you know many plants native to North Carolina rely on fire to survive? In fact, the suppression of fires has shaded-out many sun-loving herbaceous plants that reside in fire-dependent ecosystems to the point of imperilment. Our conservation director, Johnny Randall, writes about this in an article for the Center for Plant Conservation. Read more

In the DeBerry Gallery

Through October 29...


Claire Alderks Miller, Rebecca Dotterer, and Dale Morgan

Plants and animals rely upon each other for survival. This exhibit highlights the interconnectedness of native species by examining what they eat. Food chains (prey-predator interactions) from diverse North Carolina habitats – Piedmont, Mountains, Coastal Plain, Sandhills – are identified and depicted in a variety of media. Brilliant watercolors, detailed pen and ink, and luminous colored pencil bring local food chains in the garden to life.

Tours of Coker Arboretum!

Did you know we offer a free tour of Coker Arboretum on the third Saturday of every month from March to November? Tours begin at 11 a.m. and last for 1-2 hours. (Meet in the gathering circle on the south side of the Arboretum, next to the arbor along Cameron Avenue.)

The next tour will be Saturday, October 20. Come learn about the unique history and composition of this wonderful garden in the heart of the UNC campus.

Thanks for a Record-breaking Fall Plant Sale!

Thanks for coming out for our Fall Plant Sale last weekend! We had our most successful sale ever, selling more plants and raising more money to support the Garden than any previous sale. If you missed it, stop by our Daily Plant Sale at the Garden Shop. And mark your calendar for our Spring Plant Sale and Festival on Saturday, May 4, 2019!

Our 2019 Calendars will Arrive Soon!

The Garden Shop is taking pre-orders for the 2019 Botanical Art and Illustration (BAI) calendar, filled with illustrations of native plants of the southeastern United States. Through their contributions to this year’s calendar, alumni and current students of our BAI certificate program continue to promote the understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants. Sale of the calendars directly supports Garden programs and staff.
The calendars will be available in the shop beginning November 1. Wall calendars are $25 and desk calendars are $15. If you would like to pre-order yours, please call 919-962-0547. You will need to provide your name, a phone number or email address, the quantity you would like, and the style (wall or desk). We will hold the calendars for you to pick up after November 1. 

Garden Guide Training

Tuesdays & Thursdays: February 19, 21, 26, 28, March 5, 7 (6-session course)
9:30 a.m.-noon

Garden Guides studying aquatic habitatDo you have an enthusiasm for nature and the Garden that you’d like to share with others? Are you looking for a fun and exciting learning opportunity? Become a Garden Guide! Garden Guides are specially-trained volunteers who help us educate thousands of people each year about plants and the natural world. Our enthusiastic and committed volunteers create memorable learning experiences for small groups of schoolchildren (PreK-6th) and adults. You don’t need to be an expert or have a background in teaching! Successful volunteers are open-minded, willing to learn, friendly, enjoy working with people, and have time to volunteer on weekdays. In-depth training covers the Garden’s history and mission, native plants and habitats, plant-animal interactions, interpretive techniques, and program curriculum. Learn more >

Volunteers Needed for Fall Planting Day at the
Piedmont Patch Site

Saturday, October 20, 9 a.m.-noon
Fall is for planting, and thanks to a generous donation from the New Hope Audubon Society and the North Carolina Botanical Garden, Piedmont Patch is blessed with an abundance of native trees, shrubs, and perennials for the final big planting on our demonstration site at the Episcopal Church of the Advocate (8410 Merin Road, Chapel Hill, NC, 27516). Volunteer planters of all ages and skill levels are invited to help us add these new plants, which will greatly increase habitat quality for native wildlife. We would especially appreciate a few hardy souls with waterproof shoes to help us plant water-tolerant species around the muddy edges of the pond. Wear your favorite planting clothes, bring your favorite tools, and please email us at to let us know we can count on your help.

Mark your Calendar: Winter in the Garden

Holiday Festival
Saturday, December 8, 5-9 p.m.

(inclement weather date: Sunday, December 9)
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the season and enjoy the peaceful holiday splendor of the Garden as we celebrate the end of the year with luminarias, native plant greenery, holiday music, food trucks, and good cheer.

Member Holiday Party
Friday, December 7, 5-8 p.m.

Members! Join us as we celebrate the season at our annual holiday party. Enjoy light hors d'oeuvres, a cookie exchange, and festive entertainment.

Upcoming Classes and Events


Saturday, October 6; 10 a.m.-1 p.m. • $15 ($13 Members)
An in-depth tour of Mason Farm Biological Reserve's Old Farm Trail that travels through some 260 years of cultural and natural history. Explore the beauty of fall, and learn about the Garden's intense management of both field and forest on the Reserve. The walk includes a short hike off-trail into the Shagbark Hickory Forest. Register now >



Saturday, October 13; 10 a.m.-12 p.m. • $22 ($20 Members)
Learn about the principles of designing and planting a pollinator garden and how to select trees, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, herbs, and vines to attract a diversity of pollinators. Debbie Roos will give a virtual tour of her popular demonstration pollinator garden in Pittsboro, NC that features over 210 unique species, 85 percent of them native to North Carolina. Register now >


Saturday, October 13; 1-4 p.m. • $32 ($29 Members)
Join Garden experts to learn the basics of why, when, and how to prune trees and shrubs that grow in the Piedmont. This workshop consists of an hour of classroom instruction followed by two hours of demonstration and hands-on practice of tree assessment and proper pruning techniques. Register now >


Saturday, October 13; 1:30-3:30 p.m. • $22 ($20 Members)
Come celebrate fall color and flora. We will paint loose and juicy watercolors with vibrant autumn color. You will learn wet washes, negative painting, and how to capture the essence of a floral arrangement. No art experience required, just bring your imagination. Register now >


Tuesdays October 23, 30, November 6, 13; 1 - 4:30 p.m. • $150 ($135 Members)
Take your sketchbook outdoors and reconnect with plants in their natural environment. In this course, students are encouraged to shed old habits and try new techniques as they travel to a variety of gardens and habitats. Through a combination of guided exercises and free experimentation, students discover new ways of seeing plants, new problem-solving skills, and a refreshing way of thinking about layout and color. Several media are used, from ballpoint pen to watercolor to pencil. No prerequisites. Register now >


Wednesday, October 24; 6:30-9 p.m. • $10 ($9 Members)
Join a Garden educator for a moonlit stroll at Mason Farm Biological Reserve. We'll walk along a flat two-mile loop, making several stops along the way to watch the moon rise and learn about the natural world after dark. Dress warmly, wear good walking shoes, and bring water and a flashlight. You may wish to bring binoculars. This event is appropriate for adults and older children. No children under 10, please. No pets. Register now >


Saturday, October 27; 1-4 p.m. • $15 ($13 Members)
Explore the fall landscape of this 84-acre natural area in northeast Durham, and learn about how the Garden manages this unique property. Surrounded on three sides by the Eno River, Penny's Bend Nature Preserve encompasses mature forests and prairies with regionally rare plants. Much of this hike is on primitive trails over uneven terrain, with one short, steep climb up from the river. Register now >


Sunday, October 28; 1:30-4:30 p.m. • $10 suggested
Mindfulness is friendly awareness of the present moment. It can plant seeds of calm and joy, identify invasive weeds that the mind gets caught up in, and grow flowers of steadiness, delight, kindness, and connectedness with the natural world. Come explore with step-by-step guided mindfulness practices for beginners, presentations, and question-and-answer sessions, with time in the garden and practical tips to take with you. All are welcome. Register now >


Wednesday, November 7; 2-4 p.m. • $22 ($20 Members)
Every gardener and homeowner can tell you what they consider to be a weed. Too often, one person's weed is another creature's critical food source or shelter, while another person's prized plant might be the next ecological disaster. Discussion will include a brief history of weeds and their impact on ecosystems and our economy, ways to identify your weeds, and strategies for their management, whether they be friend or foe. Management practices include time-tested approaches and some new techniques we employ here at NCBG, with an emphasis on environmentally responsible gardening. Participants are welcome to bring in specimens for identification. Register now >

See all upcoming classes here >

Let's Have Lunch Together!

Pack a PB&J and join us for a free LUNCHBOX Talk!



Thursday, October 11; 12-1 p.m •  Free; preregistration required
Come hear NCBG Habitat Gardens curator Chris Liloia wax poetic about lots of great perennials native to the North Carolina Piedmont. Chris will also share some of the lessons learned in creating the Piedmont Habitat at NCBG. Register now >


Thursday, October 25; 12-1 p.m. • Free, preregistration required
Learn about the diverse spiders that call North Carolina home and what you can do to help! Take a trip across the state learning about the unique natural histories and habits of some of our arachnid friends. Learn what you can do to help habitats across the state and in your own backyard and even inside your home! We'll finish with an introduction to the North Carolina Biodiversity Project and the new Arachnids section. Register now >


Thursday, November 8; 12-1 p.m. • Free, preregistration required
Sun-loving plants once occupied the prairies, savannas, and open-canopy woodlands of the North Carolina Piedmont, natural habitats more prevalent historically thanks to fire and other ecological processes. Now, those plants persist in roadsides and powerline rights-of-way, and their remnant populations are increasingly threatened by development and changes in management. We'll explore our North Carolina Piedmont prairie flora, from the rare, endemic, and disjunct species to the more common plants in our area. We'll talk about the biogeographical processes that created our local flora and about the management and conservation necessary to prevent the loss of large suites of these special Piedmont plants and their associated pollinators. Register now >

See all upcoming LUNCHBOX Talks here >

Upcoming Youth & Family Programs

Join us for family programs, explore the Children’s Wonder Garden, and stop by the Education Center to pick up a Sculpture in the Garden scavenger hunt and see if you can find them all!



Thursday, October 11; 10-10:45 a.m. •  Free; preregistration required
For ages 3-5 with accompanying adult. Join us Thursday mornings to listen to nature-themed books followed by a hands-on activity or garden exploration. Free, but space is limited! Register now >


Saturday, October 20; 1-2:15 p.m. •  $10 ($9 Members) per child; no fee for accompanying adult
Ages 5-10 with accompanying adult. Explore the vegetable patch for pumpkins, hear stories about gourd life cycle and uses, try roasted pumpkin seeds, and decorate a mini-pumpkin to take home! Register now >


Thursday, October 25; 10-10:45 a.m. •  Free; preregistration required
For ages 3-5 with accompanying adult. Join us Thursday mornings to listen to nature-themed books followed by a hands-on activity or garden exploration. Free, but space is limited! Register now >


Thursday, November 8; 10-10:45 a.m. •  Free; preregistration required
For ages 3-5 with accompanying adult. Join us Thursday mornings to listen to nature-themed books followed by a hands-on activity or garden exploration. Free, but space is limited! Register now >

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