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Visiting the NC Arboretum (May 18)

We’ll be arriving after lunch in the River Arts District to spend a couple of hours at the NC Arboretum. It’s a big place, so check out some of your options at their website. You’ll also have a map in your registration packet to help you preview your visit. The Arboretum recently celebrated its 25th anniversary (check out its history here) — I’ve seen it expand and develop over the years, and have particularly enjoyed my recent visits as the gardens and trails have matured and expanded. You’ll enjoy it!

The Arboretum will have volunteers stationed in the Heritage and Quilt garden areas to answer questions, and visitor services staff in the Baker Exhibit Center can provide further information and brochures. (While you’re there, don’t miss Wicked Plants: The Exhibit, based on Amy Stewart’s book of the same name, just opening. I’m planning to go to her presentation tomorrow.

The containers and plantings around the Education Center are always a standout and change seasonally. The Bonsai Exhibition Garden displays native trees of the Southern Appalachians, and is exceptional, even if you’re not that interested in bonsai.

Strolls on the Plants of Promise Garden and the Natural Garden Trail provide an even better look at some of the native plants that make the Southern Appalachian such an exceptionally rich botanical region.

Interested in learning more about native plants of the Southern Appalachians? Join Tim Spira, author of Wildflower and Plant Communities of the Southern Appalachians and Piedmont: a Naturalist’s Guide for a closer look of some of our native plants and their ecology on one of two scheduled walks along the Natural Garden Trail in the Arboretum. Tim’s a plant ecologist, botanist, and Clemson University professor (he’s also a great native plant gardener).

He’ll be starting the first walk right after the buses unload (~1:45 pm.), from the parking lot, with a second walk starting at 2:30 at the entrance to the Plants of Promise garden outside the Education Center.


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