Growing native in Highlands

out mellichampA slate of programs July 23-25 at the Highlands Biological Foundation will highlight the benefits of gardening with native plants, including a workshop on maintaining home flowerbeds, a lecture on native plants and a guided tour of the Southern Highlands Reserve. Proceeds from the programs will benefit the Highlands Botanical Garden. 


• Horticulturists from Highlands Botanical Garden will give a free workshop on maintaining home flowerbeds 2 to 4 p.m. July 23. Learn simple maintenance to get the most out of your flowerbeds so gardening doesn’t become a chore. Sign up at or 828.526.0188. 

• A free lecture, book signing and native plant auction and wine reception at 6:30 p.m. July 24 will feature a lecture from Larry Mellichamp, executive director of UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens, titled “Native Plants of the Southeast and Their Garden Uses.” Mellichamp will go over the many choices of natives for your garden, from big leaf magnolia to Dutchman’s pipe. The lecture is part of the Zahner Conservation Lecture Series, held every Thursday at the Highlands Nature Center. 

Hang around afterward with a photo or information about trouble spots in your yard for some one-on-one advice. A native plant auction and wine reception will follow. 

• A trip to the Southern Highlands Reserve from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 25 will give a first-hand look at the ways native plants can enhance a garden. Eric Kimbrell, lead horticulturist at the Southern Highlands Reserve, and Ezra Gardiner, horticulturist at Highlands Botanical Garden, will lead the tour. A wildlife labrynth, rooftop gardens and  greenhouses will all be featured, and participants will enjoy a catered lunch on the rooftop garden. $40 for Highlands Biological Foundation members; $50 non-members. Register at or 828.526.2221.

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