UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
Backstory and Context
Begun in 1966 on the newly-established Charlotte campus of the University of North Carolina system, the Botanical Gardens was the brainchild of biology professor Dr. Herbert Hechenbleikner and UNC Charlotte founder, Bonnie E. Cone. The Gardens were created to serve as a living classroom for biology students and as a horticultural and botanical resource for the campus and greater community. This was a unique beginning, as university botanical gardens usually spring from a formal horticulture or botany department. Despite the absence of those departments, the Gardens founders believed a university campus was not complete without the educational and cultural resource of a thoughtful, managed botanical garden. This vision became possible through the support of members of the Charlotte community, especially Mr. Ralph Van Landingham, and the hard work of Dr. Hechenbleikner and previous Director, Dr. Larry Mellichamp.
Since its creation the Botanical Gardens has flourished and now contains a greater variety of plants and collections than any other Charlotte-area garden. Over the last 50+ years the Botanical Gardens have evolved into the special resource that exists today, comprising 10 acres of outdoor gardens, a 4500 sq ft glasshouse with attached workspace, and teaching classroom that also contains a 1200+ book botanical and horticultural library. The expansion of the Botanical Gardens has been matched by the vision and dedication of our staff. Several underutilized areas have been improved into special collections to showcase unique approaches to gardening. The most recent addition, the Mellichamp Terrace, is an example of combining a love of horticulture, botany, and home gardening.
This concludes the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens City Walks tour. City Walks Charlotte would love to hear from you about your experience participating in this year's tours. To take a brief survey, click the link at the bottom of this page.