Susie Harwood Garden
Susie Harwood Garden offers three acres of branching stone paths and a collection of ornamental trees and shrubs.
During the summer the Harwood Garden is full of bird and insect activity among the flowers, while the perennial and tropical plants bloom right through October.
A visit to this garden will give Niners a new appreciation for botanical aesthetics. With pre-spring blooms that carry into late fall, Susie Harwood is a picturesque garden full of diversity and color.
Take a short trek around this three-acre garden and it’s not hard to find your favorite spot.
The gorgeous kaleidoscope of wildflowers, azaleas, bulbs, flowering shrubs and trees make each visit to the Harwood Garden a new experience as the season changes.
“Welcome to the Garden,” reads the stone in the corner of the Asian garden.
The Moon Gate archway, pictured above, introduces visitors to colorful stone scape and bright botany that succeeds in fusing Korean, Chinese and Japanese cultural expression of yin-meets-yang harmony.
The Asian garden is a welcoming step into Oriental culture.
A small sign reads, “Little Crowder’s Mountain” on a small patch of landscape on the other side of the garden.
With stones and plants from the beloved State Mountain, this little plot of land serves as a small piece of home for Niners from Gastonia or King’s Mountain.
A small pond is centered in the Susie Harwood Gardens with a large oriental-style gazebo overlooking it.
For students who need some creative space to work on a group project, try visiting the gazebo for a peaceful setting.
Though just a short distance from Mary Alexander Road, the Susie Harwood Garden is almost completely silent with the trinkling sound of the waterfall in the center pond and the chirps of the garden’s arial wildlife.
Susie Harwood Garden has continued to be embraced by visitors from around the Charlotte area and beyond.
On any given day, you will find nonstudent families or grade school field trips visiting the gardens.
Do not wait to experience the tranquil beauty of the Susie Harwood Garden. Make time to visit the gardens as soon as you get to see the flowers in full bloom.
Van Landingham Glen
Founded by UNC Charlotte biology Professor Herbert Hechenbleikner in 1966, the Glen contains over 1,000 native species of trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns from all over the Carolinas.
“There are about 3,500 species in the wild, including weeds, grasses and many plants we cannot grow or do not want to grow,” said the Botanical Gardens director Larry Mellichamp.
The gazebo entrance leads directly to the grave of Bonnie Cone, the founder of UNC Charlotte.
Cone and Dr. Hechenbleikner believed that a university campus was not complete without the educational and cultural resource of a well-managed garden.
The UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens promises “a natural calm and contemplative atmosphere of a mountain woods: a retreat right on campus.” Van Landingham Glen is just that.
After 46 years of existence, Van Landingham Glen continues to be the home of the most diverse collections of rhododendron, like the one pictured to the left.
Beginning in the spring and then peaking into the summer, wild flowers are the highlight of the Van Landingham Glen Gardens.
An old log cabin, pictured below, is located near the side entrance, adding character to the seven-acre woodlands. It was built from old barn logs in 1972 as a tool house.
The barn was repaired in 1987 and re-roofed and repaired again in 2011.
Currently it is a focal point for campus and other programs as well as a rustic feature of the garden.
Throughout the year, visitors can experience and study the native plants of the Carolinas in a managed, but natural setting.
Eight rooms make up the McMillan Greenhouse, each with its own unique characteristics.
Walking through the connecting doors is like walking into an entirely different ecosystem with alternative types of plants and changing degrees of temperature and humidity.
The garden presents a sense of exoticism and diversity with influences from around the world; small microcosms of places many Niners would not otherwise be able to experience.
The seasonal room is home to different perennial and annual plants that the staff has accumulated from other botanical gardens, commercial greenhouses, nurseries and other plant professionals.
The Research Room is one of the more diverse varieties. Carnivorous plants are the garden director Dr. Larry Mellichamp’s specialty. It is full of venus fly traps, bogs and pitcher plants.
Small signs in the Research Room indicate that the plant was featured in Mellichamp’s book “Bizarre Botanicals.”
Small venus fly traps are available for purchase for eight dollars each, although they do require more maintainance than typical house plants.
The Nish Jamgotch, Jr. Orchid Room is full of exotic and delicate flowers.
The Botanical Gardens hosts plant sales where students and nonstudents can purchase botanicals and have their questions answered by experts.
The tropical rainforest conservatory contains a small waterfall as well as several species of rainforest botany.
A big favorite among garden visitors, the tropical room contains a variety of spice and fruit plants such as the pineapple as well as other odd edibles.
The Cactus Room is full of desert succulents, resilient plants that require bright light and good drainage, year round.
Aloe leaves, living stones and an assortment of potted cacti are also spread around the cactus room.
Visitors can purchase these small succulents for ten dollars.
A steel Deinonychus is centered in the middle of the Dinosaur Garden, which showcases some of the more primitive plants from around the world.
For over 50 years the McMillan Greenhouse has continued to serve as a living, growing classroom for biology students and non-biology students alike.
Much like the other gardens of the park, visitors can find hard-working staff who regularly maintain the gardens who are willing to answer any questions you might have about the plants.