Upcoming GPPA Speaker Meeting
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Atlanta History Center
Dr. Larry Mellichamp
"The Amazing World of Ferns"
Dr. Larry Mellichamp
Photo by Paula Gross
Everyone knows a fern; our grandmothers had a big fern on the porch
that seemed to live forever. These wonderful plants touch our lives as we
enter a flower shop or explore the forest floor. Ferns are constants in
the garden that give us a sense of place.
In the Southeastern United States we have many native ferns that are
cold hardy and good for the garden. They are seen as difficult to identify
and puzzling to place, but they really are not. When it comes to garden
design, properly placed ferns help provide delicate backgrounds, bold
forms, and cozy companions.
Ferns are ancient plants, having persisted through all the climatic and
biotic changes the earth has seen for more than 300 million years. Today
they help remind us of the strength and adaptability of plants. This
program will demonstrate how to know and grow ferns, identify what are
perhaps the ten best ferns for the Southeastern garden, and introduce some
underused and unusual forms.
Dr. Larry Mellichamp is recently retired Professor of
Botany and Horticulture at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte,
where he taught for over 38 years. Larry is an expert on native plants of
all kinds, including ferns and carnivorous plants, and is a popular
speaker on many botanical topics.
Dr. Mellichamp was also Director of the University’s acclaimed
botanical gardens. Their new Mellichamp Natives Terrace Garden, partly
sponsored by the N.C. Native Plant Society, demonstrates the use of
natives directly for the homeowner. Mellichamp has received several
teaching awards and has written many technical and popular articles on
plants and gardening. He has co-authored five books: including “The Winter
Garden” (1997); “Bizarre Botanicals” with Paula Gross (2010), and most
recently (2014), “Native Plants of the Southeast…the best species for the
garden”. He has traveled extensively in the eastern United States, across
the continent, and around the world.