New book focuses on botanical garden
A new book focusing on the Highlands Botanical Garden is the first-ever guide to the demonstration garden located at the Highlands Biological Station and includes maps, a historical overview and profiles of a selection of the garden’s hundreds of native plants.
“Highlands Botanical Garden: A Naturalist’s Guide” features the photographs of Ralph M. Sargent, a founder and champion of the garden, and the book is the brainchild of Sargent’s daughter, Lydia Sargent Macauley, a strong supporter of the Highlands Biological Station, said Michelle Ruigrok, program assistant at the station.
Macauley worked with station Executive Director James T. Costa, his wife, Leslie Costa, and Max Lanning, botanical garden supervisor, to produce the book. It took more than a year to identify and add to a database the thousands of photographic slides in Sargent’s collection, Ruigrok said.
Established in 1962, the Highlands Botanical Garden is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The garden is a refuge for the diverse flora of the Southern Appalachian region, with nearly 500 species of native mosses, ferns, wildflowers, shrubs and trees located in natural forest, wetland and old-growth plant communities.
“This book is a must for the botanically curious and is also a great way to support the Highlands Biological Station and Foundation,” Ruigrok said. Copies of the book are available at the station for $25 and arrangements can be made to ship books to customers, she said. More information about purchasing the book is available by calling the station administrative office at 828-526-2602.
Admission to the Highlands Botanical Garden is free and it is open to the public year-round from sunrise to sunset. Free guided tours of the garden take place every Monday beginning at 10:30 a.m. from June through August. Interpretive guided tours for private groups also are available throughout the year.
Located in the Macon County town of Highlands, the Highlands Biological Station is a center of the University of North Carolina system and is administered by Western Carolina University.