Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Hikes for Tykes

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Hike for Tykes

On Saturday, Jule 11, Hike for Tykes explored the Barber Alabama Woodlands. Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion guided our tykes through the Barber Alabama Woodlands where we talked about flower colors, how seeds work and the Alabama state tree Pinus palustris (aka the longleaf pine).  Here the little ones investigated the oak-hickory-pine forest, looked under rocks and hunted for bugs.

We then explored the Japanese Gardens with Director of Education, Henry Hughes where we studied turtles and brightly colored koi fish in Long Life Lake, discovered a hidden Buddha statue within a bamboo grove and took turns ringing the Friendship Bell of Celebration.

Sunset Yoga at The Gardens

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Sunset Yoga at The Gardens

Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted Sunset Yoga at The Gardens on Wednesday, July 16. The weather was perfect and the crowd was, too, and The Gardens is hopeful that the event returns soon!

A Crash Course in Alabama Ecosystems

Monday, July 14th, 2014

A Crash Course in Alabama Ecosystems

[Guest blog post by Louise Agee Wrinkle Native Plant Intern Mitchell Vaughan]

Recently, I was part of a group who went on a field trip to the Bibb County Glades, located near Montevallo, Alabama. Described variously as “a botanical lost world” and “a botanical wonder,” as well as other similarly impressive titles, this site is not at all what comes to mind when I hear the word “glade.” I pictured something more like the Everglades, a big grassy wetland broken by the occasional tree hammock. The word glade, however, means an open area surrounded by trees. Much of the Bibb County Glades are comprised of rocky, arid, grass-and-wildflower-covered rocky outcrops. What makes these glades distinctly different is the type of rock of which they are composed, Ketona dolomite. 

Dolomite is a type of limestone and this particular type of it is unusually pure and contains large percentages of calcium and magnesium. Magnesium, in high concentrations, can be toxic to many species of plants; this is why the glades are populated by many unique species that have adapted to living in that particular type of limestone. They thrive here without competition from more typical species, which would normally populate the area. Growing on these glades are several rare species, including one third of all Alabama endemic plant species – and eight  species unknown to science before their discovery in the 1900s.

After trekking through some steep open terrain, we ventured into the adjacent woodlands where it was noticeably cooler. We hiked along a stretch of the Little Cahaba River and then deeper still into a forested area along a small stream. Here, it became more like walking through a temperate rainforest with lush green vegetation spreading prolifically in every direction. Following the stream, we eventually came to a spot with a particularly interesting botanical inhabitant, one that has yet to be named and described. Its temporary name is Trautvetteria sp. nov. (tassel-rue), and will be definitively named by whomever first describes it botanically. 

Finally, we packed up and drove to a nature preserve along the Cahaba River, where we hoped to see Hymenocallis coronaria  (Cahaba lily) flowering. And flowering they were! It’s a spectacular sight to see an expanse of showy white flowers bobbing daintily over the river waters in which it grows. Visiting these sites makes it clearly evident why they are described as some of Alabama’s natural wonders. 

From sunny glades to shaded woodlands, it was quite a day. Exploring several of Alabama’s ecosystems in rapid succession can offer a newfound appreciation for our state’s biodiversity and unique natural character. 

 

Lunch and Learn: A Change of Scenery

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Lunch and Learn: A Change of Scenery

On Wednesday, July 9, Daniel and Andrew McCurry led “A Change of Scenery,” a Lunch and Learn event which showed participants how to make their landscape fit their current lifestyle, physical needs and desires. A new Lunch and Learn series will begin on July 23 with “GrandScapes: Playful Gardening” led by Vasha Rosenblum. Sallie Lee leads “The Buzz on Pollinators” on August 6, while James Horton leads “Porous, Permeable and Pervious” on August 13.

All Lunch and Learn sessions take place from 11:30 – 12:30 p.m., and they’re all FREE! Bring your lunch and we’ll provide the drinks and desserts! Make plans to join our next series!

2014 Member Day Trip

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

2014 Member Day Trip

On Friday, June 20, Members at Birmingham Botanical Gardens took their annual day trip. This year’s trip was to Hills and Dales Estate in LaGrange, Ga. The group enjoyed a private tour of the garden and house and lunch by the pool.

The centerpiece of the Hill & Dales Estate is a beautiful Georgian-Italian villa, designed by architects Hal Hentz & Neel Reid for textile magnate Fuller E. Callaway, Sr. Completed in 1916. The home complements the formal boxwood gardens planted earlier in the mid 19th century by Sarah Ferrell.

The property has been lovingly preserved by two generations of the Callaway family and is now open for public visitation. Guests can explore educational exhibits and experience an engaging film that tells the story of the estate.

More information on Hills & Dales Estate is located at: http://www.hillsanddales.org.

Get Into The Gardens: Simple Watering Strategies

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Get Into The Gardens: Simple Watering Strategies

Su Reid-St. John  and daughter Zoe continued their weekend series on container gardening.  Last Saturday’s focus was on simple watering strategies to keep your container plants looking vibrant through the up coming dog days of summer. Su demonstrated the effective uses of having a drip irrigation system.

Container plants are like family pets: the more attention you give them, the better they behave. But it’s not always easy to give plants the care they need, particularly when hot or dry weather means daily watering.
A simple, automated drip-irrigation system, which applies water slowly and directly to roots, frees you from hand-watering and helps eliminate harmful fluctuations in soil moisture. Plants respond by growing full and lush. And you’ll never have to drag around another hose. For more information on using an automated drip-irrigation system check out http://bonnieplants.com/library/drought-busting-techniques/.

Earth Day at The Gardens 2014

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Earth Day at The Gardens 2014

Community Garden Coalition for Birmingham and Birmingham Botanical Gardens again partnered to bring Alabama’s longest-running Earth Day celebration to Alabama’s largest living museum on April 26. Several vendors and exhibits were on display in the Formal Garden in front of the newly renovated Conservatory.

 

Salsa de Mayo returns to The Gardens

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Salsa de Mayo returns to The Gardens

Salsa de Mayo returned on May 1, as Chef Lori Sours demonstrated recipes for her Salsa Senorita line of salsa to Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Lunch and Learn: Eat Your Yard

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Lunch and Learn: Eat Your Yard

The free Lunch and Learn series continued on Wednesday, as William Randle led participants in “Eat Your Yard,” a look at how to incorporate fruits, vegetables and herbs into existing landscapes. The series will continue on April 9 as Cameron Strouss leads “Medicinal Gardening.” Each Lunch and Learn takes place from 11:30 – 12:30 p.m. at The Gardens, and participants are encouraged to bring a lunch to enjoy while the lecture is ongoing. Desserts and drinks are provided, and each session is free.

Lunch and Learn: Trees and Shrubs

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Lunch and Learn: Trees and Shrubs

The free Lunch and Learn series returned on March 26, as Mike Rushing led participants in “Trees and Shrubs,” a look at how planting in the right place at the right time makes all the difference. The series will continue on April 9 as Cameron Strouss leads “Medicinal Gardening.” Each Lunch and Learn takes place from 11:30 – 12:30 p.m. at The Gardens, and participants are encouraged to bring a lunch to enjoy while the lecture is ongoing. Desserts and drinks are provided, and each session is free.