Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.

“Freedom Oaks” planting at Red Mountain Park

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

[Red Mountain Park Commission Chair Stephen A. Jones, Birmingham Botanical Gardens Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer, former NFL player and Pro Start Academy founder Gary Burley, Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell, Red Mountain Park Executive Director David Dionne]

“Freedom Oaks” planting at Red Mountain Park

On Saturday, March 22, Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer joined Red Mountain Park Commission Chair Stephen A. Jones, former NFL player and Pro Start Academy founder Gary Burley, Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell and Red Mountain Park Executive Director David Dionne at Red Mountain Park for a tree planting. In honor of The Gardens 50th anniversary celebration, The Gardens donated 50 “Freedom Oaks” for the project, which has been ongoing in Birmingham since 2009. To learn more about the project, check out a recent post at AL.com.

2014 Cherry Blossom Festival

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

2014 Cherry Blossom Festival

On Saturday, March 22, visitors to The Gardens enjoyed the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, presented by Japan-America Society of Alabama in the Japanese Gardens. The event began with a presentation by the Briarwood Church Japanese Children’s Group and continued throughout the afternoon with the announcement of a haiku contest winner from Birmingham Public Library and martial arts demonstrations. To learn more about Japan-America Society of Alabama, visit them on the web at www.jasaweb.org.

Plants: Inside Out! Docent Training

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Plants: Inside Out! Docent Training

On Thursday, Discovery Field Trips welcomed docents for Plants: Inside Out! its new middle school program. Thirteen volunteers participated, five of which were part of a partnership with UAB professor Dr. Julie Price, a member at Birmingham Botanical Gardens and a past Junior Board president. Dr. Price is teaching a semester long environmental science class, and part of their course requirement is to volunteer 20 hours with a local environmental organization. 

This Thursday, four of these volunteers will have their first outing with Arlington School of Birmingham.

David Price headlines 2014 Spencer Lecture

Friday, March 7th, 2014

(David Price, Murray Spencer South, Nancy Spencer Smith, Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer)

David Price headlines 2014 Spencer Lecture

The 2014 Spencer Lecture was held in the Linn-Henley Lecture Hall at Birmingham Botanical Gardens on March 6. President of the Bok Tower Gardens Foundation David Price spoke at 6:30 p.m. about his role and his work, “Bok Tower Gardens: America’s Taj Majal.”

Trillium Treasures

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Pictured: Trillium flexipes

Trilliums normally take from five to eight years to flower when propagated from seed, thus few nurseries carry them and, when they are sold, are frequently prohibitively expensive. If you ever find flowering-size trilliums that are not pricey, question if they were dug from the wild, something we strongly discourage.

Two years ago we had the rare opportunity to connect with a person who has been growing trilliums from seed for 20 years and does not sell them until they are at, or near, flowering size. Most of the species are sold in special tube pots that are nearly a gallon and the plants, when leafed out, are about a foot tall and eight to ten inches wide.

We will be selling a limited number of these plants at our Spring Plant Sale but, much like we did two years ago, we’ve decided to take pre-orders so that more people will be able to grow this iconic spring wildflower. This year we are able to offer eight species, all of which are native to Alabama:

  • Trillium cuneatum, sweet Betsy, purple toadshade
  • Trillium luteum, yellow wake-robin, lemon trillium
  • Trillium sulcatum, southern red trillium, furrowed wake-robin
  • Trillium flexipes, nodding trillium, bent trillium
  • Trillium vasyei, sweet wake-robin, trinity flower
  • Trillium erectum, red trillium, purple trillium
  • Trillium grandiflorum, great white trillium, white wake-robin
  • Trillium simile, jeweled wake-robin, sweet white trillium

 

To see images of each of these species, simply Google them.

The prices for these treasures differ depending on the species, and for a preorder we need a minimum order of five plants. If you prefer to purchase single plants, we will have them at the Spring Plant Sale, while they last. Included with each order will be complete planting and cultural information. The last time we conducted this pre-order, some individuals who didn’t want to pay the cost for five plants, teamed up with a friend to split an order.

If interested in placing an order, please go to this page, print it out, fill in the appropriate spaces and return it to Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens by mail or in person We must have your order in hand by no later than Wednesday, March 26, along with your payment (no cash, please).

Plants will be available for pickup beginning Friday, April 2. Should our source run low on any species, we will fill orders in the order they are received.

Note: A well-known, popular specialty nursery is selling these same plants for $22-$30 each, plus shipping cost!

Questions? Please contact: John Manion, Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator at jmanion@bbgardens.org

Conservatory set to reopen on February 24

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Conservatory at Birmingham Botanical Gardens reopens to the public on February 24

The Gardens is eager to welcome visitors back to the Conservatory, a 50-year-old Birmingham icon which hasn’t been open to the public since April of 2011. A $1.3 million renovation project has given the attraction and classroom new life, and everyone will have an opportunity to enjoy the improvements on Monday, February 24.

Take a little sneak peak!

2014 Annual Member Celebration

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

[Dr. John Floyd, Birmingham District 2 Councilor Kim Rafferty, Birmingham Botanical Gardens Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer]

2014 Annual Member Celebration

On Thursday, January 23, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens held its Annual Member Celebration at the Garden Center. Continuing its year-long, 50th anniversary celebration, The Gardens hosted an evening themed as “Looking Back, Growing Forward,” in which it reflected on its rich history and teased a bright future with Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer.

[Kara Scholl, Shelly Lindstrom, Kristen Murphree]

[Chris Boles (Board Member), Dona Musgrave, Mimi Boston]

[William A. Lalor, Mindy Lalor, Zhaleh McCullers]

[Ed Meadows, Janie Meadows, Andrew J. Noble, Tricia Noble (Past President)]

[Mary Boehm (Board Member), Courtney Pigford, Jay Pigford, Christopher Boehm]

[Charles W. Daniel, Lyndra Daniel]

[Elizabeth Broughton (Board Member), Emily Bowron (Board Member), Leah Hazzard]

2013 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Friday, December 6th, 2013

2013 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

On Thursday, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens launched a yearlong celebration of its 50th Anniversary at its annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. Honored at the luncheon were (L to R):

A. Brand Walton, Jr. Unsung Hero Volunteer of the Year: Natalie Lee

Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year: Mike Rushing

Plantspeople of the Year: Alicia and Ken Hall

Educator of the Year: Carol Hagood

Our Volunteer Partner of the Year was awarded to the Native Plant Group, pictured below (L to R): Ann Katholi, Janice Williams, Sally Price, Peggy Thompson, Mary Phillips, Gail Snyder, Jan Holliday, Linda Nolan and Anne Parrish.

Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer, Former Mayor Bernard Kincaid, Councilor Kim Rafferty, Administrative Assistant to the Mayor Charles Long and former Gardens Director Gary Gerlach

Mary Alice and Bill Thurman

Linda and Archie Blackmon

Verna Gates and Carol Ogle

Peggy Thompson and Mary Phillips

Amanda Clark and Margaret Bish

Membership Assistant Rona Walters, Education Activities Specialist Dawn Coleman, Education Coordinator Ellen Hardy

Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion and Mike Rushing

Conservatory cake created by Pastry Arts

Entertainment provided by Sue Nuckols

Discovery Field Trips launches first program for middle school students

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Discovery Field Trips launches first program for middle school students

In November, Birmingham Botanical Gardens welcomed Highlands School sixth graders and students from Bessemer’s gifted program to become the first middle schools to participate in the first Discovery Field Trip designed for middle school students. Over the last decade, Discovery Field Trips have offered free, science-based programming for almost 100,000 kindergarten-sixth grade students. 

Plants: Inside Out paves a pathway for students to discover photosynthesis through three hands-on science labs. Labs include making slides from leaves to view stomata with field microscopes, using technology to measure carbon dioxide, and discovering why leaves change color. Post field trip, they can use their new discoveries to design their own ideas for renewable energy, similar to scientists in the real world. 

A student from Highlands said, “Out of all my experiences, I’ve learned the most in this field trip. I really had a great time.” Highlands Science Teacher Sam Kindervater said, “Great intro or wrap-up for a plant unit.” The “hands-on components and outside activities” were what they enjoyed most. Bessemer Gifted Teacher Daphne Shade stated, “The labs were very informational and interesting. The students really enjoyed the experience.” 

Plants: Inside Out will get into full swing this spring. Docents are needed, and teachers are invited to begin signing up their classes now free of transportation costs. For more information on scheduling your class for a field trip, contact Education Coordinator Ellen Hardy at 205.414.3953 or ehardy@bbgardens.org. For more information on volunteering for the program, contact Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele at 205.414.3962 or tsteele@bbgardens.org.