Archive for the ‘News’ Category

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.

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens takes its first look at Conservatory renovations

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer leads Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Conservatory tour

As the Conservatory renovations near completion at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Executive Director & CEO Fred Spicer led staff members on their first tour of the Birmingham landmark since renovations began earlier this year. The interior looked much different on Friday than it did earlier in 2013, and we captured a few photos to share until it is opened to the public.

The Gardens plants trees in North Smithfield

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

The Gardens plants trees in North Smithfield

On Veteran’s Day, The Gardens continued longterm reforestation efforts across Birmingham with a tree planting in North Smithfield. These efforts have largely focuses on areas devastated by the storms of April 27, 2011.

North Smithfield is an often overlooked, storm-damaged area because it is an unincorporated neighborhood. Because they are unincorporated it’s been hard for them to recover. They came together to rebuild their fire station and and now maintain a volunteer station. They also rebuilt their neighborhood park so that the kids would have somewhere to play. The restored park, which is where the community holds a majority of its events, didn’t have shade trees. So the neighborhood along with The Storm Water Management department of Jefferson county, Hana Burwinkle, approached Birmingham Botanical Gardens to donate trees to help rebuild and shade the park. The neighborhood consists of mostly military veterans so the trees were planted on Veteran’s Day. The park and the main road next to it are in the process of being changed to reflect the veterans of the neighborhood.

The Gardens donated 60 trees for the park, 100 trees for homeowners to plant in their yards and 1 ceremonial tree that was placed near their welcome sign. It was a collaboration between the Storm Water Management Department, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, The Alabama Forestry Commission, The North Smithfield neighborhood committee, Veterans who live in North Smithfield and the volunteer firefighters.

Students from Arlingon School spend time in the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Students from Arlingon School spend time in the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Gardener Amanda Clark taught Arlington School students about high density planting or companion planting today. The students helped planting in the Bruno Vegetable Garden.