Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Japanese Consul General Kazuo Sunaga visits Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Japanese Consul General Kazuo Sunaga visits Birmingham Botanical Gardens

On Friday, June 14, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Japan America Society of Alabama welcomed Japanese Consul General Kazuo Sunaga to the Japanese Gardens at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Sunaga joined JASA board members including  volunteer at The Gardens, Bob Wendorf, and Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Director of Development Olivia Alison for a tour of The Gardens, notably, the Japanese Gardens. The visit was the first to Birmingham for Sunaga and his wife, who also visited the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in the historic Carver Theatre and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

While at The Gardens, the group also visited the Hulsey Woods and rang the Friendship Bell, donated by the Osaka Central Rotary Club of Japan as part of the club’s efforts to promote world peace, friendship, and understanding. The offer was made during the 100th anniversary of Rotary International in 2005, a year in which Shades Valley’s Glenn Estess served as international president of the organization.

Birmingham’s Butterfly Education and Awareness Day

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Birmingham’s Butterfly Education and Awareness Day

This past Saturday, Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted the inaugral Birmingham Butterfly Education and Awareness Day. Among the organizations participating in the event were the Birmingham Zoo, McWane Science Center, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve and native landscape expert Arnie Rutkis. Over 200 people enjoyed the day learning about butterfly species native to Alabama, native host plants that are essential to butterflies, and the release of over 40 native butterflies to Alabama.
 
The Gardens plans on this unique partnership becoming an annual event; we hope to see you next June!

Sara Askew Jones dedication held on Tuesday

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

[L to R: John Jones, Fred Spicer, Robert Martin, John Floyd]

Sara Askew Jones dedication held on Tuesday

On Tuesday, June 4, the recently completed Sara Askew Jones Arbor was dedicated at the entrance of the Hess Camellia Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Named for the longtime Healthy Living Editor at Southern Living, the arbor was installed by Robinson Iron Inc. and volunteer John Jones. It was made possible through a generous donation by the Jones family, friends and former co-workers at Southern Living, the Lucille S. Beeson Charitable Trust, Rebar Express and Ready Mix U.S.A. The arbor was also made possible with in-kind service from the City of Birmingham. It was designed by former Southern Living Architecture Editor Robert Martin. 

Martin, a 1992 graduate from Auburn University’s School of Architecture, began his career as a field architectural draftsman for the Historic American Engineering Record before becoming the Architecture Editor for Southern Living. Along with two other Southern Living alums, he created an online business, www.getmorecurbappeal.com, in 2010 where he serves as the Head Residential Designer. A native of Hartselle, Martin now resides in Birmingham.

New interns join The Gardens for the Summer of 2013

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

New interns join The Gardens for the Summer of 2013

Three new interns join The Gardens for the summer of 2013: Caroline Rowan, Ian Hazelhoff and Reid Pearlman. The group joined Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion on Tuesday for some work in The Gardens, and The Gardens Blog had its first opportunity for introductions.

Caroline Rowan (above) is entering her Junior year at Birmingham-Southern College and is a graduate of Mountain Brook High School. She is majoring in Biology with a minor in Urban Environmental Studies and Psychology. After graduation she plans on perusing a career in field biology. Caroline’s passion for nature and learning makes Birmingham Botanical Gardens a great environment for her summer internship. She credits The Gardens as one of the first places to spark her interest in the natural world. Caroline has grown up with The Gardens as a part of her life and is excited to now be working here. As she experiences life at The Gardens she hopes to uncover more of her interests and pursuits. Caroline will be focusing on the George Ward Park replanting project and will be evaluating the reforested area. She will also be exploring other aspects of the Gardens. Her internship is a 10-week program funded by Little Garden Club and Red Mountain Garden Club.

Ian Hazelhoff (above) is the 2013 Shades Valley Rotary Club intern at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. As a recent graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, he is eager to implement ideas in the landscape of Birmingham. A Birmingham native, he attended The Altamont School.  During his time at Sewanee,  he studied plant physiology, water policy, ecology and forestry. Forest dynamics and ecology training have led him to fascination with how natural systems interact with the urban landscape. He believes that effective landscape design and use brings the inherant value of the land to the forefront. He believes that sound environments and green space can increase economic value of their surroundings while providing ecosystem services for communities.  He hopes to be progressive in his approach to design in projects this summer.  
Reid Pearlman has been interested in plants since he was a child. He enjoys spending time outdoors, especially if he is fishing, hiking or botanizing. Reid will be entering his senior year at Vestavia Hills High School this fall. Reid plans to attend college and graduate school and work in the field of botany or medicine.  

The Conservatory renovation project continues

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The Conservatory renovation project continues

The Conservatory renovation project has begun to take shape, and last week we took some photos. Check them out!

Member’s Day Trip visits Coach Pat Dye’s Quail Hollow

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Member’s Day Trip visits Coach Pat Dye’s Quail Hollow

On Thursday, May 9, members of Birmingham Botanical Gardens took the annual Member’s Day Trip. This year, the group visited former Auburn coach Pat Dye’s Quail Hollow Gardens near Auburn. More than 5,000 Japanese maples sit on the property where Dye led members on a tour.

Mayor William A. Bell, Sr. plants Coretta Scott King rose at The Gardens

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Coretta Scott King rose planted at The Gardens by Mayor William A. Bell, Sr.

On Friday, Mayor William A. Bell, Sr. joined Dr. Michael Wesley, Sr. and Executive Director Fred Spicer in the Dunn Formal Rose Garden for a ceremonial planting of the Coretta Scott King rose. The rose is a new variety that was created by Weeks Roses in Wasco, California in honor of King and planted in honor of both Mother’s Day and as part of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement.

Students from Arlington School assist in the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Arlington School students assist gardeners in the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Students from the Arlington School of Birmingham assisted gardeners  Amanda Clark and Jason Parrish with prepping and planting the Spring vegetable garden in the Bruno Demonstration garden on Thursday, May 2. Arlington School has been instrumental, volunteering with The Gardens on many large planting projects including potting plants for Spring Plant Sale and the Centennial Tree Planting Project that focuses on reforestation of the urban canopy. Part of their volunteer experience with The Gardens is to combine their work with hands-on science activities that support their curriculum at school. 

PHOTOS: Earth Day at The Gardens

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Earth Day at The Gardens

Over 400 visited The Gardens on Saturday, April 27 for Alabama’s longest-running Earth Day celebration. Visitors were able to take advantage of hands-on children’s activities and learn of ways to live environmentally sound. Community gardening was a focus of this year’s event, which invited local vendors like the East Lake Farmers Market, Painted Shovel, Coop and Caboodle and The Backyard Pantry to offer ideas on recycling, raising chickens in an urban environment and building raised planting beds. John Scalici’s Juka Tribe offered an eclectic mix of world music sounds in the Garden Center, while the Get Into The Gardens demonstration series complemented the celebration with “Easy Container Gardening: Planting Peppers.”

Sara Askew Jones Arbor completed in Hess Camellia Garden

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Sara Askew Jones Arbor completed in Hess Camellia Garden

Over the weekend, Robinson Iron Inc. and John Jones completed the installation of a new arbor at the entrance of the Hess Camellia Garden. The Sara Askew Jones Arbor is named for the Healthy Living Editor of Southern Living magazine, a beloved friend of many people within and outside Southern Progress cooperation. She was a person with a warm heart, caring smile, helping hand and friend to all. She was a multiple time cancer survivor. As one of her former coworkers wrote, “It is an amazing tribute to a beautiful person.” Her family and any one that knew Sara would agree. 

The arbor was made possible through a generous donation from Ms. Jones’s family, friends and former coworkers at Southern Living, the Lucille S. Beeson charitable trust, Rebar Express and Ready Mix U.S.A. It was designed by former Southern Living Architecture Editor Robert Martin.