Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

The Art of David Price

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The Art of David Price

President of the Bok Tower Gardens Foundation David Price comes to Birmingham Botanical Gardens for the annual Spencer Lecture on Thursday, March 6. He recently spoke to The Gardens at AL.com about his plant preservation work and his time at the Olmsted designed National Historic Landmark in Lake Wales, Florida. Price also shared some of this art work, here, for The Gardens Blog.

To learn more about the annual free lecture and to reserve a seat online, visit www.bbgardens.org/spencerlecture.

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

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as part of a community-wide day of service, a volunteer workday was held at The Gardens on January 20. Participants engaged in a variety of tasks in a couple areas of The Gardens. Over 55 volunteers, adults and teens, came out from organizations like BBVA Compass, Youth Serve of Birmingham and Hands on Birmingham.

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

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.

Parker High School students take part in work training program at The Gardens

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Parker High School students take part in work training program at The Gardens

These three young men are from Parker High School, and participate in the Birmingham City Schools Community-Based Work Training Program. On Tuesday, they planted cool season greens in straw bales as part of a interpretive gardening exhibit outside The Library at The Gardens. Each week they will work on various gardening task to learn more about public gardens, landscaping and horiticulture as a possible career choice.

Community Garden Coalition presents Birmingham Bike Tour

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Community Garden Coalition presents Birmingham Bike Tour

by Gail Harper Yeilding, Community Garden Coalition for Birmingham

On October 26, the Community Garden Coalition in partnership with Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Alabama Bike Coalition collaborated to celebrate National Food Day by a bike tour of Birmingham’s Community Gardens. 

Armed with dahlia decorated helmets and bikes, CGC members made their way through the streets of Birmingham.  Starting and ending at Freshfully, the tour included MPower Community Garden, South Avondale Community Garden, Jones Valley Teaching Garden, Norwood Orchard and Norwood Teaching Gardens.  At each stop, a representative farmer from each garden gave a tour and various treats including: dahlias, cider, basil and Lenell’s now famous rosemary bourbon cider. 

With a crisp, Fall morning, it was the perfect way to see just some of the many community gardens popping up in Birmingham. 

Many thanks to all who participated as well as each community garden that contributed a little something from their garden.

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.

Native plant preview hosted on Wednesday

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Executive Director Fred Spicer and Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion lead native plant preview

On Wednesday, Executive Director Fred Spicer and Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator John Manion led plant enthusiasts on a native plant preview through the lath houses at The Gardens. Fall Plant Sale customers were treated to an opportunity to see many of the things that will be available for purchase at this weekend’s sale.

Fall Plant Sale is the second largest plant sale of the year at The Gardens. This Saturday and Sunday, Blount Plaza will host an array of natives, annuals, perrienials, vegetables, trees, shrubs, herbs, irises, daylilies, ferns, camellias and more. Saturday, the sale will open to the public from 9 – 5 p.m. and on Sunday, from noon – 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Proceeds from plant sales at The Gardens benefit its educational programs including the flagship, Discovery Field Trips. Over the last decade, Discovery Field Trips has provided a free, curriculum-based science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham schoolchildren.

For more information about Fall Plant Sale, including a partial list of inventory available, visit www.bbgardens.org/fallplantsale.