Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Southern Summer Chefs

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Children’s Summer Camps: Southern Summer Chefs

Southern Summer Chefs at The Gardens, part of our Children’s Summer Camps, planted chives, mint, parsley and rosemary, to name a few, in kitchen gardens to take home so they can continue to enjoy cooking using fresh ingredients as they have discovered at The Gardens!

Garden docents learn about plant families and taxonomy

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Garden docents learn about plant families and taxonomy

On Tuesday morning, garden docents participated in a presentation on plant families and taxonomy. Gardens of study were Dunn Formal Rose, McReynolds and Southern Living Gardens. Melanie Johns, Birmingham Botanical Gardens plant taxonomist, enlightened our docents about some of the changes in taxonomy regarding some species found in The Gardens.

Gardeners, horticulturists and plant nurseries are mainly affected by taxonomic name changes which occur as a result of advances in botanical knowledge leading to a reclassification of plants. The great majority of cases happen when a plant is transferred from one higher taxon to another, e.g. a species to another genus, due to the reassessment of its position in a particular classification.

The only thing consistent in the plant world is change. Today the majority of botanists and taxonomists are working towards an objectively argued classification system. Many existing classification schemes are somewhat artificial because they reflect the viewpoints of individual taxonomists, rather than attempting to show the patterns in the way plants actually have evloved or how they are related to one another.

The adoption of such an improved system would benefit not only the plant breeder, but also all those looking for plant products and sources of beneficial characteristics, which may be found in closely related species. Name changes will therefore be inevitable as taxonomist move in this direct. A consensus of views should be encourage in order to find which names would be most widely accepted by the botanical community.

American Garden Award voting continues

Friday, June 21st, 2013

American Garden Award voting is ongoing at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is one of thirty-one prestigious public gardens participating in the nation’s only flower popularity contest. The American Garden Award is a unique opportunity for the public to view, choose and vote on a specific flower that they think has the most appealing garden characteristics. Each of the four “contestants” listed below is now planted in our garden and voting began on June 1.

There are three ways to vote: 
1) By texting a given code to a polling number
2) By clicking the voting button above
3) By using postage-paid voting postcards located at the garden

The four entries are: 
Impatiens SunPatiens® Compact Electric Orange
Petunia Surfinia® Summer Double™ Pink
Verbena Lanai® Candy Cane
Zinnia Zahara™ Cherry

Voting remains open until August 31 and winners are announced in September. In the meantime, these flowers, as well as some of the past American Garden Award winners are available at your garden center. Ask for them by name! The 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 winners can be viewed at www.americangardenaward.com

Follow American Garden Award on Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the voting results! 
www.facebook.com/americangardenaward or @AmerGardenAward

The American Garden Award program is administered by the All-America Selections® Display Garden program. AGA entries have not been trialed nor awarded a winner status by the AAS® Trial Judges.

For further details about the award itself, please contact:
Diane Blazek
American Garden Award
dblazek@aas-ngb.org

Get Into The Gardens!

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Get Into The Gardens!

Get Into The Gardens, The Gardens FREE weekend programming series, returned this weekend with two demonstrations. The first was led by Deanna Cummings and Leigh Ann Hargrove from the Community Garden Coaltion. They taught how to grow food in a small space using the square foot garden method; how to grow 100% of the harvest in 20% of the space in ideal soil conditions with no tilling and significantly reduced water and weeding requirements.

The second was Easy Container Gardening: Simple Watering Strategies. More weekend programming will be announced soon and can be found at www.bbgardens.org/weekends.

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.  

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.”

W.J. Christian School visits The Gardens

Friday, April 19th, 2013

W.J. Christian School visits the Bruno Vegetable Garden

Students from W.J. Christian School visited The Gardens recently, focusing on themes like family, determination and love. The students recently read Flutter by Erin Moulton, the story of three sisters and their effort to save their fourth after she is born.

Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele led these students on an educational walk through The Gardens.