Posts Tagged ‘Antiques at The Gardens’

Meet the Tastemakers: Judy Hill & Barbara Ashford – Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Meet the Tastemakers: Judy Hill and Barbara Ashford – Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Located in charming English Village for over fifteen years, Ashford Hill for Henhouse Antiques offers beautiful, unique pieces personally selected by owners Barbara Ashford and Judy Hill. Barbara and Judy travel to Europe several times a year in search of these special pieces. From the traditional to the unexpected, their collection is a fresh approach to decorating. They enjoy mixing English with French, 18th century with 21st century, and primitive with formal. You will find English and Swedish chests, French farm tables, crystal chandaliers, commodes and a wonderful mixture of style. Accessories range from English and French ironstone to a fantastic selection of art. They have a wonderful collection of silver, celery stands, tea candles and dresser bottles. The look is constantly changing and evolving.

When you walk into Henhouse Antiques, you are entering an inviting space that feels lik the home of a well traveled sophisticate. Their customers constantly remark, “I want to live here.”

Mirrors add a sense of light and space making a room appear larger and brighter. Their reflections create that sparkle just like a fine piece of jewelry on a beautiful woman.

Ashford Hill for Henhouse Antiques carries an extensive, unique collection. From radiant sunbursts to elegant Louis Philippe, from gilded Italian to beach house chic, they have mirrors for most discerning tastes.

Every room needs a mirror and Judy Hill and Barbara Ashford have a mirror for every room.

Meet the Tastemakers: Ware Porter – Behind the Privet Hedge

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Meet the Tastemakers: Ware Porter

Ware M. Porter’s design aesthetic reflects how we live our lives today. On the forefront of New Traditional design, Ware’s projects have engaged him from the Gulf Coast of Alabama to the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Carefully curated, his laid back and well-lived style is grounded in classical proportions with modern sensibilities.

Learn more about Ware Porter by visiting

For more information about Antiques at The Gardens, featuring 12 national and local Tastemakers visit There, you can purchase tickets to the show, the lecture and luncheon with Alex Hitz and Gala in The Gardens.

Meet the Tastemakers: Tammy Connor – Let There Be Light

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Meet the Tastemakers: Tammy Connor

“Let There Be Light” is a curated selection of home accessories that focuses on lighting. With pieces collected from local and international shopping trips, Tammy combines the old with the new for a timeless look. One-of-a-kind lamps, custom lampshades, sconces, lanterns and pendants, along with custom, in-house designed iron fixtures act as the centerpieces of the space. Tammy adds a touch of refinement by incorporating designer textiles and antique furniture.

Tammy Connor has built her reputation on creating timeless classic interiors infused with a casual Southern elegance. Her attention to detail along with her relaxed approach to formal spaces results in interiors that are sophisticated yet inviting. Seamlessly integrating anqitues, contemporary pieces, personal collections of clients and fabrics of varying textures with subtle yet studied color palette are trademarks of Tammy’s interiors.

She is the principal of Tammy Connor Interior Design, which she founded in Charleston, South Carolina. Her firm has completed comprehensive residential projects throughout the eastern United States ranging from town, country, mountain and beach houses. Her hospitality projects have also included private clubhouses.

Tammy’s work has received both local and national recognition. Most recently, she was awarded the Phillip Trammell Shutze Award for Interior Design by the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art, the Bloggers’ Choice “Ones to Watch” award by ElleDecor and was named one of Traditional Home’s 2012 New Trad Designers. In addition, Tammy has been featured in numerous magazines including Renovation Style, Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Birmingham Home & Garden and Traditional Home’s online magazine TRADhome.

Tammy is continually inspired by her travels both personally and professionally. While the location and style of the firm’s work is diverse, respect for the architecture and setting of a project is at the heart of Tammy’s interiors. She is consistently dedicated to enhancing the lifestyle of her clients, and she firmly believes that the best interiors are the ones that beckong you to have a seat and stay a while.

Prior to founding Tammy Connor Interior Design, Tammy received degrees in studio art and art history from Wake Forest University, and a degree in Interior Design from The American College of Applied Art. Tammy is a professional member of ASID and a NCIDQ accredited designer.

For more information about Antiques at The Gardens, featuring 12 national and local Tastemakers visit There, you can purchase tickets to the show, the lecture and luncheon with Alex Hitz and Gala in The Gardens.

Meet the Tastemakers: Wendy Barze & Marjorie Johnston – The Rainbow Room

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Meet the Tastemakers: Wendy Barze & Marjorie Johnston

Majorie Johnston & Co. is a design collaboration of mother/daughter team Marjorie Johnston and Wendy Barze. Located behind their small storeface JoJo Home in Mountain Brook Village, Marjorie and Wendy offer a variety of services including renovation and construction consultation, decorating and interior design, space and furniture planning and entertaining and styling. The aesthetic philosophy Marjorie Johnston & Co. uses incorporates fine antiques, modern twists, lush fabrics and affordable details. “What a fun and interesting business this has been! With over 25 years combined experience, we continue to see our clients’ homes get more and more beautiful and reflective of their personal style,” Marjorie says. Their hard work has been featured in Interiors of the Southeast, Alabama Magazine, Pinnacle Living, Birmingham Home and Garden, Thicket magazine, Birmingham magazine, Birmingham News and Decorating Magazine. Marjorie Johnston & Co.’s work also has been showcased at the Birmingham Decorator’s Show House and Cashiers Designer Show House.

New York’s iconic Rainbow Room & Grill was always a place to gather friends together for cocktails and a sunset view or for late-night dancing on its revolving dance floor. “Our booth aims to capture the Rainbow Room’s air of laughter, fellowship and overall joie de vivre so we can bring it into our own homes. Our vignette focuses on the trend of using strong and vibrant colors throughout interiors to create memorable spaces that come alive.”

Whether it’s a chartreuse lamp or a magenta-embroidered pillow, color can add a “POP” to every room in our homes. Marjorie & Wendy have traveled all over during the past year collectiong wonderful pieces for their booth like artist Tommy Mitchell’s toleware flowers and French artist Phillipe Balayn’s irreverent tin sculptures. Our palette is limited by the hues of the rainbow!

For more information about Antiques at The Gardens, featuring 12 national and local Tastemakers visit There, you can purchase tickets to the show, the lecture and luncheon with Alex Hitz and Gala in The Gardens.

Meet the Tastemakers: Bill Ingram – Weekend Getaway

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Meet the Tastemakers: Bill Ingram

A native of Alabama, Bill Ingram is a fellow Southerner and graduate of Auburn University. Ingram’s homes always ooze charm, seemingly executed with ease and grace and not the least bit forced. The houses he designs are a testament to timeless architectural lines and quality materials that marry beautifully to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Bill Ingram runs a private firm that designs houses throughout the Southeast and around the country. His work has been featured in Veranda, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Southern Accents, Cottage Living, Birmingham Home & Garden, Traditional Home, Coastal Living and many more.

The architectural style is simple and warm with an English spirit. There is an old-world charm and timeless air about his homes. In the construction of the designs you will always find earthly textures and natural materials.

For more information about Antiques at The Gardens, featuring 12 national and local Tastemakers visit There, you can purchase tickets to the show, the lecture and luncheon with Alex Hitz and Gala in The Gardens.

Alex Hitz Brings His Beverly Hills Kitchen to The Gardens

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Alex Hitz Brings His Beverly Hills Kitchen to The Gardens

The Gardens is eager to welcome renowned chef and author Alex Hitz to the Red Diamond Lecture Series, a part of Antiques at The Gardens. Hitz will speak about his book, My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist.” Alex will take part in an exclusive luncheon following the lecture. To purchase tickets to the lecture and the luncheon, visit

A son of the South, 43-year-old chef Alex Hitz now calls Los Angeles home. Raised in a self-described artistic home, his stepfather was a world-famous Symphonic and Choral conductor. As a child, he regularly broke bread with the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copeland, Leontyne Price, Coretta Scott King, and Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter. After college, he studied at what was then the most famous culinary school in the world, Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Now stateside, he has combined those French methods with the traditional Southern cooking on which he was raised and created a unique line, The Beverly Hills Kitchen, available exclusively through the Home Shopping Network and at his website, The book and the line are creations born of Hitz regularly entertaining famous celebrities, heads of state, corporate titans and society page notables. 

In a telephone conversation, Alex shared his inspiration, concepts to entertain and what to expect from his October cookbook release, “My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist.”

Blake Ells for Birmingham Botanical Gardens: Who inspires you? 

Alex Hitz: My number one food hero is Julia Child. Julia Child is revolutionary because she changed America. I still never get tired of reading her books. But there are a lot of other people today. I think Daniel and Jean-Georges are amazing. James Beard. M.F.K. Fisher. I’ve also gotten a lot of inspiration from my friends along the way. 

I’m a big fan of Frank Stitt. I absolutely can’t wait to meet him when I arrive in Birmingham. I love his books. Stitt is probably a little more Southern than I am. I can’t overstate that he’s a genius. Julia, I knew. Frank, I look forward to knowing. 

When I attended Le Cordon Bleu, the first thing you learn is to scramble eggs. And it’s totally different. They’re cooked in a tall sauce pan instead of a skillet. It’s almost custard. They steam into this curdled pile of deliciousness. 

What I did when I came here was use a mix of French techniques and Southern traditions. What’s better than that? 

BBG: When you say that, as a pedestrian Southerner, I immediately think Cajun. 

AH: Not at all. And I know why you say that, but it’s different. Cajun cooking uses a bunch of seasonings that I don’t. For my food, a lot of inspiration is found in Charleston and New Orleans – plantation cuisine, I call it. I combine that with the same standards the French kitchen uses.

BBG: What’s your best dish? 

AH: Well, I think they’re ALL my best dish (laughs). To properly answer, I’d have to ask the occasion. But my heirloom tomato pie is pretty dang good. 

BBG: I don’t have a big budget or a lot of time, but I’m hosting 10 people on Saturday. What is the best way to maximize my budget and serve to impress? 

AH: We’re going to assume you have no help. 

BBG: Just me. 

AH: What time of year is it? 

BBG: We’re in the South. Let’s say I’m entertaining people on a Fall Saturday and we’re watching college football. 

AH: How about a chicken pot pie, a salad and some brownies to be passed around? 

BBG: What makes a great chicken pot pie? 

AH: Several things: white wine, tarragon, heavy cream and, last but not least, the richest, savory biscuit crust. My chicken pot pie is a small bit of trouble, but worth every effort. And it can be done as much as six months ahead of time and popped into the freezer for when you’re ready. 

BBG: And what should I pair with it? 

AH: A full body white or medium body red. Or a simple California chardonnay would be great in the Fall. A burgundy. Some people love to say pinot noir. I say burgundy. 

BBG: What is your favorite place to dine in Birmingham? 

AH: It’s going to be one of the Stitt places, but I haven’t been to Birmingham since 1985, and I don’t believe those restaurants were there. I can not wait to see what he’s up to. 

BBG: What can we expect from the Beverly Hills Kitchen line? 

AH: What it is – is an inspirational lifestyle brand centered around food and wine. It’s luxury, gourmet frozen food that you could never tell was in a freezer. 

BBG: What can we expect from the book coming in October? 

AH: It’s going to be the bible of a new way of life. There is a proliferation of food now, but no one seems to be able to tell you what to do with it when it’s cooked. Luxury is enjoying every minute of your life – what better way to do it than with good food and good wine? There’s nothing you do as often. 

“My Beverly Hills Kitchen: Classic Southern Cooking with a French Twist” offers a European sensibility to America, in that it’s all about the way of life – the art of life – and appreciating every single minute.

2011 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Monday, December 12th, 2011

(L to R: Barbara Burton, Frances Blount, Shannon Blount)

2012 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

On Thursday, December 8, Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciaton Luncheon, recognizing some of its most gracious individuals that have given time to The Gardens in the last year that has allowed prosperity. A crowd of nearly 150 gathered in the Ruth B. Strange Auditorium for a potluck luncheon. Entertainment was provided by The Crestwood Trio, featuring Melanie Rodgers, Chris Griffin and Niamh Clarke. Director of Education Henry Hughes presented Kathy Rostand with the Educator of the Year award. Special Events Coordinator Shelly McCarty presented Carol Beard with the Plantsperson of the Year award. Executive Director Fred Spicer presented the Herb Army with the Volunteer Partner of the Year award. Director of Library Services Hope Long presented Virginia McLean with the A. Brand Walton, Jr. Volunteer of the Year award, and Director of Development Olivia Alison presented Frances Blount with the Ida C. Burns Volunteer of the Year award. Blount served The Gardens as honorary chair for Antiques at The Gardens in 2011, raising over $390,000 to fund educational programs like Discovery Field Trips, the flagship program that has served over 85,000 students in the metro Birmingham area at no cost.

Educator of the Year: Kathy Rostand

Plantsperson of the Year: Carol Beard

Volunteer Partner of the Year: The Herb Army (L to R: Marian Van Voast, Donna Taylor, Chris Boles, Joyce Dean, Maria Kearny, Donna Musgrave, Ann Garrett, Mimi Boston, Robin George, Winyss Shepard, Suzanne Hovater)

A. Brand Walton, Jr. Volunteer of the Year: Virginia McLean

Joseph M. Hayes Antiques

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

Joseph M. Hayes Antiques comes to Antiques at The Gardens from Grandview, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. Hayes specializes in fine 18th and 19-th century English and continental furnishings and accessories. Their collection is on our second floor, which can be accessed near The Gardens Cafe. Come visit Joseph M. Hayes Antiques and our dozens of other exhibitors this weekend!

Below are photos from the Joseph M. Hayes Antiques collection for sale at Antiques at The Gardens.

PHOTOS: Charlotte Moss Book Signing

Friday, October 7th, 2011

(Pictured, Top L to R: Show Ambassador – Richard Keith Langham, Co-Chair – Barbara Burton, Committee Members Molly Clark and Cameron Crowe. Bottom L to R: Co-Chair – Elizabeth Broughton, Charlotte Moss, Honorary Chair – Frances Blount)

Following her lecture at the Linn Henley Lecture Hall and book signing outside of Leaf & Petal, Charlotte Moss had lunch at The Garden Cafe by Kathy G., and took time to pose for the above photgraph with Antiques at The Gardens committee members.

Below are more photos from the book signing:

PHOTOS: Sterne Agee First Look Party

Friday, October 7th, 2011

The Sterne Agee First Look Party launched Birmingham Botanical Gardens sixth annual Antiques at The Gardens on Thursday, October 6. Hundreds of garden and antiques enthusiasts gathered for the black-tie affair catered by Kathy G.’s Asian-inspired menu featuring a stir-fry chef, a sushi menu and more. Board President, Henry B. Ray, Jr., toasted the event’s honorary chair, Frances Dean Blount, for her remarkable contributions to The Gardens. Attendees had an opportunity to purchase from dozens of antiques dealers which have taken over The Gardens until Sunday.