Posts Tagged ‘Glorious Gardens’

Lydia Pursell of Leaf & Petal Talks About Glorious Gardens

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Lydia Pursell of Leaf & Petal Talks Glorious Gardens

The 2012 edition of Glorious Gardens is presented by Leaf & Petal, a Birmingham collection of award-winning garden stores, including one home at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. I spoke to owner, buyer and style designer Lydia Pursell about the unique Magic City event coming June 2 – 3 and Leaf & Petal’s involvement.

Blake Ells for Birmingham Botanical Gardens: Why did Leaf & Petal decide to come on board?

Lydia Pursell: We understood there was a need. Fred and Olivia talked to us, and we know what Birmingham Botanical Gardens contributes to our society and our town. So we stepped in.

BE: Why do you think this is such a unique Birmingham event?

LP: Most if not all of the proceeds go to educational programs at The Gardens. I’ve been a docent for years, but until the first time I saw a school bus pulling up outside the shop was the first time I had a chance to fully understand the impact the programs have on dozens and dozens of precious, rowdy children. And all of our schools are underfunded now. And this garden is free for these children. It’s their garden. People take it for granted until they walk around with these kids for a couple of hours and see them light up.

My own daughter takes part in the summer programs and we know that it’s a wonderful thing.

BE: Have you visited any of the gardens on the tour?

LP: What I have noticed most is the range – high end gardens that are inspirational, not always achievable. Even if you can glean one thing from a garden like that, you can be inspired to do something new and interesting and urban and funky. You can find inspiration in each of these gardens. If you find one little thing that inspires you, that’s wonderful. And you can do that on this tour.

BE: Why is it important to support events like this at The Gardens?

LP: There aren’t many gardens left in this country that are still free. That number is dwindling rapidly. Anytime anyone can open up 67 acres to people that can’t afford to spend $10 or $12 on it, as they charge in other cities, it’s worth supporting. Those people may not have a green space of their own. This is their green space. It’s free. And I’m happy to be a part of it.

Leaf & Petal at The Gardens is open Monday – Saturday 9:30 – 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday 1 – 4 p.m. Visit their website for other locations in the Birmingham area and hours of operation.

Ginger and Charles Clark: Birmingham

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

4. Ginger and Charles Clark – 2825 Canterbury Road, Birmingham, AL

Designed and maintained by: Ro Holman (landscape designer, front garden hardscape) and Laurie Allen (softscape)

The Clark Garden is a seamless blend of the styles preferred by the homeowners. He prefers a more manicured look which is expressed in the stately terrace and elegant plantings in front. She prefers a more liberal approach, utilizing unusual plant materials with contrasting colors in the back gardens, where herbs and unusual vegetables cavort with espaliered fruits and shrub borders.

Jane R. and Neil Ross: Homewood

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

3. Jane R. and Neil Ross – 501 Kenilworth Drive, Homewood, AL

Designed by: Jane Reed Ross, Landscape Architect – Goodwyn Mills Cawood

Maintained by: “Hands-on” homeowner, with seasonal help from Earthworks Landscape (who also installed the stonework). 

Built in 1947, the Ross Cottage and its accompanying garden have continually evolved, but outdoor living space has always been immediately accessible to indoor rooms. Doors often stay comfortably open, inviting guests to move freely from the main rooms to the surprisingly-detailed courtyard garden nestled in the pedestrian-friendly community of Edgewood.

John and Catherine Close: Homewood

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

2. John and Catherine Close – 321 Greenwood Street, Homewood, AL

Designed and maintained by: David Brush

The Close Garden is tucked into a hillside behind the house, offering no clues to its existence from the front. Clean and simple lines are the hallmark of this private, compact, serene getaway designed in the manner of a stylized Italian villa. Espaliered pears, spire-like arborvitae and container accents frame the intimate swimming pool and sitting area.

Access to this garden is up a steep grassy slope. Please enter at your own risk.

Barbara Sauer and Brad White: Homewood

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

1. Barbara Saurer and Brad White – 316 Greenwood Street, Homewood, AL

Designed and maintained by: Barbara Saurer and Brad White

The Sauer/White Garden sits on a deceptively large lot in the Hollywood area of Homewood. With mature Japanese maples and other uncommon specimens, the front garden greets guests with a fish pond. Rough native stone repeats in a shaded stone patio. Take the side path past the outdoor shower to the back of the property, which contains an herb bed, large composting area, chicken yard and a variety of other garden spaces rich with plantings.