Posts Tagged ‘The Gardens’

Woodland in a Jar

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Woodland in a Jar

A great time was had by all during our Woodland in a Jar program at The Gardens on Saturday! Kaul Wildflower Curator John Manion and Plant Adventures Program Specialist Brooke McMinn were joined by nine enthusiastic children, along with three equally eager adults, for an autumn adventure in terrarium building.

John and Brooke began the program by talking with the group about the definition and importance of ecosystems and what makes Alabama’s ecosystems so special. The discussion also included a conversation about scale and how to select appropriate plants and objects for use in a terrarium. We then led the group on a walk through the Barber Alabama Woodlands garden to look at some of the plants we would be using for the terrariums and to collect some additional materials. Finally, we returned with the group to the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone where everyone carefully constructed their own unique terrarium ecosystem. Take a look some of the fabulous mini-versions of Alabama woodlands that participants took home!

Daxko Software Company at The Gardens

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Daxko Software Company at The Gardens

Twenty team members from Daxko Software Company spent last Friday at The Gardens as part of their semi-annual community impact day. The day was spent building a bog, mulching trails, and planting pansies. The cold weather merely amplified the team spirit and determination to complete the tasks!
Thank you Daxko for a job well done!

Girl Scout Dedication Troop 1017 Bridging and Award Ceremony

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Girl Scout Dedication Troop 1017 Bridging and Award Ceremony

On Saturday, November 1st, Girl Scout troop 1017 held a bridging and award ceremony in the Japanese Gardens at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.  A Girl Scout bridging ceremony celebrates the advancement of Girl Scouts from one level to the next. The beautiful red bridge over the coy pond was the perfect setting as Girl Scouts Emma, Georgia and Perry received Cadette awards, including the Silver Award pin, and then walked across the bridge to receive their bridge to Senior badge and their Senior awards.

A new addition to the troop, Alex, bridged from Junior to Cadette and was welcomed by her new Girl Scout sisters. Brownie Delilah awaited the girls on the other side where she gave them each the yellow rose of friendship before receiving her own Brownie awards.  The troop is comprised of some very accomplished girls who earned pins in community service, leadership and service to Girl Scouts. Over the summer, the three older girls earned their Silver Award by creating a pollinator habitat near Birmingham Botanical Gardens Apiary. The day’s ceremony concluded with a photo shoot of Emma, Georgia, and Perry in front of the pollinator habitat.

Smith Middle School visits The Gardens

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Smith Middle School visits The Gardens

On Wednesday, November 5, a group of 7th graders from Smith Middle School visited The Gardens to take place in the Plants: Inside Out! Discovery program, part of Discovery Field Trips. They were joined by the trustees of the James Milton and Sallie R. Johnson Foundation.

Pollinators are now a Teaching Priority!

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Pollinators are now a Teaching Priority!

Last Wednesday, The Gardens, along with Alabama Outdoor Classroom Project hosted 30 teachers for a full-day workshop on developing and sustaining an outdoor garden.

Teachers received valuable information and classroom resources to be successful in creating and maintaining  a sustainable outdoor classroom and pollinator garden.
One of the highlights of the afternoon session, was an interpretive walk around  our newly landscaped pollinator display habitat. The new education  garden will be used in conjunction with our upcoming Discovery Field Trip focusing on pollinators is slated to begin spring of 2015!
Come and check out this wonderful new addition to The Gardens!

Fall Yoga Series for families

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

Fall Yoga Series for families

On Wednesday, families were led by Annie Damsky of Villager Yoga in the Fall Yoga Series for families. The seesions take place each Wednesday at 3:30 until November 19. To learn more about rates and to reserve a spot online, visit www.bbgardens.org/classes.

Docent Training – September 2014

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Docent Training – September 2014

As The Gardens welcomes a new school year, it also welcomed special guests and education partners, Birmingham Audubon Society! On Tuesday, September 9, Education Manager Helena Uber-Wamble and BAS Volunteers Ty Keith and Louise Ayer Tommie introduced docents to the joys of bird watching as they do for the many school students during Discovery Field Trips. Participants also went birding along the new Secret Life of Trees trail (kindergarten trail) and accomplish 2-in-1! 

The Gardens’ own Dawn Coleman and Ellen Hardy also led the training session.

Cocktails with Class: Rum Edition

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Cocktails with Class: Rum Edition

On Monday, August 25, Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical Gardens gathered with LeNell and Demian Camacho Santa Ana in the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone to mix rum cocktail creations.

Lunch and Learn: Porous, Permeable and Pervious

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Lunch and Learn: Porous, Permeable and Pervious

On Wednesday, August 13, the final Lunch and Learn of 2014 was held in the Auditorium. Director of Horticulture James Horton led a talk called “Porous, Permeable and Pervious.” We’re already making plans for the 2015 series! Stay tuned for what’s to come!

A Crash Course in Alabama Ecosystems

Monday, July 14th, 2014

A Crash Course in Alabama Ecosystems

[Guest blog post by Louise Agee Wrinkle Native Plant Intern Mitchell Vaughan]

Recently, I was part of a group who went on a field trip to the Bibb County Glades, located near Montevallo, Alabama. Described variously as “a botanical lost world” and “a botanical wonder,” as well as other similarly impressive titles, this site is not at all what comes to mind when I hear the word “glade.” I pictured something more like the Everglades, a big grassy wetland broken by the occasional tree hammock. The word glade, however, means an open area surrounded by trees. Much of the Bibb County Glades are comprised of rocky, arid, grass-and-wildflower-covered rocky outcrops. What makes these glades distinctly different is the type of rock of which they are composed, Ketona dolomite. 

Dolomite is a type of limestone and this particular type of it is unusually pure and contains large percentages of calcium and magnesium. Magnesium, in high concentrations, can be toxic to many species of plants; this is why the glades are populated by many unique species that have adapted to living in that particular type of limestone. They thrive here without competition from more typical species, which would normally populate the area. Growing on these glades are several rare species, including one third of all Alabama endemic plant species – and eight  species unknown to science before their discovery in the 1900s.

After trekking through some steep open terrain, we ventured into the adjacent woodlands where it was noticeably cooler. We hiked along a stretch of the Little Cahaba River and then deeper still into a forested area along a small stream. Here, it became more like walking through a temperate rainforest with lush green vegetation spreading prolifically in every direction. Following the stream, we eventually came to a spot with a particularly interesting botanical inhabitant, one that has yet to be named and described. Its temporary name is Trautvetteria sp. nov. (tassel-rue), and will be definitively named by whomever first describes it botanically. 

Finally, we packed up and drove to a nature preserve along the Cahaba River, where we hoped to see Hymenocallis coronaria  (Cahaba lily) flowering. And flowering they were! It’s a spectacular sight to see an expanse of showy white flowers bobbing daintily over the river waters in which it grows. Visiting these sites makes it clearly evident why they are described as some of Alabama’s natural wonders. 

From sunny glades to shaded woodlands, it was quite a day. Exploring several of Alabama’s ecosystems in rapid succession can offer a newfound appreciation for our state’s biodiversity and unique natural character.