Posts Tagged ‘The Library at The Gardens’

New Display in Archives and Rare Book Room

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Here are images of a fascinating display mounted by Jason Kirby, whom oversees our Archives and Rare Book Room in The Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This was on display during our recent Central South Native Plant Conference and illustrated the history of plant collecting. Some of the items displayed included: some rare early florae (books listing all the plants in a given area), press boards (used to press and dry specimens), vascular (tin containers in which to carry live specimens), old herbarium voucher specimens (pressed dried plants kept long-term), and a old lithograph of Karl Linnaeus – “the father of modern taxonomy.” Jason even included a modern microscope through which visitors could examine some of the old pressed specimens.

“Nature’s Gifts” Now on Display in Art Gallery

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

On Friday, the Library at The Gardens welcomed its newest art gallery, “Nature’s Gifts.” Presented by The Committee, this gallery will be featured for the remainder of 2011. Artists whose work is currently on display and available for purchase include Shirley Barnes, Heike Covell, Sallie Estes, Mary Ellen Davidson, Dee Burt Holmes, Marcia Leonard, Joyce Lowery, Terri Shows, Carolyn Wheeling and Maria West. See some of the work below and come out to The Gardens to pick up a piece that will be a stunning accent to your room!

And our Gallery continues to be the home for work by Laura Brookhart. Stop by to pick up her pieces as well!

Book Review: Bringing Nature Home

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

 

Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants

By Douglas Tallamy

Have you ever had a book completely change the way you think about something?  When John Manion, Kaul Wildflower Garden Curator, suggested this book for The Library book group because it changed his life, I couldn’t imagine a book about gardening/nature changing someone’s life.  So I picked it up and read it (this is a big challenge for me since I listen to most books on CD).  And I have to say that it changed my life too, well at least my gardening life.  Doug Tallamy states in his book, “All plants are not created equal, particularly in their ability to support wildlife.”  Most of our native plant-eaters are not able to eat alien plants, and we are replacing native plants with alien species at an alarming rate, especially in the suburban gardens on which our wildlife increasingly depends.  If our native insect fauna can not, or will not, use alien plants for food, then insect populations in areas with many alien plants will be smaller than insect populations in areas with all natives.  This many sound like a gardener’s dream - a land without insects! But because so many animals depend partially or entirely on insect protein for food, a land without insects is a land without most forms of higher life (Wilson 1987).  I have to say that this scared me at first, I was thinking I would have to get rid of all the non-native plants in my yard but then I realized I just needed to add natives in with all of the other ornamentals that I already have. This book is worth reading, or better yet, join us for the Central South Native Plant Conference where Doug Tallamy will be speaking and hear it straight from him.

Art Gallery Opening: November 4

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Art Gallery Opening: November 4

On Friday, November 4, The Library at The Gardens will host an art gallery opening from 5:30-7:30. “Nature’s Gifts” artists moving their work into The Gardens include: Shirley Barnes, Heike Covell, Sallie Estes, Mary Ellen Davidson, Dee Burt Holmes, Marcia Leonard, Joyce Lowery, Terri Shows, Carolyn Wheeling and Maria West (shown above). Drinks and hor d’oeurves will be served.