Japanese Consul General Kazuo Sunaga visits Birmingham Botanical Gardens
On Friday, June 14, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Japan America Society of Alabama welcomed Japanese Consul General Kazuo Sunaga to the Japanese Gardens at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Sunaga joined JASA board members including volunteer at The Gardens, Bob Wendorf, and Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Director of Development Olivia Alison for a tour of The Gardens, notably, the Japanese Gardens. The visit was the first to Birmingham for Sunaga and his wife, who also visited the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in the historic Carver Theatre and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
While at The Gardens, the group also visited the Hulsey Woods and rang the Friendship Bell, donated by the Osaka Central Rotary Club of Japan as part of the club’s efforts to promote world peace, friendship, and understanding. The offer was made during the 100th anniversary of Rotary International in 2005, a year in which Shades Valley’s Glenn Estess served as international president of the organization.
Birmingham’s Butterfly Education and Awareness Day
This past Saturday, Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted the inaugral Birmingham Butterfly Education and Awareness Day. Among the organizations participating in the event were the Birmingham Zoo, McWane Science Center, Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve and native landscape expert Arnie Rutkis. Over 200 people enjoyed the day learning about butterfly species native to Alabama, native host plants that are essential to butterflies, and the release of over 40 native butterflies to Alabama.
The Gardens plans on this unique partnership becoming an annual event; we hope to see you next June!
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.
[L to R: John Jones, Fred Spicer, Robert Martin, John Floyd]
Sara Askew Jones dedication held on Tuesday
On Tuesday, June 4, the recently completed Sara Askew Jones Arbor was dedicated at the entrance of the Hess Camellia Garden at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Named for the longtime Healthy Living Editor at Southern Living, the arbor was installed by Robinson Iron Inc. and volunteer John Jones. It was made possible through a generous donation by the Jones family, friends and former co-workers at Southern Living, the Lucille S. Beeson Charitable Trust, Rebar Express and Ready Mix U.S.A. The arbor was also made possible with in-kind service from the City of Birmingham. It was designed by former Southern Living Architecture Editor Robert Martin.
Martin, a 1992 graduate from Auburn University’s School of Architecture, began his career as a field architectural draftsman for the Historic American Engineering Record before becoming the Architecture Editor for Southern Living. Along with two other Southern Living alums, he created an online business, www.getmorecurbappeal.com, in 2010 where he serves as the Head Residential Designer. A native of Hartselle, Martin now resides in Birmingham.
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.
Docent Appreciation Luncheon
On Tuesday, May 21, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted the annual Birmingham Botanical Gardens Education/Docent Appreciation luncheon to celebrate and acknowledge the great work and dedication of our Discovery Field Trip and Garden Docents. As part of the luncheon festivities, Mr. Jay Eubanks, Education Director of the Alabama Wildlife Center, and Kelly Breland were special guests and speakers discussing the topic of Alabama Native Snakes. Jay gave a PowerPoint Presentation on the various species of venomous and nonvenomous snakes found throughout Alabama; he brought live specimens as part of his interpretive program.
Over 33 docent volunteers, Birmingham Botanical Gardens staff and Alabama Cooperative Extension System staff attended the program and luncheon. Lunch was catered by Taziki’s Mediterranean Cafe.
Japanese Gardens Tour
On May 16, donors at Birmingham Botanical Gardens were led on a tour of the Japanese Gardens by Executive Director Fred Spicer.
[L to R: Gene Boles, Kathryn Jones, Ellie Jones, Chris Boles]
[L to R: Mayor Lawrence Terry Oden, Barbara "Bobbie" Glaze and Dr. Robert P. "Bob" Glaze]
[L to R: Deborah "Debbie" Strauss, Leo Kayser and Sandra Oden]
[L to R: Constance "Connie" O'Brien, Ellen Crowley]
The Conservatory renovation project continues
The Conservatory renovation project has begun to take shape, and last week we took some photos. Check them out!
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.
Mothers Day at The Gardens with Get Into The Gardens and the Birmingham Rose Society
Su Reid-St. John, Birmingham Botanical Gardens volunteer and Jefferson County Master Gardener, led a group in the Mother’s Day Herb Pot Demonstration. The two ornamental pots for the demonstration were donated by Leaf & Petal at The Gardens.
On Saturday, May 18, the Get Into The Gardens demonstration at 1 p.m. will be “Easy Container Gardening: Building a Pollinators’ Paradise.”
Robert Eskew from the Birmingham Rose Society, and a Garden Docent, led a large group around the Dunn and Old Fashion Rose Gardens as a part of the Mother’s Day Get Into The Gardens program, and the annual Birmingham Rose Show.