Earth Day at The Gardens
Over 400 visited The Gardens on Saturday, April 27 for Alabama’s longest-running Earth Day celebration. Visitors were able to take advantage of hands-on children’s activities and learn of ways to live environmentally sound. Community gardening was a focus of this year’s event, which invited local vendors like the East Lake Farmers Market, Painted Shovel, Coop and Caboodle and The Backyard Pantry to offer ideas on recycling, raising chickens in an urban environment and building raised planting beds. John Scalici’s Juka Tribe offered an eclectic mix of world music sounds in the Garden Center, while the Get Into The Gardens demonstration series complemented the celebration with “Easy Container Gardening: Planting Peppers.”
Sara Askew Jones Arbor completed in Hess Camellia Garden
Over the weekend, Robinson Iron Inc. and John Jones completed the installation of a new arbor at the entrance of the Hess Camellia Garden. The Sara Askew Jones Arbor is named for the Healthy Living Editor of Southern Living magazine, a beloved friend of many people within and outside Southern Progress cooperation. She was a person with a warm heart, caring smile, helping hand and friend to all. She was a multiple time cancer survivor. As one of her former coworkers wrote, “It is an amazing tribute to a beautiful person.” Her family and any one that knew Sara would agree.
The arbor was made possible through a generous donation from Ms. Jones’s family, friends and former coworkers at Southern Living, the Lucille S. Beeson charitable trust, Rebar Express and Ready Mix U.S.A. It was designed by former Southern Living Architecture Editor Robert Martin.
Junior Board hosts Spring Mixology
On Thursday, April 18, Junior Board of Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosted Spring Mixology in the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone. Sheena Whitaker led a large group which complemented hors d’oeuvres with their own cocktail creations.
W.J. Christian School visits the Bruno Vegetable Garden
Students from W.J. Christian School visited The Gardens recently, focusing on themes like family, determination and love. The students recently read Flutter by Erin Moulton, the story of three sisters and their effort to save their fourth after she is born.
Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele led these students on an educational walk through The Gardens.
Volunteers prepare for middle school Discovery Field Trips
On Tuesday, April 16, docents began training for new educational programming that will be offered to middle school students in Birmingham this Fall. Over the last decade, Discovery Field Trips has provided a free, curriculum based science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham elementary students, and now, the program will begin expanding to include appropriate material for an older group.
If you are interested in becoming a docent and guiding these groups, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Taylor Steele at 205.414.3962 or email@example.com. If you would like to know more about Discovery Field Trips and how your class can participate, contact Education Program Coordinator Ellen Hardy at 205.414.3953 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get Into The Gardens: Tomato Container Gardening
Master Gardener Su Reid-St. John and her daughter, Zoe, led visitors to The Gardens in a demonstration of tomato container gardening in Blount Plaza on Saturday, April 13. Volunteer Katelyn Stansberry also assisted with the event. The next demonstration taking place in the Get Into The Gardens series will take place on April 27 at 1 p.m. as part of Earth Day at The Gardens. Get Into The Gardens is a FREE series of educational weekend programming which includes demonstrations, Hikes for Tykes and The Sunday Scene.
Earth Day at The Gardens is also FREE and is Alabama’s longest-running Earth Day celebration. This year’s event will focus on community gardening and will include live music in the Formal Garden. The event will be held 11 – 4 p.m.
Arrington Plant Adventure Zone: The Labyrinth
Our Plant Adventures programs focus on the significance of the interaction between people and their plants and gardens. In the month of April, the Arrington Plant Adventure Zone features a classical seven-circuit labyrinth laid out in stone on the grass ring. Plant Adventures Coordinator Jennifer Sanders explains the details:
Many people report that spending time in a garden nourishes their spirit. A popular feature in both public and private gardens, labyrinths have been used for centuries as a space for walking contemplation.
If you’ve never walked one before, fear not. You can’t get lost. From the entrance of the labyrinth, follow the path to the center. Once there, pause as long as you like for silence, reflection or prayer before returning along the same path to exit.
Our Plant Adventures labyrinth will remain in place until the end of April. We intend to make this an annual event, trying different labyrinth patterns in the future. And while our current labyrinth cannot be traveled in a wheelchair, we have plans in the works for a collaborative effort to establish a permanent labyrinth in the community that will be wheelchair accessible.
Directions: The Arrington Plant Adventure Zone can be reached by walking down the education hallway in the Garden Center and exiting through the double doors. It is open to the public during Garden Center hours.
If you’d like to be notified of future labyrinth plans or have questions or comments, please contact me at email@example.com or leave me a note in the comment jar in the Plant Adventure Zone.
Photos from 2013 Spring Plant Sale
It was another successful year for Spring Plant Sale, held this year in the former J.C. Penney location at Century Plaza. Thousands took advantage of the wide selection and expertise offered at The Gardens’ largest plant sale of the year. Because of Birmingham’s support, the money raised by The Gardens at Spring Plant Sale allows it to achieve its educational mission, funding programs like Discovery Field Trips which has provided a free, curriculum-based science education to nearly 100,000 Birmingham area schoolchildren over the last decade. Check out some photos of the volunteers and people that made it great!
On March 9, children gathered at The Gardens for “Garden Eggstravaganza.” The group learned how to use plants to dye eggs using natural plant dyes like beets, cabbage and onion. They were also joined by Peter Rabbit in the Vegetable Garden and performed a play!
Get Into The Gardens!
Get Into The Gardens is a collection of free, educational weekend programming that includes demonstrations on Saturdays, bimonthly, at 1 p.m. Pictured are Su Reid – St. John and her daughter Zoe at the March 16 demonstration, “Easy Container Gardening: Planting a Strawberry Jar.”
Get Into The Gardens also includes Hikes for Tykes, a program offered in partnership with Fresh Air Family which encourages pre-school children and their families to explore The Gardens each Saturday at 10 a.m. The Sunday Scene will also return as part of this collection of programs on May 5 as visitors will explore the Fern Glade.
Check out the schedule of upcoming demonstrations at The Gardens and make plans to join us! To learn more, visit www.bbgardens.org/weekends.
• Saturday, March 16, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Planting a Strawberry Jar
• Saturday, April 13, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Planting Tomatoes
• Saturday, April 27, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Planting Peppers
• Saturday, May 4, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Creating a Mother’s Day Herb Garden
• Saturday, May 18, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Building a Pollinators’ Paradise
• Saturday, June 8, 1 p.m.: Easy Container Gardening: Simple Watering Strategies