Monday, September 27, 2010

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

I'm recouping from a serious case of poison ivy (again!) I came in contact with some while cleaning out a fence row on my mother's property on Saturday. I knew this would be bad when I woke up Sunday morning with my arms and legs covered with an ugly rash. I got a shot and the usual Prednisone pills which leave me irritable, groggy and restless. I'm feeling better this afternoon and wanted to share some photos of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Last Thursday and Friday, I attended an Archivist conference there for my job, but I've been to the gardens many times before. I lived in Birmingham briefly right after my college graduation and visited often. It was a great place to take photographs, to relax and just get away from it all.

A container planting near the main building -

It was just as beautiful as I'd remembered it although many areas had changed somewhat and there were new things to see. Apparently the drought has been worse there than in Florence because the Japanese garden looked really bad with numerous dead trees and the pond looked nasty.

It was the only disappointing area though as the other gardens were beautiful. One of my favorites was the Fern Glade -

Beautyberry (Callicarpa) growing alongside the stream -

One of my favorite areas was always the Iris Garden. I did actually see some Iris blooming along with other perennials. This is really spectacular in the Spring of course.

One of my favorite roses, "Mrs. B.R. Cant" was blooming over a rock wall -

Check out the size of these castor beans -

And the blooms -

The BBG also has a fine rose garden. The hybrid teas were bursting with bloom. Behind the pergola is another rose garden with older varieties.

The Herb Garden -

Now, on to some gardens that were new to me.

This small formal area was enclosed by brick and featured ferns, evergreens and caladiums.

A large raised bed with tropical plants -

A beautiful water feature -

This pergola is exactly the type I want to build if we move to the country.

This was also inspiring - I'd like to have a patio like this and I really love the waterfall -

And last, but not least, I'm hoping someone can identify this variegated plant for me. It was planted profusely near the entrance and alongside the parking lots. Most of the plants are marked at BBG but I would not find a marker for this one. Isn't it beautiful?

If you are in Birmingham, do visit the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. There is no admission price and the gardens are beautifully maintained. And after that, you can head across the street and visit the zoo.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

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