Birmingham Botanical Gardens....a pic or two to look at....

john_trussville(z7b AL)July 17, 2011

I originally posted these pics on the Hardy Palm & Subtropical Board which is read by folks all over the country, but I thought I'd go ahead & post it here too for those Alabamians that maybe haven't been to the BBG in a while. Thought our new Canadian friend, Jen also might enjoy seeing what we have to offer just down the road a piece from Cullman. One thing for sure, if you're ever in B'ham it's definitely worth a visit.....I think it's the best free show in town. These pics were all taken this past friday, and there are still many areas that I didn't capture.

Variegated manihot. Don't know why this striking plant is not more widely available.

Of course I have to include a pic of the Sabal birmingham that my palm buddy Ray & I transplanted to the gardens a few years ago. It's done quite well.

This is one of my favorite areas at the extreme south end of the gardens. Love the bald cypress & bamboo.

Unfortunately this monster needle palm is hidden away in a maintenance area & never seen by most visitors

This is at the extreme north end of the garden's 69 acres as it begins to cut into the base of Red Mountain that overlooks downtown Birmingham.

I hope that someday the gardens try to do a little more with this undeveloped area.

hope you enjoyed....

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Great photos, John! Makes we want to visit again, which I don't do often enough. I like the cypress area, too, especially the cypress "knees" pushing up from the soil. However, I did feel like you were rubbing that variegated manihot in my face ;-)

The last time I was there the greenhouse looked as if it had been neglected for years. And most everything in the cactus garden had been frozen to death due to a break in a gas line that past winter (no back-up heat source?!).

Thanks for the pics! Hopefully things are improving. In fact I think I'll visit within the next few weeks.


    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 2:43PM
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thanks John, I have heard about it but just brushed it aside thinking it was just a garden of the everyday plants you see.. I'm very big on tropical plants and the not so everyday plants.. I love there elephant ears i think there "diamond head" from the looks of them could be wrong though.. i also love those sabals, and the fan palms.. I had them started from seed in canada but of course had to leave them.. Started a few here the other day ( fan palms i mean) hopefully they will make there way out of the dirt soon.. I know it will be years before they look like that but i'm a pot gardener for the next little while so its ok if there slow.. the Asian feel to that one part with the bamboo I think my step daughter would just love.. Shes very into the whole Asian culture.. in fact once i told her we can grow bamboo here she insisted i get some.. in time, in time...
thanks for the pics, hubby and i will be making our way there in the near future

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 3:02PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Loved looking at these pics! Thanks for putting them up! If I'm ever in the B'ham area, I will definitely visit this place.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 9:44AM
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john_trussville(z7b AL)

Nelson: If that nice manihot suddenly disappears from the BBG in the next week or so I may need some hush money to keep my mouth shut about a certain yard down Vincent way. I think you know the one I'm talkin 'bout. :>)
The conservatory & attached greenhouses are now closed temporarily for repairs, at least that's what the signs say.....not sure what exactly they're doing though. Wish they could somehow find the money to tear the old thing down & build something bigger & better.

Jen: tropicals & palms are my favorites too, & the lack of very many is about the only criticism I have of the BBG. In the conservatory (when it's open) they do have several tropical palms, bananas, cycads, bromeliads, etc., but I just wish they would plant more cold-hardy palms out in the gardens. There are several that will do very well here. You will most likely enjoy both The Plant Odyssey & Hanna's nursery here in B'ham as well as the Farmer's Market in the early spring when they have dirt cheap prices on lots of tropicals.

Purpleinopp: glad you enjoyed the pics & hope you can make it up here to see the gardens sometime. You could easily spend a half day or more there. And the B'ham zoo is right across the street.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 12:58PM
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wow theres a zoo in b'ham?? learn something new everyday.. we'll we'll be going there shortly soon.. I have a 1 year old (well in 13 day i do) shes a bit young now but as the years go on she will really start to like going there well i hope

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 2:05PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Absolutely, smurf, even very young children LOVE to be strolled around the zoo, or really anywhere it's not too hot or mosquito-ish. Most zoos have an annual pass which I always found worth the money when I had a little one and lived near a zoo. I haven't been to the B'ham zoo but I bet there's at least 1 or 2 indoor exhibits with a/c which would keep your little one amused for as long as you want to sit there. The zoo I "belonged to" had events and other benefits for members only throughout the year, parking fee waived, and no waiting in line to get in.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 2:42PM
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STROBE(zn 7b)

Nice pictures. It's like I was actually walking through there myself. :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 9:57AM
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john_trussville(z7b AL)

Jen, the zoo has a great childrens area with splash pools & fountains, a huge old-fashioned carousel, and petting barn with lots of farm animals.
these are not my pics, but just a few of the children's area that I found on the web.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:12PM
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jcalhoun(8b Mobile County AL)


Just a fyi, be careful which bamboo you plant. Some parts of Alabama are being over run by it. I think there are some species that are not invasive though.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:07PM
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Thank you for the great pics taken in the Birmingham Botanical Gardens!
We've walk the gardens and very much enjoyed it. Yes, we will do that again!
Tropicals and palms = Hayes ;-)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 5:23PM
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tedevore(7b Al)

The "north end" "undeveloped area" is part of the Kaul wildflower garden. It is being steadily reworked by the new curator there for a year John manion & volunteers. But although, like any "wild" area, summer is not the peak time, this area is stunning especially in spring. And the pictures show royal and cinammon ferns growing high on rock faces in a way you dont see very often, as the rock there (from what used to be a quarry) weeps water. And you can see a wild flame azalea that just finishing its bloom. Tis is actually one of my favorite areas of the garden. Check out the bottle brush buckeye and other great plants in there sometime.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 10:21PM
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tedevour, I completely agree with you. I always find myself on a rock in a quiet corner of the wild flower garden. I just love it! John has lead his crews of not only the wildflower garden but the Alabama woodlands too, over on the way to the japanese gardens. Both of these are natural looking planting area not colorsplash attention getters. They are all wonderful to stroll around through and learn from. The City of Birmingham Gardeners are also very nice.

I like it there can you tell.... :-)

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:09PM
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John, you have the>BESTESTThe pictures are fantastically wOnDeRfUl !!! BBG, my favorite place to enjoy and I DO.

Were you ever a former Boy Scout - gardener ?


    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:14AM
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