Birmingham was once known as an industrial city, now we are a city of universities, breweries, an emerging tech scene and of course great food. But did you know Birmingham has more green space than almost every other city in the country?
Our urban forest is second only to Georgia. We also have community gardens throughout the city. Five years ago an ordinance was passed allowing people to use vacant lots to create community gardens.
The Magic City has the world-class Birmingham Botanical Garden that is free to the public and open 364 days a year.
Private gardens? We have those as well.
Most people know the benefits of gardening for your health and well being. Community gardens also bring people together who might not have met otherwise. They give us a place to walk and wander, to dig and plant.
4 gardens you need to know about
B.E.E Community Farm
“B.E.E. Community Farm is a biodiverse ecosystem of plants including community garden beds, culinary and medicinal herbs, an orchard, pollinator meadow, green way trail, and more. We are redefining urban farming, community and relationships with nature.” Leigh Hargrove and Deanna Cummings
The Ecofarm was established by the Jefferson County Department of Health and Birmingham Southern in 2009. The goal was to transform a field of invasive plants into an edible landscape classroom for schools and surrounding communities. However, in 2012, the project ended due to funding.
B.E.E. (Birmingham Eastside Ecogardens) then began to maintain the beautiful garden space. With only a few volunteers, they began to clear and rennovate the garden and surrounding trails overlooking Village Creek.
The volunteers have learned to maintain the 2 acres of nature. Since 2012 B.E.E has added many native fruits and vegetables to the region and 100 different species of plants that help repair soil and attract different pollinators.
“We are located in a food desert, with very limited access to fresh, local produce. This simply has to change.” Leigh Hargrove
Birmingham Eastside Ecogardens has a wish list! Email them at email@example.com
- wood chips
- rain barrels
- volunteers (a great way to meet people and contribute!)
“Our garden has seen a lot of love this year. We were fortunate enough to have Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama come in during the summer to plant produce in the garden as well as spruce up our courtyard area. As the seasons change, new produce must be planted and a group of Alabama Master Gardener students have stepped up to help us transition the beds.” Girls Inc. of Central Alabama
This is another way UAB creates fun opportunities for its community. In its fifth year, UAB faculty, students and staff can rent small plots to grow vegetables, flowers and small fruit. The program runs annually from April to April, with option to renew for future years.
If you’re interested in renting a small garden space, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Aldridge Gardens in Hoover
The 30-acre Aldridge Gardens opened in 2002. The lush property was formerly owned by well-known horticulturist Eddie Aldridge and his wife Kay. Its not just a beautiful wedding and event venue. The public can enjoy the six-acre lake and a half-mile walking trail. (no jogging or running though..this is a slow paced garden trail!)
The Aldridge Gardens are home to the official flower of Hoover, the Snowflake Hydrangea, which was patented by Mr. Aldridge. There are plant sales, art exhibits and shows, classes and seminars, bird walks, fishing days and more.
Aldridge Gardens is free and open to the public from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.
3530 Lorna Road
Get your garden togs on!
So maybe you are interested in working with the young urban gardeners of Birmingham, renting a small plot to be a gardener yourself, or just looking for a new place to walk and take in beautiful nature, if so consider these gardens.
Its spring…the trees are budding out and stuff is starting to bloom. What are your favorite Bham garden spots?