May flowers, anyone? 17 reasons to visit Birmingham Botanical Gardens now. Win a YP membership!

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Birmingham Botanical Gardens

May 13-19 is National Public Gardens Week! The Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens is giving away two free young professional memberships to celebrate the occasion. Visit Bham Now’s instagram for a chance to win.

The Botanical Gardens is also hosting free guided walking tours at 11:00 a.m. each day. Below are some of the highlights you can expect from the tour.

Rose Gardens

As luck would have it, roses are in peak bloom in early May! The Birmingham Botanical Gardens has two must-see rose gardens.

Dunn Formal Rose Garden

Dunn Formal Rose Garden
  • Originally designed when the Gardens first opened in 1963.
  • Features 150 types of hybrid (modern) roses.
  • Includes a planting of the grandiflora ‘Coretta Scott King’, which was added in 2013. It was dedicated by former Birmingham Mayor William Bell in celebration of 50 years of civil rights progress.

Ireland Old-Fashioned Rose Garden

Roses in the Old-Fashioned Rose Garden
  • Features fragrant and colorful heritage roses in cultivation before 1867.
  • Contains 50 types of roses, including China roses, damasks, Gallicas, moss roses, Bourbons, rugosas and more.

Ireland Iris Garden

Iris germanica in the Iris Garden
  • Framed by stately evergreen southern magnolias, twin gazebos and stone garden walls.
  • Features four terraced borders with a variety of iris species (including bearded and Dutch), along with a succession of flowering perennials that bloom throughout the summer and fall seasons.

Fern Glade

  • Home to one of the Gardens’ most extensive and important living collections. Hardy ferns from North, Central, and South America, Europe, Africa, and all across Asia grow well in our climate.
  • Holds one of 10 official test site designations in the U.S. from the Hardy Fern Foundation.

Forman Garden

Iceland Poppies in the Forman Garden
  • Features a palette strong in Alabama native plants, including serviceberry, silverbell, baptisia, butterfly weed, catchfly and deciduous azaleas.
  • Great source of small-garden inspiration for homeowners.

Formal Garden

  • Home to a vast green space–a popular spot for sun-lovers–and views of the Conservatory greenhouses.
  • Surrounded by a crushed stone path–a favorite route for walkers and joggers.
  • Venue for Alabama Symphony Orchestra concerts and other special events.

Hill Garden

Water lilies in the Hill Garden (Photo by Ty Dodge)
  • Designed as an architectural extension of the Garden Center, linking building elements to the garden below.
  • Serves as an activities area for events including weddings, receptions and parties.
  • Boasts symmetrical lines of blue-flowering Vitex agnus-castis trees.

Annual Member Celebration (Tuesday, May 14)

Annual Member Celebration speaker, Dr. Bill Deutsch, co-founder of Alabama Water Watch. Dr. Deutsch is the author of Alabama Rivers: A Celebration and Challenge, which was published in cooperation with the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.

Each year, the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens hosts an Annual Member Celebration to thank its members for being a Friend of the Gardens. This year’s event will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, in the Garden Center Auditorium in conjunction with National Public Gardens Week. Membership benefits the ongoing stewardship and enhancement of the Gardens, as well educational programs and outreach activities. More information is available on the website.

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