Take a walk through Birmingham Botanical Gardens—virtually, of course!

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We couldn’t let you miss cherry blossom season! Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

We’ve been cooped up for a while now, and one of the worst parts of that means not getting to fully enjoy the beauty of spring. Birmingham Botanical Gardens is one of the most stunning spots in the state, and it’s especially glorious this time of year. We teamed up to bring you a virtual tour through the Gardens that will hopefully provide a much-needed mental break. Join us, Birmingham!

Be a Friend

Becoming a Friend offers benefits for the whole family. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens is one of our wonderful local nonprofits that brings good to the Magic City. This vital organization is dedicated to serving the Gardens, their visitors and our community as well as inspiring a passion for plants, gardens and the environment.

Although the Gardens are closed due to COVID-19, you can still show support—and your support is vital now more than ever. They’re even offering an exclusive discount right now. Get 10% off new memberships through May 31 with discount code SPRING2020 at this link.

Want to learn more about being a Friend? You can read all about the membership levels, benefits and more here. Now on to the tour!

Stop #1—Front Entrance (Welcome!)

What you’ll see: Daffodils

Like tiny little suns shining on the Gardens. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
  • What we love about it: As daytime temps warm and the season takes hold, hundreds of daffodils bloom throughout the Gardens. These beauties naturalize in your garden and are equally happy in sun or part shade.
  • Where to find it: Gardens’ front entrance + Abroms Rhododendron Species Garden

Stop #2—Japanese Garden

What you’ll see: Cherry blossom

You don’t need to leave Birmingham to see beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
  • What we love about it: In Japan, the delicate blossoms serve as a reminder of the beauty and transient nature of life, and as a symbol of spring.
  • Where to find it: Japanese Garden

Chinese snowball viburnum (Viburnum macrocephalum)

I thought they were hydrangeas, too. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
  • What we love about it: It’s a true show stopper! Don’t be fooled—this shrub’s hydrangea-like blooms, which resemble balls of snow, make for a beautiful backdrop in your mid-spring garden.
  • Where to find it: Japanese Garden

Stop #3—Kaul Wildflower Garden

What you’ll see: Piedmont azalea (Rhododendron canescens)

One of the most recognizable blooms for those of us who grew up in the Southeast. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
  • What we love about it: One of our first native azaleas to bloom in spring. You might smell its sweet, lemony perfume before you see its soft pink blooms.
  • Where to find it: Main entrance to the Kaul Wildflower Garden, across from the gazebo.

Stop #4—Bog Garden

What you’ll see: Woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Wildflowers are some of my personal favorites. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
  • What we love about it: Found in partially shaded woodland gardens and meadows, this beautiful blue wildflower billows out, offering nectar to swallowtails, painted ladies, and other butterflies. 
  • Where to find it: Bog Garden + Kaul Wildflower Garden

Stop #5—Southern Living Garden

What you’ll see: Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

The ideal hummingbird hideout. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
  • What we love about it: In Birmingham, this wildflower’s foliage sticks around all winter and then sends up a flower stalk filled with dainty, red and yellow blooms—a favorite of hummingbirds. Allow the blooms to go to seed and they will readily self-sow into the woodland floor.
  • Where to find it: Southern Living Garden + Kaul Wildflower Garden

English wood hyacinth, or Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica)

See why they’re called bluebells? Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
  • What we love about it: While many bulbs require sun, this bee-friendly, deer-resistant bulb prefers shade. The sweet-smelling, pastel flowers add fragrance and a lovely splash of color to the garden.
  • Where to find it: Southern Living Garden

Not Ready for the Walk to End?

I know the feeling. Find even more great content on the Friends’ new Youtube channel where you can find even more highlights of the BBG’s springtime treasures, as well as educational content for the whole family to enjoy. 

Support the beauty and mission of the Gardens by becoming a member of the Friends today (don’t forget to use code SPRING2020 for 10% off!), or give a gift by visiting their website.

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  • A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.