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franklin county times

Club Chronicles: Garden Club reviews state’s visiting gardens

The Cultura Garden Club held its May meeting at the home of Debra Spillers. Members enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by co-hostesses Debra Spillers and Martha Sibley.

Debbie Nale, vice president, presided over the meeting. Judy Orrick was welcomed as special guest.

The program, “Visiting Gardens,” was presented by Cheri McCain.

With the COVID pandemic subsiding after a year of lockdown, people are eager to get out and start traveling; however, if you don’t want to travel long distances, consider visiting the many beautiful gardens in Alabama that are available for the public to enjoy while maintaining a healthy environment.

One of the most popular is the Bellingrath Gardens and Home, which offers 65 acres of beauty. A few unique areas of the gardens include the Rose Garden, Mirror Lake, Live Oak Plaza and the Great Lawn, which is used to host many annual events.

Closer to home is the Huntsville Botanical Garden, which features 100 acres of numerous specialty gardens and nature trails. It is home of the nation’s largest seasonal butterfly house, nature center and a two-acre Children’s Garden that will entertain children for hours.

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens has more than 60 acres and is Alabama’s largest living museum, with a variety of 12,000-plus plants of 1,500 different species.

Mobile Botanical Gardens is home to the largest collection of plants on the Gulf Coast, and it features 100 acres of cultivated gardens, woodland trails and a longleaf pine forest.

Another is the Jasmine Hill Gardens, which is located in Wetumpka. It is referred to as “Alabama’s little corner of Greece”.  It was established during the 1930s and features a collection of Greek statuary.

Others include the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens, which has 50 acres of cultivated gardens, nature trails, beautiful ponds and undeveloped wooded landscape.

The Aldridge Botanical Gardens is a popular attraction in the Birmingham area that showcases a variety of hydrangeas and features a six-acre lake and walking trail.

Also located in Birmingham is the Arlington Antebellum Home and Gardens, which has 6 acres of landscaped gardens and is a popular venue for a variety of events.

The Ava Maria Grotto in Cullman is a four-acre park that provides a garden setting for 125 miniature reproductions of famous historic buildings and shrines.

Virtually, you can tour any garden in the world without leaving the comforts of your home. Do an internet search for “how to virtually visit flower gardens” and make your selection.

In the business session, members were commended on another successful spring flower fundraiser.

Additionally, a report was given on the downtown hanging baskets and flower pots. Horticulture chairperson Brenda Oliver gave assignments to members for maintaining the plants as well as the Norway Spruce tree downtown throughout the summer months.

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