7 Gardens to Visit this Summer

Summer is the perfect time for a good road trip! Here are seven beautiful gardens to visit and enjoy Alabama’s bounty of flora and nature.

Photo courtesy Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, Ala.
Free admission, open daily

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens includes 67.5 acres filled with more than 30 thematic gardens, each one classified into one of three types: Gardens of Collections, Gardens of Nature and Gardens of Culture. Guided tours are available daily, but should be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. Specialized tours, such as Alabama’s Amazing Biodiversity tours, Fern Glade tours, Japanese Gardens tours, or other special-request tours, should be scheduled at least four weeks in advance. The BBG hosts numerous events and educational programs year round and offers a café, art gallery, gift shop, library and special event rentals.

Photo courtesy Aldridge Gardens

Aldridge Gardens

3530 Lorna Road, Hoover, Ala.
Free Admission, open daily

Aldridge Gardens, the 30-acre former property of the late horticulturist Eddie Aldridge and his wife Kay, opened in 2002. The garden showcases hydrangeas, including the Snowflake Hydrangea, which was patented by Mr. Aldridge and is now the official flower of the City of Hoover. Other features include an event venue and gallery in the couple’s former home, an outdoor pavilion, a five-acre lake and a half-mile walking trail. The Gardens also host plant sales, art exhibits, classes, bird walks, fishing days and more.

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Photo courtesy Huntsville Botanical Gardens

Huntsville Botanical Gardens

4747 Bob Wallace Avenue, Huntsville, Ala.
$14 admission, open daily

Huntsville Botanical Gardens is open year-round and features a picture-perfect aquatic garden and specialty gardens throughout the 112 acres. With wildlife, foliage, florals, trails, specialty gardens, pavilions, a butterfly house, walkways, and lakes, there is something for everyone at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. The Children’s Garden and Nature Center contain the nation’s largest seasonal butterfly house, open May through September. The Garden has a café, gift shop, indoor and outdoor facility rental options, as well as elementary and adult education programs.

Photo courtesy Mobile Botanical Gardens

Mobile Botanical Gardens

5151 Museum Drive, Mobile, Ala.
$5 admission, open Wednesday through Sunday

Mobile Botanical Gardens (MBG) includes one hundred acres of paved garden areas and woodland gardens and trails. The MBG are home to the largest collection of plants on the Gulf Coast. Visit and learn about the diversity of local plant and wildlife. From learning opportunities to plant sales, there are myriad events, including plant sales and sketching classes, for visitors to enjoy.

Photo courtesy Jasmine Hill Gardens

Jasmine Hill Gardens

3001 Jasmine Hill Road, Wetumpka, Ala.
$10 admission, open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Jasmine Hill Gardens and Outdoor Museum, known as “Alabama’s Little Corner of Greece”, features over 20 acres of year-round floral beauty, plants and classical sculpture – there is even a full scale replica of the Temple of Hera. The Olympian Centre welcomes visitors with a video presentation of Jasmine Hill’s history and a display of Olympic memorabilia from the Games of past years. Visitors will enjoy this interpretive center of ancient Greek culture.

Photo courtesy Dothan Area Botanical Gardens

Dothan Area Botanical Gardens

5130 Headland Ave., Dothan, Ala.
$5 admission, open daily

Consisting of 50 acres of cultivated gardens, nature trails and undeveloped, wooded landscape, the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens is home to 24 gardens joined by a paved trail. The gardens feature the native plant life, as well as traditional botanical garden elements. There’s even a Lock Gate where visitors can add a padlock to symbolize the love they have for another. Visitors can also enjoy events, tours and a newly expanded gift shop.

Photo courtesy Bellingrath Gardens and Home

Bellingrath Gardens and Home

12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore, Ala.
$13 – $21, open daily

Bellingrath Gardens and Home features 65 acres of land along the Fowl River cultivated with annual blooms and continuous color for guests to enjoy. Visitors can enjoy lunch at the Magnolia Cafe and find gifts and souvenirs at the Bellingrath Gift Shop. In addition, the park hosts various special events, including car shows, concerts and more.

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