The anticipation rises and the pace picks up each fall as October approaches at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This year, the excitement will reach its peak on the second day of that month when Antiques at the Garden opens to the public. Once again, the four-day event will bring together a number of highly regarded tastemakers from across the city, as well as many of the region’s most reputable antiques dealers.
Gala in the Garden, a black-tie preview event sponsored by Sterne Agee, will kick off the weekend on Thursday night. Each day, the lecture series offers experts in the field sharing the latest ideas and inspirations. Headliners in the series include international floral designer Shane Connolly (read more below) and esteemed interior designer Mario Buatto. Connolly, who will speak on Thursday, October 2nd, is best known for his beautiful arrangements displayed at some of England’s royal weddings, including that of His Royal Highness Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Buatto, who has designed interiors for such celebrities as Mariah Carey, Malcolm Forbes, and Barbara Walters, will take to the lectern on Friday, October 3rd.
For more information on Antiques at the Garden, including a complete schedule of events, visit bbgardens.org.
Meet the Tastemakers
If it’s great design advice you are seeking, then Antiques at the Garden is the place to find it. Some of Birmingham’s best designers, architects, and style makers will display their work and share insider tips throughout the weekend event.
Christopher Spitzmiller, Inc., Elegant Earth, Falkner Gardens, Gallery 1930, Henry Sprott Long & Associates, Jamie Inge Interiors, King’s House Antiques, King’s House Oriental Rugs, Libby Greene Interiors, Kinsey Marable, Pat Hiden Interiors, Patti Woods Interiors, Rebecca Hawkins interiors, Shepard and Davis Architecture, Studio C Architecture & Interiors, Taylor Dawson & Associates, Thompson House Interiors, Ware Porter & Co.
Guest Lecturer: Shane Connolly
Being awarded a Royal Warrant of Appointment from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales would seem to be the epitome of a career in floral design. But English floral designer Shane Connolly is not one to simply sit and bask in such celebrity status. Instead, his 25-year resume has expanded even more with the recent publication of his fourth book, A Year in Flowers, which makes its debut in the United States this fall. Birmingham will be the first stop on Connolly’s U.S. book tour and will include a speaking engagement at Antiques at the Garden, an annual event at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Having trained for years with some of London’s leading floral designers, Connolly has established himself as a household name across the pond. But it was his role as floral designer for the wedding of His Royal Highness Prince William and Catherine Middleton that gave him an international presence, especially here in the States.
Connolly describes his style as more “flower-led” rather than “design-led.” He explains that the goal is to “create an environment that the client is comfortable in rather than in awe of.” His focus is on the person as a whole instead of simply on the surroundings of a particular event. “In a way, it’s letting go of one’s own ego and providing a service, ” he says of working with each individual to find the perfect style. And this philosophy comes through in Connolly’s new book. “It’s very personal, ” he says of the published work. “It’s about my enjoyment of flowers and not about any floral wizardry.”
To learn more about Shane Connolly, visit shaneconnolly.co.uk. For information about Connolly speaking at Antiques at the Garden at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, as well as the other events taking place during that weekend, visit bbgardens.org/antiques.
2014 Schedule of Events
WHERE: Birmingham Botanical Gardens
WHEN: Public Show Hours: Thursday, October 2,
1 – 5 p.m.; Friday, October 3, 10a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday, October 4, 10a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, October 5,
11a.m. – 3 p.m.
GENERAL ADMISSION: $10 per person.
Members: Free (Limit 2 per membership)
GALA IN THE GARDENS
Black-tie Preview of the Show, Thursday, October 2,
6 p.m. – 11 p.m. Tickets: $150* per person
TASTEBUDS—DEFINE YOUR STYLE
Sponsored by Flower Magazine
Thursday, October 2, 10 a.m. – noon.
Tickets: $15 per person*
SHANE CONNOLLY, FLORAL DESIGNER
Thursday, October 2, 1 p.m. Tickets: $75 per person (includes show admission and a copy of Connolly’s book)
MARIO BUATTA, INTERIOR DESIGNER
Friday, October 3. Tickets: $30 per person*
*All proceeds from Antiques at the Gardens support educational programs at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens.