Alabama has an abundance of flower gardens open to the public and visitors will find these 12 to be among some of the best in the state.
1. Southern Living Garden & Liberty Bell Garden, Montevallo, AL – is located in The American Village, a recreated Colonial-erea village located on 113 acres north of town off Hwy. 119. The Southern Living Garden is adjacent to Washington Hall, patterned after Mount Vernon. Visitors will find the Southern Living Garden to be designed like Colonial gardens including crabapple trees, crape myrtles and shrub roses. The Liberty Bell Garden is home to a replica of the real bell and has a crosswalk design of the Briting Union Jack flag. For more information go to www.americanvillage.org
2. Blount Cultural Park & Shakespeare Garden, Montgomery, AL – is located on 300 acres and is English-inspired. The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and Alabama Shakespeare Festival theatre are also here and visitors will find that the park contains trees, lakes, weirs, flowers and sculpture. Roses growing on fence rows are similar to those you would find in Scotland and the Shakespeare Garden is one of seven in the US that features plants and flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays. Additional info at: www.blountculturalpark.org
3. Old Alabama Town Gardens, also in Montgomery, contains over 40 restored buildings illustrating life in the 19th and 20th centuries. The gardens include the Thompson Rose Garden and Herb Garden. For more details: www.oldalabamatown.com
4. Ghost Gardens at Old Cahawba, Orrville, AL – Cahawba was once the capital of Alabama and between 1820-1826 its grandeur was known throughout the state but today it is perhaps the state’s most famous ghost town and the colorful remains include antique roses, bushes and bulbs planted by the early settlers and can now be seen among the old town’s ruins. For more info: www.preserveala.org
5. Prattvillage Gardens, Prattville, AL – Prattvillage Gardens are located in the city’s historic district and include seven themed gardens, Herb Garden, butterfly Walk, Grandparent’s Garden along with an 1800s plantation chapel. For details call 334-361-0961.
6. Jackson County Park, Scottsboro, AL – Native azaleas and wildflowers and among some of the plants blooming most of the year is this multifaceted park. 256-574-4719
7. Sturdivant Hall Gardens, Selma, AL – One of Alabama’s most famous 1853 antebellum mansions with surrounding formal gardens with a collection of Southern plants. For tour information: www.sturdivanthall.com
8. Minamac Wildflower Bog, Silverhill, AL – This five-acre preserve/bog is home to over 300 native Southern wildflowers. Call 251-945-6157 for more information.
9. Bellingrath Gardens & Home, Theodore, AL – The most well known and oldest public gardens in the state which began as a fishing camp owned by Walter and Bessie Bellingrath on the banks of the Isle-Aux-Oies River south of Mobile. It has been ranked as one of the top three public gardens by Southern Living Magazine and has been featured nationally and internationally. The home and gardens are located on 906 wooded acres that also serve as a wildlife sanctuary.The garden estate covers 65 acres and includes the Great Lawn, Rockery and Mirror Lake. The formal landscaping includes hundreds of botanical specimens and best times to visit are in spring for the azalea displays, summer for the roses and autumn for the chrysanthemums. Details and pricing can be found at: www.bellingrath.org
10. Troy State University Arboretum, Troy, AL – Located on the Troy State University campus, this 75 acre arboretum contains habitats and flora of the Southeast Alabama region. An 18-acre Pocosin Na ture Preserve is located six miles away where visitors can enjoy birdwatching. For more details: www.troyst.edu/artsandsciences/biologicalsciences
11. Battle-Friedman House & Gardens, Tuscaloosa, AL – Visitors will see an 1835 townhouse and intricately designed interlocking diamond-shaped gardens designed in 1844 by an English landscape designer who created the diamond-shaped beds and paths that today are thought to be the only extant antebellum gardens in the state. More details at: www.historictuscaloosa.org
12. University of Alabama Arboretum also located in Tuscaloosa on 60 acres that include four sections with different type plants in each. These include native woodlands, experimental, ornamental and wildflowers. Call 205-553-3278.
13. William Bartram Arboretum, Wetumpka, AL – The former site of two forts – the French Fort Toulouse and the English Fort Jackson are now merged into a historic site with an arboretum and nature trail named after the famous botanist Willam Bartram who visited the area in 1776 while he traveled throughout the South studying local flora and fauna. More details at: www.preserveala.org
14. Wildflower, Wilsonville, AL – Located at 234 Oak Tree Trail in Wilsonville, this nursery features native perennials and ferns. Tours may be conducted by appointment by calling 205-669-4097.