Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Class: Medicinal Plants of North America

Medicinal Plants of North America

Instructor: Tellur Fenner, Clinical herbalist/educator, Oakland, CA

North America is home to a diverse array of medicinal plants long valued for their therapeutic effects. We will explore both common and lesser known plants used historically and presently in American herbal practice. Indoors, we’ll discuss the basic taxonomical and phytochemical characteristics of selected plant families.

Outdoors, we’ll observe many species of medicinal plants of the southeast U.S. Preparation methods, harvesting ethics, and botanical safety issues will be addressed. We’ll conclude with a simple medicine-making demonstration.

Sunday, March 22
Noon – 5 p.m.
$40 Members/$80 Non-Members

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gardening Tips for March

Here are some good tips for gardening in Alabama during the month of March. We'll update these regularly each month, so stay tuned for more in the Gardeing Tips series!

Tips courtesy of Alabama Cooperative Extension System; for more information, see www.aces.edu.

Fruits and Nuts

  • Continue strawberry and grape plantings.
  • Bud apples and peaches.
  • Start planting blackberries.
  • Remember, if weather conditions prevent prompt planting, heel the plants in by placing the root system in a trench and covering the soil.
  • Fertilize shrubs (except azaleas and camellias) according to a soil test.
  • Late plantings may be made, particularly if they are container-grown.
  • Watch shrubs for harmful insects.
  • Plant bermuda, zoysia, and centipede in South Alabama.
  • Seed bluegrass and grass mixtures in North Alabama.
  • Fertilize established lawns.
  • Watch new growth for aphids.
  • Begin a spray or dust program.
  • Begin fertilizing.
Annuals and Perennials
  • Tender annuals may be planted in South Alabama.
  • Check garden centers for bedding plants.
  • Plant gladiolus every two or three weeks if a long blooming season is desired.
  • Plant tuberous begonias in pots.
  • Plant dahlias.
  • Check and repair sprayers, dusters, and lawn mowers.
  • Control lawn weeds with chemicals.
  • Delay pruning of fruiting shrubs such as cotoneasters, pyracanthas, and hollies until after flowering.
Vegetable Seeds
  • Plant hardy crops recommended for January and February.
  • After danger of frost is past, plant tender vegetables.
Vegetable Plants
  • Plant cabbage, onions, lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts in North Alabama.
  • Plant tomatoes and peppers in lower South Alabama.

Visit the Gerlach Plant Information Center inside the Garden Center during March and April for the exhibit Tomatoes: there is more to this crop than you think!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cool Design Class This Saturday

Pictured above is the Forman Garden at The Gardens

Ever planted a spring flower bed and ran short of plants or had the front plants out grow the back plants? James Horton, Director of Horticulture at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, is teaching a class called Seasonal Flower Bed Design this Saturday (March 14) from 9 a.m. – Noon.

This class will teach the tricks of the trade when it comes to designing and planting seasonal color beds in the landscape. Subject matter will include measuring your beds, soil preparation, calculating the number of plants, what to look for when buying plants, color combinations, groupings, and much more. Summer and winter seasonal color will be covered. In a few hours you will be ready to design your own flower beds.

The class is only $30 for Members of The Gardens ($40 for Non-Members). Register online!

Spring Plant Sale

Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Spring Plant Sale
Set For First Frost Free Day

Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Spring Plant Sale is set for Thursday, April 16 through Sunday, April 19. The average annual date of frost-free temperatures in Alabama is April 15 which makes Spring Plant Sale perfectly timed for worry-free planting. The Gardens’ annual sale is the largest in the state of Alabama with more than 85,000 plants for sale.

Free to the public, the annual sale is The Gardens’ largest event of the year. Last year thousands from around Alabama the Spring Plant Sale saw tens of thousands of plants sold and raised more than $200,000 for education programs.

While so much national attention is focused on economic hardships and financial troubles Spring Plant Sale is not only free, but many plants start at just $2. Spring is a great time to plant gardens and there will be a vast selection of herbs and vegetables. The signature plant is the award-winning, drought-tolerant Euphorbia 'Diamond Frost', a hybrid plant only in its second year.

Susan Grimes and the Horticultural Therapy program will also sell pet grass and catnip to help raise awareness and money for the program, one of The Gardens’ best kept secrets. Horticultural Therapy utilizes gardens and the practice of gardening as a modality suitable for a diverse population that includes people of all ages with intellectual or developmental disabilities, physical limitations, mental or emotional impairment. Susan works with clients from all over the Greater Birmingham area, including United Cerebral Palsy, Children’s Hospital, Exceptional Students at Hewitt-Trussville High School, and retirees at The Oaks and Kirkwood.

Thursday, April 16
Preview Party* from 5-6:30 p.m.
*$45 in advance and $50 at the door

Friday, April 17
9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 18
9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday, April 19
11 a.m.-3. p.m.

For more information about Spring Plant Sale, please contact Event Coordinator Shelly McCarty at 414.3965 or smccarty@bbgardens.org. If you're interesting in volunteering for this huge fundraising event, contact Volunteer Coordinator Carolyn Snow at 414.3962 or csnow@bbgardens.org.