Thursday, July 9, 2009

Already Halfway Through Summer!

It's hard to believe summer is already halfway gone! The Gardens are absolutely stunning right now, so if you can stand the heat, bring a water bottle, or even a picnic basket, and give yourself a tour and check out what's new! (And if you can't stand the heat, I recommend stopping for a delicious and affordable lunch in The Gardens Cafe by Kathy G. Or peruse through Leaf & Petal at The Gardens' ever-changing assortment of knick knacks, gifts, and plants.)

While Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens doesn't have a lot of events going on during the summer, there are other reasons to come by or get involved. The Southern Institute of Photography has one remaining workshop this summer; Wedding and Bridal Photography is a special weekend class Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19.

Currently, Children's Summer Workshops are still going on after a brief recess for Independence Day last week. Our Children's Summer Workshops are a great way to continue your child's education during the summer months in a fun, new & exciting way. (Not to mention keeping them active and off the couch!)

We are offering a 20% Frequent Camper Discount to any children who have previously attended a workshop. Give us a call and mention that your child has been to one of our camps (or if your child is registered for an upcoming workshop, the discount applies to any other camps you register for). You will need to call Ellen Hardy at 414.3953 to register as a Frequent Camper.

Below is a list of remaining Children's Summer Workshops

Summer Garden Chefs (5K-2nd grade)
July 13-17
We’ll harvest summer vegetables from the Bruno Vegetable Garden, fragrant herbs from the Herb Terrace, mix up tasty cuisine each day using fresh ingredients we’ve harvested, paint an apron, and plant your very own kitchen garden to take home! Afternoon Session.

Summer Garden Chefs (3rd-5th grade)
July 13-17
We’ll harvest summer vegetables from the Bruno Vegetable Garden, fragrant herbs from the Herb Terrace, mix up tasty cuisine each day using fresh ingredients we’ve harvested, paint an apron, and plant your very own kitchen garden to take home! Morning Session. Afternoon Session.

Digging, Planting, Wiggling, Exploring (5K-2nd grade)
July 20-24
We’ll explore a different Garden every day, make nature treasures, and keep our eyes open as we look up close at some of the most amazing plants in The Gardens along with discovering many creatures such as birds, frogs, fish, and insects. Morning Session. Afternoon Session.

Painting, Pounding, Picking, Pressing (5K-2nd grade)
July 20-24
Come along for a summer adventure filled with splashes of color, pounding of leaves and petals, picking and pressing of plant materials, and more! Join the fun while making discoveries about our Gardens. Morning Session. Afternoon Session.

Art and Yoga Camp: Stretch Your Creativity (5K-2nd grade)
July 27-31
Facilitated by artist Hilary Moreno and yoga instructor, Susanna Whitsett, this combination camp will allow children to explore color, texture, shape, movement, sound, and silence. In addition, children’s literature, walks through The Gardens, and take-home projects will inform the daily themes. Morning Session.

Paint your Impressions of Nature (3rd-5th grade)
July 27-31
Explore the Gardens; discover the beauty that has inspired artists for centuries! Learn to paint in the style of Monet and other Impressionists while creating a style of your own. Mix colorful paints to create beautiful works of art. A special addition will be photography out in The Gardens and designing your own note cards. Morning Session. Afternoon Session.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Discovery Field Trips Bring Science to Life for Thousands of School Kids

The 2008-2009 school year was one of the most succesful for Discovery Field Trips in the history of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, continuing the record-setting trends for the year. Last year more than 10,000 school children visited The Gardens on nearly 450 field trips.

Discovery Field Trips, one of the programs at the heart of our education mission, are free to participants thanks to support for transportation from the Junior League of Birmingham and Vulcan Materials Corporation. Birmingham City Schools increased 9% over last year and Bessemer City Schools increased 36%, accounting for a great deal of the success.

We also owe our most sincere thanks to the wonderful volunteers for a successful year. These talented volunteers work as a team to welcome students and teachers; they guide them on educational journeys that bring the kids' classroom studies to life. All six award-winning Discovery Field Trips are science-based programs that correlate with the Alabama State Course of Study and are aligned with the National Science Education Standards.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gardening Tips for July

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

Tips courtesy of Alabama Cooperative Extension System; for more information, see

  • Protect figs and other ripening fruit from birds.
  • Continue to root shrub cuttings until late in the month and mulch to keep soil moist.
  • Remove faded blooms promptly from crape myrtle and other summer-blooming plants.
  • In lawns, watch for diseases. Mow regularly, and water as needed.
  • Keep roses healthy and actively growing.
  • Apply fertilizer as needed. Wash off foliage to prevent burning if any fertilizer falls on plants.
  • Water annuals and perennials as needed to keep plants active.
  • Iris and spider lily bulbs may be planted late this month.
  • Keeping flowers, shrubs, trees, and lawns healthy is the major task this month. This demands close observation for insects and diseases, and frequent watering.
  • Plant beans, field peas, rutabagas, squash, New Zealand spinach, and Irish potatoes. Plant cabbage, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and celery for the fall crop.
  • Plant tomatoes in Central and North Alabama.