Thursday, August 26, 2010

Down Home Delights, Garden Style

Cocktails in The Gardens got off to a great start on August 12 with nearly 500 guests mixing & mingling in the Hill Garden. D├ęcor by Kirsti provided green designs, complementing the green-themed finger foods, green apple martinis and even the band, FisherGreen. We also unveiled our new & improved Cocktails in The Gardens t-shirts (see below), which are on sale in our offices and at each event for just $15. Aside from the absurd heat we've all felt this summer, the night was an absolute delight.

Speaking of delights, we're embracing our Southern roots with Hunter Lawley performing at the Down-Home-Delights-themed Cocktails in The Gardens on September 9. Kirsti is going all out again, this time with whiskey barrels, mason jars, sunflowers, roses, willow branches and burlap overlays. The cozy-chic style will be a perfect match for the "down-home" fare from Occasions by Wynfrey, which will include mini pulled pork sandwiches, Kobe beef sliders, macaroni & cheese tarts, herb marinated chicken & tortellini, mini gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, grit cake and olive and assorted fruit pie shooters! The cocktail du jour will be Spiked Lemonade, with wines and beers also available at the bar. And if you're not a drinker, don't fret, Southern Sweet Tea will be the featured bottomless beverage ($10 gets you all you can drink in a souvenir cup).

Monday, August 23, 2010

ACES Tomato Workshop 2010

We've got a cool class here at The Gardens tomorrow from 9 a.m. til noon (sign-in starts at 8:30), brought to you by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, better known as ACES. The best part? It's only $5!
Lycopersicum esculentum cv., Bruno Vegetable Garden

Topics will include:
  • Predominant diseases seen in the Plant Pathology Lab
  • Top 10 insect pests this year (and how to manage them if they reappear)
  • 2010 environmental issues such as drought and heat. 

The class will finish off with a tour of the Bruno Vegetable Garden, led by Gardens staff who will share their tips for tomato growing in central Alabama!

Seating is limited, so you may want to register early! Contact Sallie Lee at 205.879.6964 (ext 11) or

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Plants Get Stressed Out Too

What's this? Fall in early August? Have you noticed an abundance of leaves on the ground or fall colors up in the trees in your yard, favorite park, or perhaps at your local walking trail? What's up with that?

Even though Alabama's heavy, humid summers are far from the crisp, cool air associated with autumn, signs of autumn abound lately. Is it suddenly en vogue in 2010 for trees and shrubs to ready themselves earlier for the new fall line, or is this change indicative of something more? Foliage taking on the hues of autumn, drooping and even falling off, are indeed reactions to heat and drought stress, as evidenced by this American beech (Fagus americana) in our Kaul Wildflower Garden.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Keep Cool, Don't Be A Fool

In lieu of doing another Plant of the Day entry, today seems like a perfect opportunity to highlight some safety tips and give some gardening advice for the month of August.

Safety Tips for Summer Gardening

1) First of all, the main thing to remember in the heat of a Hot Southern Summer is that it's all about water - for both you and your plants. Make sure you hydrate if you're working outdoors. Don't make the mistake of waiting until you're suddenly thirsty to take a sip of water; instead, know that you must stay hydrated and drink periodically while gardening. It may be tempting to grab a beer or a Lynchburg Lemonade, but alcohol is one of the worst things you can drink on a hot summer day.