Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Than A Pretty Face

Whenever you visit Birmingham Botanical Gardens, what’s the first thing you notice? More than likely your answer has something to do with “the natural beauty.”  And there is nothing wrong with noticing the loveliness of the flowers, trees, landscapes, and so forth. It’s truly breath-taking and a wonder to behold. But there’s more to The Gardens than just our pretty face. After all, it is our mission, our reason for being, to educate the public about plants, gardens and the environment.

The Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens work hard, year-round, to raise money—much of it through events such as Antiques at The Gardens—to fund free, curriculum-based Discovery Field Trips to Birmingham-area schoolchildren. Last school year, we served a record 7,456 schoolchildren from Birmingham and Bessemer City Schools, nearly a 13% increase over the 2008-2009 year; a total of nearly 10,000 kids were able to take advantage of these science-based garden adventures and 97% did so absolutely free, including transportation expenses. By bringing the classroom to life, we’re laying the educational foundation for future engineers, botanists, doctors, chefs, chemists, innovators and so on.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rolling Out The Red Carpet

A special thanks to our 2010 Antiques at The Gardens Committee. Front Row (L to R): Amanda Pigue, Kathleen Doss, Wendy Barze, Mary Margaret Gullage, Elizabeth Jernigan, Kittie Buchanan, Kate Phillips. Back Row (L to R): Jenny Reed, Cameron Crowe, Sheryl Kimmerling, Tracey Anderson, Diana Slaughter (honorary chair), Susan Elliott (co-chair), Clarissa Harms (co-chair), Sally Lineberry, Mary Margaret Hendry, Anne Burke, Joy Grenier and Elizabeth Broughton. Not pictured are: Cathy Adams, Amy Ager, Carol Alexander, Nancy Bromberg, Maggie Brooke, Barbara Burton, Cyndy Cantley, Molly Clark, Mitzi Davis, Ashelynn Falkenburg, Faith Gardener, Leah Hazzard, Kelli Jetmundsen, Joy Kloess, Sue Ellen Lucas, Sharon Lumpkin, Kim McBride, Melanie McCraney, Tricia Noble & Kim Rogers.

2009 Antiques at The Gardens chairs
Tricia Noble, Carol Poyner and Mitzi
Davis show off their style at last
year's Sterne Agee First Look Party
This fall, Antiques at The Gardens celebrates its fifth year at Birmingham Botanical Gardens on October 1-3. The annual show is not only the premier event of its kind in the Birmingham area, but it is also the largest single fundraiser for The Gardens. We are literally rolling out the red carpet for Sterne Agee's First Look Party on September 30, an exclusive black tie soiree featuring hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, as well as the first peek at the goods from dozens of dealers from across the United States. The party is one of the highlights of the fall social calendar in Birmingham, from the fashions worn by guests to the decorations and floral arrangements by Troy Rhone and Leah Hazzard.

Continental and American furniture, antique silver, jewelry, paintings, lighting, china, oriental rugs and more will fill the Garden Center for the weekend long event, which opens to the public at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 1. Prior to opening the doors, however, there is a tailor-made event for interior designers, architects and decorators. The flower Designer Preview is a special, invitation-only reception from 9-10 a.m. that will include refreshments and a continental breakfast for patrons. Guests can bring up to two clients with them to be among the first to shop before the general public.