- Spring Plant Sale
- Mark your calendar for Spring Plant Sale 2020: April 16–19 at Brookwood Village!
- Partial lists of available plants:
- Volunteer at the Gardens!
- 2019 Sponsors
- Birmingham’s Premier Antiques Show
- The Speakers
- Markham Roberts: “The Way I See It”
- Renny Reynolds & Jack Staub: “Chasing Eden”
- The Herts Garden Show
- Hertfordshire Garden Show at Knebworth House
- Can watching British gardening shows turn you into an adult?
- This BBC Gardening Show Couldn’t Be More Charming (and It’s on Netflix Now)
Spring Plant Sale
Mark your calendar for Spring Plant Sale 2020:
April 16–19 at Brookwood Village!
2019 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, April 11
Preview Party: 5:30–7 p.m.
Tickets for our popular Preview Party are now available online for $45 each—order your tickets here! Tickets will also be available at the door for $50 each.
Thursday, April 11
Members-Only Shopping: 6:30-8 p.m.
If you are not a current member of the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens but would like to attend our preview sale, you can join online, or at the door on April 11!
Please note that current members do not need to register for Members-Only Shopping.
Macy’s upper parking lot
789 Brookwood Village • Birmingham, AL 35209
for Google Maps
The Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale features more than 100,000 plants, most of which have been nurtured by volunteers at The Gardens. This sale offers a wonderful opportunity to learn from experts and get hard-to-find plants at hard-to-beat prices. Proceeds benefit the ongoing stewardship and enhancement of The Gardens, educational programs, and outreach activities.
Come out to support a worthwhile cause!
Partial lists of available plants:
Volunteer at the Gardens!
We would love to have your help! If you would like to volunteer for the Spring Plant Sale or other activities at the Gardens, please contact Alice Moore, volunteer coordinator, at 205.414.3962 or [email protected]! Thank you!
Alabama Power Company
Birmingham Park and Recreation Board
City of Birmingham
Event Rentals Unlimited
Junior League of Birmingham
Leaf & Petal at the Gardens
Royal Cup Coffee
A facility of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is the result of a successful public/private partnership between the City of Birmingham and the nonprofit Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
EVENT REFUND POLICY
Lectures and tastemakers who are true industry standouts will all be offering up a wealth of knowledge throughout this event. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Learn from a prestigious lineup of acclaimed speakers and tastemakers and shop with dealers and designers from across the United States. If this sounds like your kind of weekend, we’ve got just the event for you!
Antiques at the Gardens is coming October 3-6 to Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Birmingham’s Premier Antiques Show
Curated antiques and specialty items for all budgets! Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Antiques at the Gardens is Birmingham’s annual premier antiques show hosted by Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
The weekend-long event features speakers and a Gala, as well as endless shopping opportunities. There will be 22 dealers presenting antiques, furniture, fine art, jewelry, silver, rare books, home decor, and more. In short, you’re bound to find that perfect something.
Here are the details:
- The event begins Thursday, October 3
- However, the public show runs Friday-Sunday, October 4-6
- Daily general admission is $15, while a three-day weekend pass is $25
- Tickets will be available online here starting Tuesday, September 3
This event always assembles a variety of creative, nationally recognized speakers and A-list designers, and this year is no exception!
Below, you’ll find 3 of the 13 design, garden and entertaining experts that will be speaking at the 2019 Antiques at the Gardens. Check out the full lineup!
We’ll be bringing you even more of the inside scoop as the event gets closer, but if you’re itching for the details, you can peek at the weekend schedule here.
Markham Roberts: “The Way I See It”
Anyone acclaimed by Vogue is someone I want to learn from. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens
- Red Diamond Lecture Series
- Friday, October 4, 2019
Called “a master of timeless American style” by Vogue, Markham Roberts has consequently earned a reputation as one of the top decorators of his generation.
Born in Indianapolis, Markham graduated from Brown University and moved to New York to work with the late Mark Hampton, before opening his firm in 1997.
The following publications and many more have featured Roberts and his work:
- Architectural Digest
- Elle Decor
- House & Garden
- Southern Accents
- Town & Country
- The New York Times
Roberts was included in the 2018 book Inspired Design, the 100 Most Important Designers of the Past 100 Years.
Whether working on commercial projects or for private clients across the country and abroad, Markham infuses interiors with his sophisticated and personal touch, applying his knowledge and experience individually and specifically to each project.
Renny Reynolds & Jack Staub: “Chasing Eden”
Chester and Zack (pictured) are two of Reynolds’ and Staub’s beloved pets. Photo via Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
- Red Diamond Lecture Series
- Friday, October 4, 2019
Reynolds in his gardens at Hortulus Farms. Photo via Hortulus Farms’ website.
Renny Reynolds, founder of Renny & Reed in New York City, is one of the nation’s most renowned entertaining, gardening, and lifestyle experts.
His book, The Art of The Party, is known widely as the “party-planners bible.”
Renny’s clients have included Presidents Ford, Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton. He has planned events in the White House as well as serving many celebrity clients, leaders of industry and countless brides.
His gardens at Hortulus Farm, his 100-acre, 18th-century farmstead he owns in Pennslyvania, are regarded as some of the most influential in the Northeast.
He is the founder of Hortulus Farm Nursery, a specialty greenhouse and perennial plant operation and multiple award winner at the Philadelphia Flower Show.
Staub is a man of many talents—author, actor, gardener, and more. Photo via Hortulus Farms’ website.
Jack Staub, garden writer, lecturer, playwright, and avid gardener, is one of the country’s leading experts on edible gardening.
He shares Hortulus Farm with his partner garden designer, Renny Reynolds. HGTV, PBS, and The Travel Channel have all featured the farm, which welcomes thousands of visitors every season.
In addition, his trilogy 75 Exciting Vegetables for Your Garden, 75 Remarkable Fruits for Your Garden, and 75 Exceptional Herbs for Your Garden were identified as “wittily entertaining” by Horticulture Magazine.
Jack has been an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia as well as serving as the inspiration for the character of “Nick” in the Academy Award-nominated movie Metropolitan. Staub was also a Creative Director at a number of Manhattan ad agencies, is the author of five plays, and has appeared on such daytime dramas as The Guiding Light, Search For Tomorrow, and One Life To Live.
Follow Bham Now on Instagram and stay tuned for your chance to win tickets to Antiques at the Gardens 2019!
The Herts Garden Show
Welcome to the Herts Garden Show web site
This show will feature over 100 exhibitors with a wide variety of goods on display and for sale. The nurseries in the floral marquee will be fighting for the top prize of £500 with their stunning floral displays including medal winners from Chelsea. The garden exhibitors have all manner of gardening goods for sale and include over thirty nurseries. There is a craft pavilion, brass band and children’s rides.
As well as the numerous nurseries in attendance there will be exhibitors selling garden furniture, water features, hot tubs, tools, sculptures, and much more
Access to the formal gardens, Adventure Playground and Dinosaur Trail is included in the ticket price
For further information contact Will Chesson on 01795-474660 or write to WMH Leisure, 71 West Street, Sittingbourne, Kent. ME10 1AN
Gates open from 9.30 am until 5 pm with last admission at 4pm
Friendly dogs on leads are permitted at Knebworth however they are not allowed into the house or the formal gardens and owners are expected to clean any mess
Hertfordshire Garden Show at Knebworth House
On 5-7th May, The Hertfordshire Garden Show at Knebworth House will inspire visitors to make their garden look extra special this year. Entry is included with Park & Gardens admission, making for an extra special day at even better value. Open 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, last admission 4:00 pm.
Numerous growers from across the region will be happy to share helpful tips and insider expertise to make even the most aspirational and extravagant garden plans a reality. Exhibitors will be selling a huge range of top quality potted plants, flowers, herbs, accessories and garden furniture. There will be craft and cut flower marquees, musical entertainment on the show field and plenty of fresh ideas. Get inspired for the forthcoming spring months.
There have been gardens at Knebworth House since at least the 17th Century, but the present layout was largely designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens, who married into the Lytton family. The gardens remain one of the finest examples his designs. Each subsequent generation of the family has enhanced the gardens and the recent wood carvings are particularly interesting.
Part of the RHS Partner Gardens scheme, the 28-acres of Formal Gardens at Knebworth House are delightful throughout the season and include an Edwardian maze, colourful borders, fine trees and a walled vegetable garden planted with unusual vegetables. Younger visitors will particularly enjoy the Wilderness area with its Willow Huts, wind-up sound boxes and the famous Knebworth Dinosaur Trail, with over 70 life-sized pre historic creatures. Come and play in the extensive Park area and at the Adventure Playground with Fort Knebworth.
It’s a fantastic value day out – all included with one price of just £9.50 per person or £34.00 for a family ticket/group of four. Tickets booked online before the day of the event qualify for a 10% discount. Full priced tickets will be available at the gate on the day. Entry is free for Season Ticket holders and children aged under 3. House tickets are available at a supplement of £3.50 for adults, £3.00 for senior citizens / children at the door.
Pop into the Gift Shop where you can find a further range of plants grown in-house and other exclusive gifts to take home. And why not follow your visit with a cup of tea and some delicious home-made cakes in the Garden Terrace Tea Room? Season ticket holders qualify for 10% off in both!
For more information visit the Knebworth House website at www.knebworthhouse.com, or phone the estate office on 01438 812661.
Who are gardening programs really for? For those already obsessed with horticultural matters, any moments of free time are spent sowing, sniffing, and tending one’s actual plants. For non-horticulture fans, why does it matter whether or not hardy double-flowered fuchsias thrive in full sun? Unlike food shows, gardening programs can’t tempt the casual passerby with lingering custard shots, or with Nigella Lawson speaking in perfect iambic pentameter while slicing mangoes. Plus, they have a cruel tendency to feature spaces that, compared with the squashed little patches of city dwellers, are sickeningly huge. Oh, you’re worried about which climbing rose to splay over your restored barn wall, are you, Muriel? You’re not sure how to ventilate your greenhouse? Please shut up. Some of us are struggling to stuff a second chili plant into a single scruffy window box and our patience is low.
However, true comfort-viewing transcends the need for common ground. The brilliance of “The Great British Bake Off,” the undisputed zenith of British TV cosiness, lies in its producers’ realization that a combination of empathy and Schadenfreude make anything enjoyable to watch. One doesn’t need to be a pastry pro to be gripped when arrogant Nigel’s butterscotch-and-pear five-layer gingerbread torte collapses, or to care desperately that the single mother Sue recovers her self-esteem. I’ve been watching the reruns; they make life almost bearable. I’ve also recently discovered a program that is almost as charmingly restful: a gardening show for people without wildflower meadows and ornamental stonework, for those who simply enjoy watching ordinary citizens make mistakes, nurse wild ambitions, and ultimately, to an extent, succeed. It’s the BBC’s “Big Dreams, Small Spaces,” currently on Netflix, and it stars not only clueless amateurs with absurdly troublesome real-life plots, full of tarmac, rubble, ground elder, and small children, but also the charismatic jeweller turned master gardener Monty Don.
Once, British gardening was dominated by glamorous aristocrats: Rhoda, Lady Birley, in a peacock-trimmed straw sombrero; or Nancy Lancaster, hot yet practical, with her rakish yellow kerchief and cashmere collar, shimmering with sexual confidence and fashion-forward pleating. In good news for democrats and bad news for breeches, those days have passed. Now we expect our horticultural celebrities to be no-nonsense, in easy-wash knitwear and hard-wearing slacks, and resolutely mainstream. In the past, though, the appeal of these British gardeners—a tousle-haired woman, an avuncular chap—has been, if you will, niche. Monty Don subverts that. Open about his struggles (bankruptcy, depression, a minor stroke), the owner of a range of gorgeous dogs and an immense garden in rural England from which he films his flagship gardening program, the faintly boring “Gardener’s World,” Monty combines reassuring poshness, accessibility, and, to be frank, good looks. (The man’s given name is Montagu, for heaven’s sake.) Best of all, he has a magnificent gardening wardrobe. Everything he wears—stevedore’s smocks, fisherman’s sweaters, cotton jackets like Modigliani might have worn for photo shoots, rugged corduroy trousers, braces (suspenders) fit for battle in 1917—looks exactly right: a sort of butch-dandy neo-artisan, ready for whittling action. It’s the stuff of Lady Chatterley’s more suitable dreams.
Even better, “Big Dreams, Small Spaces” combines this glamour with that essential of modern television: soi-disant relatability. The Ordinary People in these shows aren’t wealthy silver surfers who have downsized to just one acre, or hipster chef-gardeners rearing crops for micro-breweries. They are modest, unwealthy humans, with budgets in the hundreds, not hundreds of thousands, trying to improve their concreted front gardens, their hummocky suburban yards. Unlike the “small gardens” of other shows and magazines, which mysteriously have room for pergolas and duck ponds, these gardens are tiny. Better still, their owners are revolutionaries. It’s not decking they want but beehives, communal vegetables, urban jungles, and scented idylls for toddlers with special needs, and, because Monty will be coming round to check on them with his shepherd’s crook and clogs, they’d better rise to the challenge.
Our staff and contributors share their cultural enthusiasms.
They rarely do. To design anything, one needs artistry and experience, particularly when one plans to turn a steeply sloped rubbish dump into a multi-sensory Philippine-style self-sufficient animal sanctuary complete with ruined mill and turrets. Monty draws up a plan, recommends plants … and then watches as his advisees fail to follow his advice to simplify and decide, instead, to add a functioning waterfall. Calmly, with an edge of despair, he tries to right their wrongs. Meanwhile, the cosily ominous voice-over (“But will Geoffrey’s leeks be ready for that all-important family Christmas buffet?”) and over-caffeinated village-band soundtrack (POM pom pom) suggest that the show’s participants are planning the D Day landing, not trying to prop up the compost bin before Monty comes to call. Oddly, one falls for it. Oh no, Sasha’s overspent on her industrial sheeting! Tariq forgot the trees!
It’s not quite edge of seat. But, like “The Great British Bake Off,” “Big Dreams, Small Spaces” is mildly gripping, deeply soothing, and, thanks to the invariably awkward group celebrations at the show’s end, with iced biscuits round the guinea-pig hutch and shy cheering, it is reminiscent of the best sort of garden parties—the ones the viewer doesn’t have to be at. Without wanting to objectify Monty in his indigo sailor’s trousers, he and his vintage apple-picker are always welcome in my living room. The next time I am low, or garden deprived, I plan to slip into my Yves Saint Laurent pruning jacket and silken headscarf and begin Season 3.
Can watching British gardening shows turn you into an adult?
You can find out a lot about a person based on the kind of TV they watch. For instance, I watch Drag Race because I’m gay and have an attention deficit disorder. Recently, though, I started watching British gardening shows.
I watch gardening shows because my boyfriend watches gardening shows. He’s actually somewhat of an enthusiast. Between the two of us, we have three going right now—Big Dreams, Small Spaces; Gardeners’ World; and Garden Rescue. The first two are hosted by this fellow named Monty Don, who is exactly the kind of person you would imagine as the host of a British gardening show. He wears Crocs, carries a wooden stick as a staff, and owns two magnificent-looking dogs with stupid names. While the Monty shows are generally educational, Garden Rescue is more of a guilty pleasure, borne of frustrated queer fascination. It has more of a competitive, HGTV vibe, and it features a woman named Charlie who competes on projects with a pair of androgynously rugged brothers who work together as landscape designers and share a personal style that I think I would find terribly hot if I were a lesbian.
Up until this point, I’ve responded to the supposed golden age of television with a strategy of attrition. While everyone watches quote-unquote “good content”—critically acclaimed, career-cementing work like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Orange Is the New Black, Black Mirror, Big Little Lies… basically anything with an informed and engaged fanbase, including most movies—I’ve been resolute in my refusal. It started as a combination of inattentiveness and immaturity, but over time, it’s morphed into intentional avoidance in the form of over-reliance on bottom-feeder canned content.
I’ve always liked to imagine myself as relatively well-rounded, but then I started dating someone who speaks three languages and goes to ballet class in the middle of the day on his weekends. Yet, ever the complex adult human being, my boyfriend has inspiringly taken to serialized Housewives drama just as comfortably as he has to ballet and award-bait. A lot of the garbage we’re currently watching was his idea, and I’m eternally grateful for it. On the other hand, however, if left to my own devices I would probably watch nothing but Chopped reruns. Like many other over-educated and prematurely-jaded twenty-somethings, I am incredibly reticent to broadening my horizons, despite being continually pleasantly surprised when I do so.
Variety is said to be the spice of life—thus, exposure to new stuff is scary but, more often than not, rewarding. I picked up Drag Race from a guy I went out with in undergrad, and from there, my world was never the same. My expansion into the world of reality TV was nothing short of life changing; if there’s anything that gays love, it’s manufactured drama enhanced by ridiculous makeup. Hence, Drag Race led to the Kardashians, the Real Housewives, and later, Shahs of Sunset, which is the absolute peak of televised entertainment.
I like to think that my newfound interest in curated and educational gardening shows has the propensity to be symptomatic of something bigger.
I like to think that my newfound interest in curated and educational gardening shows has the propensity to be symptomatic of something bigger. It’s a bit of a fantasy, acting as both motivator and balm for those sort of semi-professional millennial-type moments that keep happening more and more often, where you’re made to be instantly conscious of your own vast inexperience—for instance, writing a cover letter, or buying produce, or any time I’m asked a direct question.
At the moment I’m sort of adult-adjacent. But now that I’m actually learning things from TV, and watching something that is noticeably bereft of wine-throwing, I think I’m in the process of leveling up as a person. Hopefully this has the potential to put me over the edge and send me down the kind of rabbit hole that leads to things like answering emails or learning to play an instrument.
There’s no real excuse to actively limit oneself from enjoying more complex or dramatic television, but comfort zones are so-called for a reason. It’s scary to try new things, even if they come with everyone else’s stamp of approval. This, however, feels like the rumblings of something bigger; I would never be consuming this kind of content if it wasn’t so completely up my boyfriend’s alley. That’s what’s nice about a partnership—it forces you out of your boxes.
This BBC Gardening Show Couldn’t Be More Charming (and It’s on Netflix Now)
If you think your television needs more horticulture, hello and welcome. You’re among friends. And, as friends, we need to alert you to this delightful gardening show from the BBC. It’s called Big Dreams, Small Spaces, and you can watch it on Netflix now.
Fans of The Great British Bake Off are likely to enjoy this new show. It’s about—as the title suggests—attempting to realize big garden dreams in small garden spaces. During the show, amateur gardeners throughout the U.K. take to their lawns, yards, and flower beds. They work to transform challenging, sometimes nightmarish plots into lovely green spaces. It’s not the easiest of undertakings, but these budding gardeners are aided along the way by their horticultural guide—writer, presenter, and gardening enthusiast Monty Don.
Wondering what the episodes’ plotlines could possibly be? Allow Netflix to describe them for you: In season two, episode one, “An engaged couple wants their sloping garden to produce flowers for their wedding. A woman hopes to transform an overgrown lot into a haven for bees.” Later, in episode four, “Two neighbors want to combine their gardens into one, but they have different visions. A former army officer plans a summer garden for her daughters.” Then, in episode five, “Monty’s projects include gardens inspired by the children’s classic Alice in Wonderland and by the olives and grapevines of Italy.”
You can find season two of Big Dreams, Small Spaces on Netflix today. You can also find all three of the show’s seasons on Amazon. They’re accessible there with a subscription to Inside Outside House & Garden.
For more big garden dreams, check out 10 Best Landscaping Ideas and The One Thing I Wish I Knew Before DIY-ing My Landscaping.
WATCH: 10 Plants You Should Always Prune in the Fall
Will you tune into Big Dreams, Small Spaces? What would your ideal gardening show look like? What shows are you watching lately?