Birmingham in Bloom


CharlieEverything is coming up spring!

By Charlie Thigpen

Photography by Lindsey Griffin

 

We are so blessed to live in the South. In the month of March, we witness many of Mother Nature’s miracles as annuals, bulbs, perennials, trees, and shrubs break dormancy and begin to flower. We see hints of this in February as some camellias, early flowering daffodils, and Japanese magnolias begin to open on the warmest and sunniest of days. Unfortunately, many of these flowers are often nipped by the fickle late winter’s frost and freezes.

March truly signals a new beginning for our gardens. The multitude of flowers and warmer weather cheers our spirits and inspires us to enjoy the outdoors as the seasons change. Celebrate the season with its bounty of blooms, and don’t take it for granted. Remember, folks up north are still shoveling snow while we are able dig in the dirt!

 

Great Gardens Abound

Birmingham is lucky to have secured 67+ acres of land in the 1960s to create the impressive Birmingham Botanical Gardens. There is something in bloom almost year-round, but the garden really comes alive in March. This free-to-the-public garden is a great place to view plants that work well in our region. The display gardens offer a variety of situations including shade, sun, formal, and informal gardens where visitors can get ideas and see what’s blooming where.

Other nearby parks and gardens include Aldridge Gardens in Hoover and Railroad Park, located in the heart of downtown Birmingham. But just keep your eyes open this time of year and you will see flowers in bloom throughout the city and suburban areas. Many homeowners take great pride in their landscapes and fill their yards with showy plants that we all can enjoy and appreciate.

We can also see blooming plants as we shop. Most malls and shopping centers really dress up their entrances to entice shoppers. The Summit shopping center located off Highway 280 does an outstanding job with their many beds, planters, and hanging baskets. They plant a lot of colorful annuals, perennials, and shrubs, but they also do a superb job maintaining them by keeping them groomed, fertilized, and watered. All keys to beautiful blooms!

 

Take Ideas Home

Check out the many blooming borders and flowerbeds around town and see what combinations appeal to you. Take these ideas home and incorporate them in your landscape. Take pictures if you see a plant you don’t recognize. Most reputable garden centers have a knowledgeable horticulturist who can help you identify these unknown plants and help you locate them. We are all lucky to be able to enjoy the impressive spring blooms that beautify our Magic City.

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