Monday, March 23, 2015

Embrace Spring at Bellingrath Gardens

In the sleepy, little town of Theodore, Alabama (near Mobile) there is a garden that is bursting forth in spring color. 

The Bellingrath Gardens, first developed in 1927, were owned by Bessie and Walter Bellingrath. Since the couple had no children, the 65 acre property was donated to a foundation that continues to run the garden. The garden is open to the public daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and today I'm taking you on a little tour to check it out. 

By the way, the photos in this blog were all taken with my iPhone5. My iPhone isn't quite as good as my Nikon D7000. That said, some of these photos were very good and I'm not sure I could have done better with my regular camera. You be the judge.

March in the south east is azalea season! My visit was just a little off peak, but I still found plenty of blooms.

Camellias grow like trees in this old southern garden. Sometimes called the "winter rose", because their rose-like blooms grace the garden during the colder months from November through March. 

Walking up to the conservatory, you catch a glimpse of a pretty fountain. As you get closer, the space opens up to the rose garden. There are no roses blooming today, but with over 2,000 rose bushes, I imagine it's quite a show.

The conservatory, built in 1936, is host to all sorts of tropical plants. Back in the old days, a coal fired boiler kept the plants toasty warm on cold winter nights. 

The walkway edging the great lawn was one of my favorite spots. I loved how the gardeners blended the old azaleas, clipped hedges and liriope with the seasonal plantings of ornamental kale, chard, red mustard, flowering bulbs, and annuals.

On my way through the garden, I smelled this mass planting of hyacinth long before I saw it. Ah! The aromas of spring!

This building, built back in 1939, was originally a six car garage with guest quarters above. Today it's an art gallery housing a collection by American sculptor Edward Marshall Boehm.

On the edge of the south terrace of the Bellingrath Home, I found this perfect garden view. Beautiful!

Without their leaves, the trees at Mirror Lake create the perfect spring sculpture. Just weeks ago, they were asleep, but now you can feel them vibrating with life.

It's spring! Embrace nature. Get there and enjoy the beauty of it!


  1. Bellingrath Gardens is an inspiration, isn't it? They manage tulips as annuals very well in an environment not friendly to tulips.

    1. Bellingrath was amazing. It took us 2 1/2 hours to walk through and we didn't even tour the house. What a beautiful place. I wonder if they could get the tulipa clusiana 'lady jane' to naturalize. I added some of these to my zone 8 garden and so far they are returning.