Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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Birmingham Botanical Gardens

A facility of the Birmingham Park and Recreation Board, the beauty and value of Birmingham Botanical Gardens are the result of a successful public/private partnership between the City of Birmingham and the nonprofit Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens. In 2016, Birmingham Botanical Gardens was named as one of the top three free attractions in America by USA Today. Education programs run year round and more than 10,000 school children on average enjoy free science-curriculum based field trips annually. The Gardens is open daily, offering free admission to more than 350,000 yearly visitors.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

The Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a 15 acres (6.1 hectares) botanical gardens situated in Edgbaston, Birmingham, England. The gardens are close to the centre of Birmingham and open every day except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. They are located at grid reference SP049854. It is an independent educational charity. The gardens are located just one and a half miles from the centre of Birmingham.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

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There’s much to celebrate this weekend at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Friday is National Public Garden Day, and The Gardens is Alabama’s most visited free attraction. Each year, 350,000 people visit The Gardens, which is open every day of the year from dawn until dusk. Admission remains free, and the City of Birmingham and Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens are able to keep admission free and fund their educational program through – among other resources – the generosity of their donors. Consider making a donation this National Public Garden Day.

…FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Being one of Birmingham’s best attractions, The Birmingham Botanical Gardens offers something for everyone, be it one of our four stunning glasshouses showing tropical rainforest to arid desert, beautiful gardens, playground, tearoom or our gift shop. There are four glasshouses which range from our exotic Tropical House through to our Subtropical, Mediterranean and Arid Houses. There is a large lawn in front of the glasshouses with a range of beds and shrubberies around its perimeter. Overall, the character is that of a Victorian public park with a bandstand set in 15 acres (6.1 ha) of landscaped greenery. The Botanical Gardens are in partnership with Thursfield Solicitors to offer legal guidance and support in leaving a charitable donation for the Botanical Gardens in your will.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is a spectacular site for a special event. Whether you are in need of an indoor or outdoor setting, you’ll find many options to choose from. Offering a convenient location close to downtown Birmingham and adjacent to the charming and elegant community of Mountain Brook, The Gardens is the ideal place for your memorable event. Contact Alicia Andrews at 205.414.3908 or apandre@ci.birmingham.al.us for facility & wedding availability and pricing. Facility rentals are open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of The Gardens receive “in-city rates” of all room and garden rental rates.

The parking lot and Garden Center, including the Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, are barrier-free facilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). During operating hours of the Garden Center, complimentary wheelchairs are available to check out at the Receptionist’s desk on a first-come, first-served basis. While it is a major goal of our upcoming master plan update to improve accessibility throughout The Gardens, much of the site is currently not barrier-free and assistance will be necessary. Nevertheless, many paths and garden areas have hard surfaces throughout and offer numerous visiting opportunities.

And if you still need a gift for mom, Membership at The Gardens is a unique idea that will allow her to enjoy everything that The Gardens has to offer. She’ll be able to shop Spring Plant Sale before anyone else, attend Antiques at The Gardens for free, take part in all Members-Only classes and get 10% off all purchases at The Gardens Cafe and Leaf & Petal at The Gardens.

*Please note: Birmingham Botanical Gardens is closed for normal entry for the duration of Jurassic Kingdom and will reopen as normal on Monday, 5th June. Entry will only be permitted with a valid Jurassic Kingdom ticket, which can be purchased online here. Don’t forget – members go free!*

From 1893-1897, Ernest Henry “Chinese” Wilson was a trainee botanist at the gardens. He went on to become a notable plant collector. In May 2010, a blue plaque was erected at the gardens, by the Birmingham Civic Society, marking his time there.

The gardens contain over 7,000 different plants and are home to The British National Bonsai Collection. One of the oldest specimens is the “Omiya tree”, a 250-year-old Juniperus chinensis in the informal upright style, presented to the collection in 1995 by the then city of Omiya, Japan. There are many unusual and notable plants in the gardens including two fine Himalayan Cedars close to the fountain. These were raised from seeds given to the gardens in the 1840s by James Watt Junior – son of James Watt whose improvements to the Newcomen steam engine were fundamental to the changes brought by the Industrial Revolution. A plant found nowhere else is the fern Dicksonia ×lathamii which is a hybrid between Dicksonia antarctica and Dicksonia arborescens, raised by ex-Curator W. B. Latham more than one hundred years ago.

The layout of the Botanical Gardens has changed very little since Loudon first designed it. There are four glasshouses which range from the exotic Tropical glasshouse, through to the Subtropical, Mediterranean and Arid houses. A large lawn is located in front of the glasshouses with a range of beds and shrubberies around its perimeter. Overall, the character is that of a Victorian public park with a bandstand set in 15 acres (6.1 ha) of landscaped greenery.

The gardens are also home to a small collection of exotic birds from around the world including the white-cheeked turaco, Himalayan monals, azure-winged magpies and quaker parakeets. Most birds are located in the white-domed lawn aviary building that provides a focal point on the main lawn. There is also a wetlands enclosure that contains ornamental waterfowl including different species of ducks. Some of the birds have been at the gardens a very long time including a sulphur-crested cockatoo called Jenny that has been entertaining visitors with her chatter for over 30 years. There is always at least one peacock roaming wild in the grounds. There is also a seasonal butterfly house.

If you love plants, being outdoors, and free parking, this is the place to visit. Enjoyed a wonderful morning exploring these gardens. Hope to return.

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