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Do you want to build memories visiting Birmingham to discover wonder and beauty? Then it would help if you visited the Birmingham Botanical Gardens today. Once you walk into this park, you know it is a special place.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens Mission and History
The botanical garden has had a long journey since 1934 as the city council dedicated Lane Park in memory of the late Mayor A.O. Lane. Since then, the 200-acre park has become the home of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the Birmingham Zoo.
In 1960 the first master plan took shape, emphasizing native woodlands and outdoor plants. The conservatory opened its doors in 1962, and the first garden developed in the 1960s, known as the Japanese Gardens.
In 1971 the garden center opened, and gardens were added in the 1970s. The garden expanded as time progressed and had the largest public horticulture library. You can still see the original outdoor sculpture displayed while following the walking paths.
The primary mission of the gardens is to protect and nurture native plants while providing all the wonders of nature to explore.
Things to Know before going to Birmingham Botanical Gardens
The botanical garden has loads of attractions for friends and family to enjoy. You can find certain features we will highlight as we journey through this magical place. But before we step through this enchanted place in Alabama, there are a few things you first need to know.
Hours & Admission
From spring to summer, the gardens open at 7 AM and close at 6 PM every day. During fall to winter, the opening time remains the same, and it closes at 5 PM from Monday to Sunday. For a safer experience wearing masks indoors is optional.
The public horticulture library opens at 9 AM and closes at 4 PM from Monday to Friday. At the same time, the gift shop opens at 9 AM closing at 5:30 PM from Monday to Saturday. Sundays, it extends from 12 to 5 PM.
The cafe opens at 11 AM, closes at 2 PM, and is only open from Tuesday to Friday. Admission to the gardens is free and open to the public daily.
You can enjoy free parking, but it is limited to large vehicle spaces.
Garden Etiquette For The Southern Living Garden
In the urban oasis, you find the Japanese Garden with more options available to explore, but there are rules in place that all need to follow. The important thing is to remain on the walking trails and enjoy viewing nature without touching anything.
The best is to dress for an outdoor walking experience with comfortable shoes and shirts always on. No sports equipment is allowed, and you are not permitted to feed wild animals.
You can bring your service animal along to care for special services, but pets need to remain at home. Picnic tables can enjoy food in the Hill Garden at the main entrance. At the Crape Myrtle Garden, children can enjoy the swings.
No smoking or fireworks are allowed, and adults must accompany all kids under 12. You can enjoy a bicycle ride in the areas permitted, but no skates or scooters are allowed.
An excellent way to remember your trip to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens is to capture every moment on film. Yet, you are only allowed to take photos for personal use and not for any advertising and measurement services.
There are no reservations available for portrait and wedding photo sessions.
Photography equipment is limited to only a camera. All other photographic equipment is not allowed.
Props and pets are also not allowed in the park.
No wardrobe changes are allowed in the buildings, restrooms, or car park.
Guided tours are available in the gardens seven days a week. You will be led by garden guides providing you with all the information you need about the plants from around the world in the park. The tours are 45 minutes to an hour long.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens Highlights
When visiting the Birmingham Gardens, it helps to download the map to plan your trip in such a way as to enjoy the view of every part of the garden.
Birmingham Botanical Gardens Library
Visiting the library helps to become a member and receive discounted benefits. The library offers essential information for all to enjoy:
Gardening to kids’ books
DVDs and provide a free seed exchange
You can get resource material with multiple copies on flora and wildlife
There are even lesson plan materials for teachers
To enjoy taking home some memorabilia, you can visit the gift shop to find that perfect present for family and friends. They accept membership cards, and you can receive up to a 10% discount.
For those interested in art, head over to the art gallery for you to review and explore different art exhibitions held throughout the year.
Some Highlights Of the Japanese Gardens Included
Throughout Alabama Gardens, you can find different garden settings throughout the sites:
The Japanese garden is the highlight, with the red torii filled with seasonal delights. Yet, the traditional garden design is worth exploring.
Another highlight is Southern Living Park with its Ecco Reflecting Pool & Terrace.
The conservatory is a sun-filled glasshouse filled up with flora to explore.
A must-see before you leave is the Bruno Vegetable Garden, where you can find something new to learn every day.
Education, Programs, Events, and Fieldtrips
The gardens present young and old with educational classes. You can even plan an event or enjoy different field trips. Partaking in native indoor plant studies, gardening, health and wellness, and much more.
Your kids can go on a summer camp or enjoy storytimes in the gorgeous setting. You can join as a volunteer or become a member to receive discounts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the gardens are accessible to the public from Monday to Sunday.
You can enter the gardens to buy a ticket for special occasions at the reception or can pre-book your ticket online.
The gardens spread over 15 acres of ground and make for a fantastic getaway during the day or over weekends to enjoy some peace.
Yes, you can host your wedding, corporate parties, engagements, and more at the gardens.