2021’s Most Romantic Gardens in the U.S.
February 10, 2021 – 11:39 pm | Comments Off on 2021’s Most Romantic Gardens in the U.S.

Special to Road Trips for Gardeners
By Brenda Ryan for LawnStarter
What says romance better than a dozen roses? How about thousands of roses, along with lilies, tulips, philodendrons, and every other flower you can imagine.
You …

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Mobile’s Bellingrath Gardens

Submitted by on December 22, 2009 – 12:59 amNo Comment

Bellingrath Gardens cameliaBellingrath Gardens is one of those places you can visit any time of the year. From camellias (such as the one pictured) in winter, azaleas in spring, roses in summer and chrysanthemums in autumn, there’s always something in bloom on its 65 acres. Highlight of the year, however is March 15-April 5 when more than 1/4 million azaleas burst into color. Varieties include ‘Formosa,’ ‘Daphne Salmon,’ ‘Southern Charm,’ ‘Pride of Mobile,’ ‘G.G. Gerbing,’ ‘George L. Tabor’ and ‘Christmas Cheer’.

Bellingrath Gardens and Home was the creation of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bellingrath. The Gardens first opened to the public in 1932 while a national garden club meeting was taking place in Mobile, Alabama. Mr. Bellingrath placed an ad in the Mobile paper, announcing that anyone who would like to see the spring garden could do so free of charge. After an overwhelming response, the couple decided to keep the gardens open year-round, beginning in 1934.

Walter Bellingrath had bought a “fishing camp” along Fowl River in 1917. At that time there were two dilapidated shacks without either electricity or running water. He and his father-in-law fixed up the cabins and added screened porches while using the property for hunting and fishing. In the 1920s one of the shacks was removed to build a lodge with beamed ceilings, a large fireplace and screened porches overlooking Fowl River.

Frequent travelers, the Bellingraths ventured on a European excursion in the summer of 1927, during which they gained a deep appreciation for the beautiful English estates and European gardens — and set about replicating the style in suburban Mobile, Alabama.

Today, you can tour the Bellingrath Home, complete with its original furnishings and Mrs. Bellingrath’s extensive collection of decorative arts. Built in 1935, the 10,500 square foot “English Renaissance” manse was designed by architect George B. Rogers. If you’re there between March and November, you can take a 45-minute cruise along the Fowl River aboard the Southern Belle, learning about birding habits, ecological systems and Civil War history of the area.

Bellingrath Gardens and Home, 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore, Alabama, is open year-round from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. (except Christmas Day). For more information, go online.

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