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While we were on the coast a few weeks ago, we took time to visit Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile. I can't really remember if I had ever been before but it was very nice and I enjoyed touring the gardens. They have a pretty wide selection of garden types; sunny meadows, shade, water and Japanese amongst others.
Their rose garden was maybe not quite as nice as Birmingham's but they had some real beauties nonetheless. I love bi-colored roses like these. And these were real roses too, not any of that "knock-out" crap that don't even have a fragrance. In my book, it's not real unless it has that rose smell. I'm absolutely horrible at actually growing roses but maybe one day I can devote a little more time to my efforts.
They had a very nice arboretum that was crammed with all sorts of cool flowers, trees and shrubs. Jack's interest poops out during these kinda of things but he always brings his Kindle so he can find a quiet place to read and I can look for as long as I want. Jack's sister-in-law was kind enough to take us to the gardens so she and I went over every square foot of the place just about.
I really loved this area with the pool. The story of Bellingrath is fairly interesting. Basically, a very well to do couple, with no children, bought several hundred acres (I think) as a "fish camp" for Mr. Bellingrath to use for relaxation and fun. Well, Mrs. Bellingrath thought it needed some work, so she hired a famous architect and well, the rest is history. You know how those architects are....After extensive development they decided they might open their gardens to the public for one day, so in 1934 they placed an ad in the Mobile paper. Anyone who would like could come out for an afternoon stroll around the gardens, free of charge. I think something like 4,700 people showed up and they got the idea that maybe they should allow the gardens to be open more often.
Mrs. Bellingrath was the first to pass away and in his devotion and love for her, Mr. Bellingrath established the gardens as a public establishment forever in her memory.
Visiting places like this always makes me want to go all wild landscaping when I get home. I, however, have to work with a severe lack of funds. And landscaping design sense. Mostly I just move rocks and plants, that are already growing here, around until I find something that works. I am going to put in some kind of fountain/ water garden behind the house though and it is going to be cool beans.
Of course there was the quintessential Spanish moss hanging from the trees everywhere. The girls in the big Gone With The Wind dresses only come out on special occasions though.
Since it was originally a fish camp it actually is situated on the shores of a river and several of the trails lead down to the water.
This was a good size estuary sponsored by, get this... Exxon. I laughed out loud at that one. What hypocrites. How 'bout spending some dough up in that Alaskan town you ruined, you bastards.
Anyway. Jack did join us long enough to see what kind of trouble he could get into and he always finds something.
The ideal time to come here would be when the azaleas are blooming because this place was eat up with them. I can imagine that when they are blooming it is just a sea of color everywhere. But, alas, they had all bloomed a few weeks before we were there.
Lots of mossy trees. We took a break for a really yummy lunch in their cafeteria and I thought everything was very reasonably priced, including admission.
The Japanese gardens was the only part that was a little disappointing. Birmingham's got them beat by a mile. However, they did have a few plant/ flower species I had never seen before, like this ginger. (I think)
There is a home there also that you can tour but we were not interested. I was kinda surprised to see it was modest compared to today's rich people standards.
There wasn't a lot of art but they did have a few bronzes and things. I want a spouty frog for my garden.