Montgomery Botanical Gardens Offers Garden Photography Class in May

The Montgomery Botanical Gardens will present Capturing Beauty in Your Garden through Photography, on Saturday, May 11 at 10:00 AM in the Wisdom Wood Outdoor Classroom at Oak Park. The class will be taught by Jewell Pitts and will show participants how to set up photo shots to enhance the beauty of plants and flowers found in nature.

Mrs. Pitts is a Montgomery native.  She is a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and a retiree of the Alabama Department of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities after forty years of service.  Her hobbies include tennis, pickleball, and badminton, but her favorite hobby is photography.

Although she has not had formal training, Mrs. Pitts’ years of shooting photographs have graced her with a vast knowledge that she loves to share. She is an avid member of the Capitol City Camera Club, Photogs of South Alabama and Beyond, Alabama the Beautiful, and Wabi-Sabi Photography.

Mrs. Pitts particularly enjoys photographing blooming flowers and loves to share her tips for picture-perfect shots. She will discuss framing shots, light, and color and how they affect the photograph, and other suggestions for getting the most out of the photography session.

Seating will be available, although participants may wish to bring folding chairs for comfort. The class is free and open to the public. Water will be furnished.

Upcoming classes include Attracting Pollinators, taught by Sonya Moore on Saturday, June 8 at 10:00 AM; and Building Birdhouses, taught by Billie Crawford on Saturday, July 13 at 9:00 AM. Please note differing time schedules, due to the summer heat.

Spring is Bursting Out All Over the Botanical Gardens!

The Montgomery Botanical Gardens at Oak Park are truly bursting with colors and shapes.  While the brief blossoms of Spring are showing off along the pathways, now is the time to visit for yourself and take in the breathtaking views. This time of year is also an excellent time to take photos in the gardens of your family and friends or of the magnificent blossoms as they open to the warmth of the sun. 

The MBG Board of Directors have guided the plantings designated in the beautiful garden design by Mrs. Fairlie Rinehart and the dedicated volunteers have prepared the beds and installed the plants. Some of the recent annuals that were planted will grow and thrive through the summer months. But many of the blooming perennials have shorter spans when their flowers are at their peak. So don’t delay your visits to the gardens.

The Azaleas have been displaying their delicate blossoms in many shades of pink, purple, white and still have unopened buds to open soon. The Redbud trees have produced their purple leaves as they develop and their tiny lavender blossoms. The small dogwoods hold their creamy white blooms open to the breeze and the Hydrangeas are just beginning to fill out their large green leaves. 

Bridal Wreath Spirea shrubs drape their long graceful limbs covered in tiny white “bouquets” in a strategically placed row in full view as you walk the pathway of the Southern Garden.  A row of Candy Corn Spirea catches your eye as it exhibits its yellow and orange leaves ahead of its contrasting fuchsia blossoms that will appear later. The numerous plants in the three Pollinator beds compete for the attention of visiting bees and butterflies with their blossoms such as stalks of Snapdragons or feathery Bronze Fennel waving in the breeze. 

The recently replanted circular beds at the entrance show only a hint of what they will display later in the summer and the bulbs are just beginning to leaf out and prepare for later blooming. So put on your walking shoes and come to the Montgomery Botanical Gardens very soon to enjoy the Spring “show” in this beautiful oasis of nature in the midst of urban Montgomery. Sit awhile on one of the new Oak Leaf benches, linger in the Betty Fitz-gerald Biblical Garden to meditate, pray or simply enjoy the view. You will find that yourself refreshed and your mood lofted. 

Announcement

We regret to announce that the class scheduled in the garden on April 13, 2024,
Physical Therapy for Gardeners, has been cancelled due to the presenter being unavailable. We plan to reschedule this class in next year’s calendar. We hope to see you at the remaining classes for 2024.

Montgomery Botanical Gardens Trees and Shrubs Class Draws Enthusiastic Crowd

Although the weather was gloomy and rainy, an enthusiastic group joined Maria Pachecko in a fantastic Trees and Shrubs MBG class held at Oak Park in the Wisdom Wood Outdoor Classroom. Maria covered a variety of topics of interest to participants and offered great tips for gardeners.

Before planting trees and shrubs, she suggested gardeners do the following:

  • Sit where you have a good view of the area you want to develop/plant.
  • Study what you see, then consider what you would like it to be. ie, a relaxing venue to linger in and enjoy; trees along a screen or fence line to hide an unsightly area or provide privacy from neighbors; an attractive or unique display that sets your property apart from others in the neighborhood; or a forest-like area, native plant area or a pollinator garden, etc.
  • Allow your objective to determine the types of trees and plants you should get and the size you need.
  • Get soil samples for that area tested so you know what amendments you may need to add before planting.
  • Remember that in this area of central Alabama we have four growing seasons, each of which can provide amazing beauty. Consider the appearance of the bark in winter, the changing leaves in Fall, the emerging leaves and buds in Spring and the brilliant colors of Summer. 
  • Designate an area for a patio, or seating area from which you will be able to enjoy your space of nature when it is completed.
  • Begin identifying the specific trees and plants to accomplish your vision.
  • Consider heirloom and native plants because they are well suited for thriving in your area. Many can be obtained from family members or bought at local Master Gardener Plant Sales.

The next Montgomery Botanical Gardens class will be Physical Therapy for Gardeners taught by Andy Gustafson. This session will be held on Saturday, April 13 at 10:00 in the Wisdom Wood Outdoor Classroom. Seating will be available, but, for comfort, participants may wish to bring a folding chair. Water will be available.

Late Winter Blossoms Hint of Spring

The bright, colorful blossoms that appear in the garden in late Winter, give us hints of Spring’s awakening. Your spirits will be lifted when you visit the Montgomery Botanical Gardens and stroll its pathways. 

The tiny white blooms of Snowbells, the nodding faces of Daffodils of various shades of yellow and white, and the glorious mauve petals of the Japanese magnolia tree will bring smiles to your faces as they greet you. Then the great cloud of vibrant yellow blooms along the limbs of the Forsythia shrubs appear like sunshine in the midst of brown and green around them. 

But perhaps the most impressive specimens are the numerous blooms of the large Camellia bushes. Take time to find the perfect blooms for a photograph. Then note the Loropetalum covered in its bright pink feathery blossoms. 

These beauties will be in bloom only a short time before Spring actually appears, so don’t delay your visits to the gardens.