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A Garden of the Heart

Aldridge Gardens is a 30 acre picturesque retreat nestled in the middle of Hoover, Alabama, with urban condos and shopping malls just moments away. Eddie Aldridge, its founder, once lived there with his wife Kay, but with plans for the gardens to become public, they moved to their current home overlooking a lake in 1996. In the new location Eddie has created another impressive garden, filled with plants he loves. This 2 acre personal garden is a garden of the heart, developed not for show but to bring joy to its owners. I was thrilled when Eddie and Kay invited me to visit their garden this week, and I am happy to have their permission to share my photographs of their special place with you. Enjoy!

Their beautiful fountain once graced the Aldridge's Garden Shop. I remember it well, for Aldridge's was one of my favorite places to buy plants!

This lace leaf Japanese maple also once was located on the site of Aldridge's Garden Shop. It is about 60 years old. It is still in a pot, though the bottom of the pot has been knocked out so that its roots can spread.

Here is another one of Eddie's special Japanese maples. This one is about 100 years old! There is a wire cage around its trunk to protect it from beavers, the creatures most notorious for destruction in Aldridge's garden.

Walking around the garden and viewing the lake, one feels the serenity of the space. It is very quiet, except for the birds!

Some more views of the garden:

Charming accents are featured throughout the garden. The butterfly bench is one of my favorites:

Eddie explains that while he oversees the main landscape, Kay's domain is the terrace. This area has great views of the garden and the lake, but I enjoyed Kay's lovely accessories, as well:

Eddie and Kay are well into their retirement years but remain active and very involved in the community. As all good gardens reveal something of the gardener's soul, I think this one reflects the gracious and youthful spirits of its owners.

You may also enjoy my previous post, Young Lovers at Aldridge Gardens

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Reader Comments (25)

What a beautiful garden. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I really like that little house.

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterchristy

Heyyy, I know Hoover, as I did news stories from there years ago and also spent time in the area while writing for Southern Accents magazine. Annnd, my first name is Eddie (can't be born in Alabama without two names). I did not, however, know my namesake's stunning garden. Now I do. Thank you for alerting me to it through your beautiful images, including Kay's accessories. I hope I'll be able to visit next time I'm in Georgia or Alabama.

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLee May

Beautiful images Debbie!~ I'm sharing the link to this post on Twitter ( #gardenchat )

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBren

Very lovely!

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJason

What a lovely post and a gorgeous garden! From the Japanese Maples to the beautiful fountain with red tulips I love it! Such a wonderful opportunity for you to see it and blog about it; thanks for sharing! Jeannine

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeannine

The serenity of this garden shows in your photos. The view throughout the trees to the lake is divine. What a privilege to spend time in this special garden - I'm so pleased that you were able to visit it and share it with us.

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Gardening Shoe

The fountain overlooking the lake is fabulous. And I love all the Japanese Maples! Quite beautiful, with a serene feeling. Just lovely.

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHolleyGarden

Thanks for sharing this Debs, gorgeous garden and lovely photography as always!

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

How beautiful! Thank you for sharing such a lovely public garden!

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJody Raines

What a serene lakeside retreat they made out of their 2 acres. A beautiful spot and nicely photographed!

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaurrie

That is one enchanting garden! The first photo of the Tulips around the fountain ... with the trees ... and the lake in the background ... exquisite! It's so kind of the owners and you to share it with us!

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPlantPostings

What a wonderful walk through this private garden. It is very beautiful and so peaceful. Thank you for sharing it.

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie@Seattle Trekker

A beautiful post Deb - thank you. I can sense the ambiance through your images. How wonderful to be able to establish a new garden with such venerable maples too.

April 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Chapman

Deborah I love the whimsy and beauty of this garden...the views of the lake and the fountain are stunning.

April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

hi Deb
What a lovely garden! I especially enjoyed the old old Japanese Maple, the little house and the butterfly bench.

April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid

Oh my, that butterfly bench is amazing. A truly stunning piece! There's something wonderfully restful about a maple next to water. My first garden had a lot more shade (and less deer), and Japanese maples were my favorite. I only had three different varieties, but I really miss their vibrant color through the seasons.

April 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCurbstone Valley Farm

What a peaceful setting... the perfect start to my day.

April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolyn

Love this garden. What a gift these gardeners have. Artists that don't just paint a beautifull landscape they create it.

April 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKim

I'm guessing that anyone reading this post would want to have that fountain and maple-in-a-pot in their garden. I also like the white/green hydrangeas.

April 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterb-a-g

beautiful Deb, thanks for sharing, I too like the assesories especially the little wire tree and the butterfly seat to name just 2, Frances

April 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIsland Threads

Don't you just love having those special little spots to enjoy? That fountain surrounded by red tulips is wonderful, love it.

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobinL

What a beautiful garden! It's so tranquil. I agree that gardeners reveal themselves through their gardens. I always wonder what mine says, probably, "She's a nut!" :)

April 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCasa Mariposa

It is all truly outstanding, but the area with the fountain, Tulips and background such as it is, well I would love to visit.

April 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

Lovely gardens. Imagine having to worry about beavers sawing down your prize Japanese maples. At least there's one pest I don't have.

Such a beautiful post. I could spend all day in this garden.....

April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris
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