Entries in Aldridge gardens (6)

Sunday
Feb022014

Snowbound at Aldridge Gardens

I have heard many stories of people who were caught in last Tuesday's snowstorm that shut down Birmingham and all of its surrounding areas, but Audrey Ann Wilson has to be one of the more fortunate ones who were snowbound away from home. She is the Education Coordinator at Aldridge Gardens in Hoover, Alabama and was at work when the snow started coming down. Shortly after she left her office, she realized she would not be able to make it home; so she decided to stay overnight at the Gardens inside the Eddie and Kay Aldridge Art and Historical Collections Museum. Not a bad place to be snowbound! The Museum once was the personal home of Eddie and Kay Aldridge.

With a kitchen with some frozen meals in the freezer, as well as some chairs, some tablecloths and a huge drop cloth with which to fashion a bed, Audrey Ann was much more comfortable than the poor souls trapped on the highways. Best of all, she had her camera! Aldridge Gardens is a 30 acre woodland retreat, tucked away only moments from the busiest shopping malls and roads in Hoover. Audrey Ann has given me permission to tell her story and to share her photos of Aldridge Gardens in the snow, a sight we don't often get to see. Enjoy!

Aldridge gardens is home to the largest publicly available collection of Frank Fleming bronze sculptures, including the pieces shown above.

You can learn more about Aldridge Gardens and see more of Audrey Ann's snowy photos at Aldridge Gardens.com.


Saturday
May112013

For the Birds

I am always adjusting things in my garden. Recently I decided to move the cabin style birdhouse in the front garden to make way for a new birdbath. I had not seen any birds around it, so I was confident it was empty. It is on a freestanding cast iron stand (originally in my dad's workshop with a piece of equipment bolted to it). It was way too heavy for me to pick up, but I was able to move it by 'walking' it, tilting it this way and that and swinging it forward. I moved it about fifteen feet and decided the new location was perfect.I noticed some mockingbirds in a nearby Japanese maple but thought nothing of it.

Well, the next day Lou heard chirps coming from the house! And, yes, the parents are the mockingbirds, who must have watched most nervously as I turned their formerly stable abode into a mobile home! I can imagine what the babies must have thought: Earthquake! Tornado! Or something like that.

Fortunately, no harm seems to have been done, and the mockingbirds continue to care for the babies. In fact, the mockingbirds love the new birdbath, so the neighborhood improvement project was well received despite the forced relocation.

I have an assortment of birdhouses in my garden. I have featured most of them in previous posts, but I thought it would be good to show them all together as a collection.

The following two bluebird houses are both occupied by bluebirds, despite that they are only about twenty feet apart. I have read that bluebird houses should be at least 100 yards apart.

Here are more birdhouses in my garden:

For those wanting some great ideas, Aldridge Gardens in Hoover has a fabulous collection of birdhouses. It was fun to examine their charming details as I walked though the gardens on a recent visit. The following rustic birdhouses are located near the entrance to the Gardens:For those unfamiliar with Southeast USA geography, the birdhouse in the lower left photo is shaped like my home state of Alabama.

Some more rustic birdhouses with interesting details:

I love the rustic birdhouses, but I also love these colorful houses, located near the main house at Aldridge Gardens:

I hope the birds are welcome in your own garden. If so, they will bring you nothing but joy.