Bellingrath Gardens was beautiful even in late fall, and it must be truly spectacular in the summer.
A few years ago hubby and I had the chance to take a trip to Alabama in the late fall. We had an afternoon that wasn’t scheduled and decided to go to Bellingrath Gardens. We thought that the admission price was a little steep at $11 for “just a garden, ” especially since we didn’t have a whole day to spend. But we did have a discount card for a couple of bucks off, and we decided to take a chance. We were more than glad we did. We walked around the grounds until dusk, and never tired of the beauty. There are 65 acres within the grounds.
There is also a mansion to be toured, that costs extra. We didn’t do that. I think maybe it was too late in the day. And I just learned from the web site that there is also a cruise on the Fowl River aboard the Southern Belle River Cruiser that takes 45 minutes. There is a package price of $27 for adults that includes all three: the garden, the house, and the cruise. That seems like it might be an all right deal. You can also choose any two of the three for $19. Children ages 5-12 are less.
There are sections of garden that are more formal, and some more casual. There was also a longer trail through a marsh that was lovely at dusk. As we came back to the main gate at twilight the lights were just coming on. Many of the hedges and other areas are tastefully decorated with small colored lights.
There is a conservatory where I took the butterfly picture, and an oriental garden. The variety of plant materials and styles was very good. Mirror Lake, on the grounds, adds a beautiful water feature.
Of course, we Yankees are not used to year-round flowers, but Bellingrath has clearly worked hard to make sure that there is lavish color throughout the year.
There was a small gift shop, and a lunch counter that I seem to remember as inadequate. Hopefully that has been improved, but I don’t really know. I wasn’t paying enough attention to know how accessible things are for the handicapped.
If you are at all interested in plants and flowers, this would be a great destination. I’d go back in a heartbeat to tour the mansion and take the cruise too. But I'd check on the availability of food.