This Place Matters, Mobile!

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May is Preservation Month! All month long, we are celebrating the historic places that matter the most, not only to our great city, but around the country.

Why do old places matter? Historic places give us a sense of identity, but they also give us hope for the future. People travel all over the world to find a sense of place, where their connections of the past bring them into the present.

Three hundred years of history has shaped Mobile. That historic fabric is deeply rooted in our relationship to the water. We are a port city, and our historic places and the stories they tell are what make Mobile such a special place to visit.

Walk through DeTonti Square to sample Mobile’s Italianate architecture; visit Historic Oakleigh to learn about how cotton built, but nearly brought this city to its knees; take a tour of Bellingrath Gardens and Home to view master architect George Rogers’ style and influence. Make plans to walk through Church Street Graveyard or Magnolia Cemetery to pay homage to our founders. Make a stop at Fort Conde to learn about our colonial past. Or choose from a variety of tour options to explore more of Historic Mobile and take in all of the sites!

So, for the month of May, celebrate the historic places that matter to you. Because they matter to Mobile!

-Submitted by Historic Mobile Preservation Society

Before You Reach The Beach

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Heading to the beach this summer?  Need to stretch your legs? Instead of driving THROUGH Mobile this time, plan on stopping off for a bit to find out what this old city has new to offer. With the opening of GulfQuest National Maritime Museum last fall and great new exhibits at the Gulf Coast Exploreum and the History Museum of Mobile, an afternoon in downtown Mobile before you reach the beach is a perfect time to wait out the traffic and have family fun in the cultural center of the Gulf Coast.

 

Over a dozen new locally owned restaurants and shops have opened in the past few years in our historic downtown and entertainment district while favorite attractions like the USS ALABAMA Battleship Memorial Park, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, the Mobile Museum of Art, the Mobile Carnival Museum, historic homes and other museums continue to provide one-of-kind experiences for every generation. There are now several city tour options (car, van, bus, historic trolley and -coming soon- duck boats!) that even let you cover more ground in a limited amount of time.

 

We know you’ll find enough to do to plan on a return trip to Mobile in the fall!

 

Start your trip at the historic Fort Conde Welcome Center, where friendly faces will be on hand seven days a week to distribute city vacation guides, brochures, maps and coupons – located on the corner of Church Street and Royal Street.

Gardening On The Gulf Coast

With the beautiful weather of spring, our thoughts turn to digging in the dirt! Bellingrath Gardens and Home has several events in May and June to help Gulf Coast gardeners with growing tips and long-range landscaping to create blooms and beauty all year long. Visit bellingrath.org for details! Here is the schedule of spring and summer events:

Friday, May 6: National Public Gardens Day. This event is celebrated nationwide on Friday, May 6, to promote public gardens’ important role in leading environmental stewardship and awareness. Bellingrath Gardens, one of the state’s oldest public gardens, will mark the occasion with special behind-the-scenes tours conducted by Bellingrath’s Horticultural Management Team. Our guests will find out how we grow our signature displays that provide beauty to more than 110,000 visitors every year. Two tours will be offered: A guided tour to the Bellingrath Greenhouses at 10 a.m., followed by a Garden Walk to discover our spring blooms at 11 a.m.; or a guided Greenhouse Tour at 2 p.m., followed by the Garden Walk at 3 p.m.

At Bellingrath, which opened to the public in 1932, visitors enjoy 1 ½ miles of paths lined with azaleas, camellias, magnificent oaks and magnolias, bamboo groves, spring flowers and much, much more. The Gardens also offer numerous opportunities for learning about horticulture and the environment of the Gulf Coast.

Wednesday, June 1: Summer Garden Walk. Join Bellingrath’s Horticultural Management Team at 10:30 a.m. for a guided tour of the Gardens to see our wonderful summer displays, floral borders and new additions. Stay for lunch in our Magnolia Café and check out our new merchandise in the Bellingrath Gift Shop. The Garden Walk is the first of our Wonderful Wednesdays series in June and July.

Wednesday, June 15: Caring for Daylilies. John and Nancy Falck, owners of Hem Haven Daylily Nursery in Fairhope, will show our guests how to grow beautiful daylilies along the Gulf Coast. Join us at 10:30 a.m. as they share their best techniques to grow and maintain these attractive flowers. They will discuss a number of varieties and will have a selection for sale, too.

 Wednesday, June 22: Hydrangea Day. Bobby Green, owner of Green Nurseries in Fairhope, will introduce our guests to hydrangeas and viburnums, which often are presumed to be hydrangeas. Bring all your questions as Bobby will discuss how to best select and care for hydrangeas in your garden. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. Be sure to visit the Bellingrath Gift Shop, which will feature a sale of hydrangeas.  

 Wednesday, June 29: Cascade Chrysanthemums. Nursery manager Chuck Owens will let us in on the secrets of creating Bellingrath’s famous Fall Outdoor Cascading Chrysanthemums, the nation’s largest outdoor cascading chrysanthemum display, which graces the Gardens every fall. Participants will get a preview of what colors and shapes will be featured on bridges, balconies and in plantings throughout the Gardens this November. Plants will be available for guests who would like to try growing their own cascade at home. Weather permitting, an optional tour of the mum growing area will follow the program, which will begin at 10: 30 a.m.

-Submitted by Bellingrath Gardens and Home