More Bellingrath Gardens
Summerdale, AL - Events of Thursday, June 5, 2014
As we continued our visit to Bellingrath Gardens, we headed toward the back of house, which overlooks the Fish River.
There is a water feature on the terrace near the back of the house that cascades down the hillside. That hillside was originally the entrance to the fish camp from the river. Both sides of the cascade are lined with stone steps and plants in containers.
At the bottom of the cascade is a grotto that creates an echo chamber for the splashing water.
From the grotto, we walked along the Fish River. The path was lined with plants in the same pink, red and purple color scheme as at the grotto.
The path leads to a boardwalk that loops out over a bayou. The nature walk is complete with plaques describing various types of wildlife that one could expect to see in and along the bayou. We take the boardwalk every time we go to Bellingrath, but we rarely see any wildlife. We can always hear songbirds, but we have only seen a few. We did see a couple of turtles sunning themselves on a log on one occasion and we saw raccoon footprints in the mud at low tide another time. Although it was quite warm during this visit, it was still a pleasant walk even without wildlife.
After returning from the boardwalk, we began making our way toward the garden exit. Along the way, we took a side path that looped down through the Rockery. The Rockery is a rock garden with a small waterfall and cascades that follow a narrow, winding path down over the hillside. The area used to be a muddy washout from an artesian spring. Mrs. Bellingrath personally supervised the building of the stone steps, path and terraces in the Rockery.
The next stop on our way to the exit was the gazebo. The plantings in the garden areas surrounding the gazebo were very attractive.
The final stop on our tour of Bellingrath was the Asian-American Garden. This garden was added in the 1960s and was originally a bird sanctuary back in Mrs. Bellingrath's time.
We enjoyed seeing Bellingrath Gardens at a different time of year with many more summer flowers blooming than we have seen before. Paul likes hibicus, and hibiscus played a prominent role in this year's flower display at Bellingrath. The photo below shows just a few of the many varieties we saw. The pink ones at the top were the size of a dinner plates.
The garden designers at Bellingrath used a variety of plants to create their summer display. There were lots of begonias (both fibrous-rooted and tuberous), impatiens and geraniums. A few examples of some of the other flowers are shown below.
From Bellingrath, we headed back to Rainbow Plantation where we relaxed for the remainder of the day. We still have a few more favorite places where we want to eat and one or two more things we want to see before we leave Lower Alabama, so stay tuned.