Coastal and Tropical South
Located twenty miles southwest of Mobile, Bellingrath Gardens has been open to the public since Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bellingrath first invited people to visit in 1934. Sixty-five acres of camellias, azaleas, roses, and chrysanthemums highlight the seasons, while amazing holiday light displays cap the year. Their website Bellingrath Gardens posts directions from anywhere, garden days and hours, accessibility information, events, and other visitor information. I've been visiting Bellingrath since 1955, and the 21st century has seen a renewal of energy and interest in this fine Southern institution. Check out their "Azalea Watch" camera for a good look now at the flowering peak, which is running a bit later than usual this season.
Tool or Gardening Product
Ilex verticillata or winterberry does well in poorly drained soils and can be a feature around ponds or low spots in the landscape. To get the amazingly shiny red berries in winter, plant both male and female of this species. Sweet but not showy, the white flowers soon become tiny specks of red berries that grow rapidly in wet locations. Different varieties are available across our regions and may even be on sale this month as nurseries move out their stocks. Migratory birds seek out winterberries, and the presence of these durable, large shrubs attracts them to your garden in late winter.