New Thing #46 – Bellingrath Gardens

When we first started visiting Orange Beach, AL each year, we did some local sightseeing.  Often this related to the weather not being conducive to beach time and during the first several years we saw the battleship USS Alabama in Mobile and the Naval Air Base in Pensacola.  We toured Fort Conde and visited Fairhope, AL.  As the kids became older, they were not so interested in touring and if we needed a rainy or chilly day excursion, we went to the Foley Outlet Mall.

So it was nice during our July visit to Perdido Key, FL to travel back to Mobile for a “New Thing”, a visit to Bellingrath Gardens and Museum.  Walter and Bessie Bellingrath built their home and developed a 65 acre garden as a place to relax from his busy job as founder of the Mobile Coca-Cola Bottling Company.  We tour both the gardens and the home.

We start at the gift shop and walk through several lovely gardens and a greenhouse before touring the home.  The rose garden is very impressive and then we walk through a lovely greenhouse.

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We use the guided tour that can be accessed by cell phone and learn a lot about the gardens.  The walkway up to the house is replanted quarterly for a seasonal display.

 

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The terrace outside the house has more plantings and interesting fountains.

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We have a guided tour of the home that is very informative.  The Bellingraths did not have children but enjoyed entertaining in their home.  After touring the home, we continue walking through the remaining gardens to return to the car park.  This includes a Japanese Garden with a pavilion.  According to our cell phone guide, the sign reminds us to “Drink Coke!”

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I enjoyed this visit as a mid-week break from the beach and would love to return in the Spring to see the gardens during a different season.

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