Botanical Gardens: Year round fun for everyone

Botanical Gardens is maintained year round.
Botanical Gardens is maintained year round.

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - If you haven't made the trip to the Huntsville Botanical Gardens, you've missed a treat.

You don't have to be an expert gardener to enjoy the trees, plants and flowers of the 25-year-old facility.

The park began as 35 acres and expanded to 120 acres on Friday.

It's a linear garden, running north to south.

The tour guide on this last summer outing is volunteer Herb Lewis, who loves to focus on unique features of the area.

"You're looking at the central corridor for the garden.  It opens up to the aquatics center," said Lewis.

He said it separates two forests - one upper, dry area and one lower, wetland area, like a bog.

"In the foreground you see these flat lily pads with the edges turned up.  Those are called Amazon Lilies," said Lewis. "They will get 5 feet in diameter."

Majestic scenery dots the landscape at every turn. While many sights are nature made, others are manmade.

The gardens are meticulously maintained, year round, by dedicated volunteers.

These gardens have a little bit of something for everyone.  They've got more than 150 different species of ferns.

Black-Eyed Susans give a late summer wink, and some roots are making their final curtain call of the season.

"You're seeing the annual garden, which is a place for weddings and receptions. Flowers change here yearly," said Lewis.

Change is also on the horizon in the butterfly house, where the winged wonders are showing off their finest colors.

All species of trees, flowers and plants are marked by a plaque bearing its name and origin.

As fall peaks around the corner, scarecrows are popping up and the maze is being groomed for fall's visiting children.

"You're in the children's garden, dedicated to the young folks. There are actually eight gardens that surround this open area here," Lewis said.

Clever foot stones allow children to play games with themselves as pawns.

There's even a pathway to walk the four-legged members of your family.

It's an area perfect for picnics and family gatherings in Bobby's Bama.

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