We're staying stateside today, but traveling down, down, down south! In all my years traveling for the magazine, I never made it to Alabama. Maybe I subconsciously-purposefully avoided it, because, you know, it's HOT AS HADES there. But if I HAD visited, I hope I would have found this lovely garden. The Bellingrath Gardens and Home are in Theodore, Alabama, which is just outside of Mobile. They are the former home of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath, who opened their garden for visitors in 1932. Walter made his fortune in Coca-Cola, while his wife created the gardens. When Bessie died in 1943, Walter dedicated the rest of his life to her gardens. Upon his death in 1956, the estate was handed over to the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation, and the gardens remain open today. The story is quite fascinating! Bessie was an incredibly kind and generous person, and would help people in need in very imaginative ways, often using the garden as a tool.... You have to read the whole story, HERE. The garden is beautiful, but knowing about the woman who created it makes it so, so special.
It's going to be a long winter, guys. Let's help each other through it by sharing each others' gardens! Email photos and your story to me at Michelle@GardenyGoodness.com. Thanks!