Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, March 8, 2012

More pics of Bellingrath Gardens

Back in 1917, Walter Bellingrath was advised by his doctor to buy an abandoned fishing camp so the overworked business man could learn to relax. 

66 MS Sandhill Crane NWR 201228

Bellingrath was Mobile’s first Coca-Cola bottler.  After buying that fishing camp along the Fowl River, Mrs. Bellingrath soon decided to beautify the camp with flowers.


In 1927, the Gardens began to really develop as the fishing camp was transformed into a country estate.  Flagstone pathways, fountains, and a formal rose garden were added.

66 MS Sandhill Crane NWR 201227

In April of 1932, the Bellingraths placed an ad in the Mobile newspapers inviting its citizens out on a Sunday afternoon to see the spring flowers.


I can just imagine their surprise when 4700 people showed up on that Sunday in April!  Surprised smile


That’s when Bellingrath Gardens was born.  Just two years later, the Gardens were open year round.


The next year, a 15-room home was completed for the couple to live in.  This is a view of the Fowl River from one of the patios of the house.


Mrs. Bellingrath died in 1943 and her husband in 1955.  As they had no children, Mr. Bellingrath created a foundation to honor his wife and oversee the gardens and home. 


The income from visitors to the Garden and Home not only provides for the upkeep of the property, but also goes to three Christian colleges and two local churches, and has provided hundreds of scholarships over the years. 


We walked just about all of the paths through the gardens, but did not tour the house.  As I said before, we were on sensory overload by the time we left.


If at all possible, I would recommend a visit to the Gardens during the peak of the azalea bloom.  I’m sure each season has its own blooming highlights, but I can’t imagine it could get much more spectacular than this.

Today was spent working at the Visitor’s Center, and Diana and I made quite a bit of progress on our ‘What’s Blooming this Week on the Trails’ pamphlet.  Diana is the whiz at the computer, so I mainly just provide photos and help out where I can.  

It will be another day working inside tomorrow, but then I’ll have four days off to do chores and explore.  Wahoo!  Smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. What an absolutely beautiful place. I can see why you would be on sensory overload. Mr. Bellingrath certainly left a gift to the public when he created the foundation to maintain those grounds.

  2. I remember that tree branch from long ago. It is a beautiful place, I can almost smell the fragrant flowers.

  3. Many People like the Bellinggrath's spend their lives creating such beautiful gardens. Now as RVers we can travel and enjoy them first-hand without all the work involved in its creation.

    It's about time

  4. What a delight. It's wonderful when people of means do something so beneficial to everyone in honoring someone they love. Thanks for the story!

  5. Lovely blooms to put everyone in the mood for spring. Definitely going on the 'visit' list.

  6. Just added this to our list of places to see.

  7. It is really beautiful, and your photos capture the beauty.

  8. The pictures of this beautiful garden are simply fantastic. I can almost smell the blooms, they are so perfect. What a great place to visit.


  9. a bloomin' good time!!..great flowers!..nice to see that spring is coming!!

  10. Mrs. Bellingrath and Ms. Bell both have accomplished marvelous works!

    That single white flower shot should be entered for something somewhere and would surely win first place!!!

  11. Pictures are wonderful as usual. When you work in the VC, what do you actually do? That's where I will be working at Garner SP. Just wondering!

  12. I was just thinking how pleasant it would be to stroll through those gardens, and then I remembered how the "old folks" would want to go look at flowers and how I thought I would DIE from being SO BORED I COULD DIE. Like going for a drive. Then: DIE Now: fun!

    The Good Luck Duck

  13. George Stoltz said

    Judy, absolutely stunning photography. Thanks for telling us about this gem.

  14. Gorgeous, Judy, as always. Thanks.

  15. I wish I would have made a stop at the Gardens while in the area even though little would have been blooming. There is something about Gardens and Nature that is music for the soul. We will be stopping in at the Dallas Arboretum in a few weeks for the Easter show. I am looking forward to it.

    Just BS!(Bob and Sue)

  16. It's an awesome and romantic experience to walk through the flower gardens. All the time you are surrounded with fragrance and calm feelings. Nice pictures. Flights to Gaborone

  17. Judy, you sly fox...you managed to sneak in a history lesson with the beautiful flowers...Well done, Teech!...I love your photos...You are a great photographer, right up there with Al (Bayfield Bunch)...What kind of camera do you have? I have a Kodak and I HATE IT!!

  18. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures. There are many good things about being in the desert in the winter, but I do miss the greenery and flowers.

  19. During Nov and Dec the Gardens have a Holiday display of lights that are absolutely phenomenal!! If you find yourself in this area during that time, we would strongly recommend a visit. You will not be disappointed. Even tho the lights do not come on until dusk, they have the whole grounds decorated for Christmas. We also enjoyed our visit at that time. I don't think there is a "bad" time to visit this spectacular place! Have to admit the azaleas are my favorite.

  20. That last shot is stunning!
    Sadly, the drought killed my azaleas :(( All the watering in the world could not make up for Mother Nature abandoning her duties.
    Just saw your comment over at Rick's (thx eE) so here is an F.Y.I.
    My "Driver" has been patiently awaiting the I.P. 3 and plans to get one for sure.
    Allow the furor to die down and the problems to surface first. He said it's a "no-brainer" to get the three rather than the two with the current pricing. (I'm just the Cook, i know nothing ;)

  21. Wow, Judy. What an informational an beautiful post. I've already sent the link to my friend who I am usually with when visiting public gardens. Thanks for the pictures. I barely saw spring on the California coast before I came to Malheur NWR where it was 12 degrees the other morning and for which we have a snow forecast for tomorrow so it nice to remember that the pinks and reds and brigh yellows will get up here someday too.

  22. not much else to say that others havent already said.....but it is soooo gorgeous
    thanks for all you do for us that cant be there

  23. That is a beautiful place and your photos are stunning. I love a blooming garden.

  24. You should win an award for your photography!

  25. I love Azaleas, when I had my home in NJ I had every color in my front yard. Here in Southern AZ you can't grown them its just to hot. I may try my hand in Lakeside and bring it back in the fall to see if it lives.
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful garden.

  26. Ur photography is excellent...and the flowers beautiful! If anyone is still in or near the area y'all might want to see Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain Georgia. It is beautiful also and their azaleas should be opening right about now also. Both are extremely nice places to spend a few days.

  27. I loved your photos of all of the flowers at the Gardens!
    What a wonderful sensory overload compared to our dry brown desert view!
    That is so good of the family to allow the public to enjoy the gardens for so many years now.

    Whoohoo, 4 days off is precious, hope they include great weather!