Gardeners’ Party

It’s not every day that gardening enthusiasts are able to view more than 300, 000 square feet full of beautiful blossoms. The Festival of Flowers, now in its 20th year, provides a multitude of displays to impress plant-lovers of all ages. The numerous unique plants, larger-than-life floral displays and renowned landscape specialists draw crowds from around the country. Curious of what you will find? Here is our scavenger hunt checklist of the top picks you won’t want to miss.

Jester Leucadendron
Spot this exotic South African bud on one of the 4- to 5-foot Mardi Gras masks created entirely out of flowers in this new exhibit, Les Masques en Fleurs.

Floral replica of the Bienville Square fountain
The Floral Design Showcase will feature magnificent arrangements based upon interpretations of historical Mobile icons as seen in reference archival photos from the Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of South Alabama.

Two live oaks
The symbolic Mobile monuments flank the front facade of an old Mobile Greek Revival-style reproduction home that is this year’s featured exhibit. The faux abode sets the stage for the spectacular container garden display. 

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A botanical interpretation of Jerry Siegel’s “Facing South: Portraits of Southern Artists”
Explore the creative Seeds of Wisdom display, where classic literary works, picked by local book clubs, come to life in floral design form. This year’s selections will showcase depictions of Southern authors’ works.

The estate plant quadfecta
Take home one of these hardy potted gems that Mobile horticultural experts have deemed as this year’s Festival’s Choice Plants: rhododendron “Amelia Rose” azalea; camellia “Taylor’s Perfection;” the lily of the valley hybrid, pieris ryukuensis “Temple Bell;” and the blue-bloomed European perennial, lithodora diffusa boraginaceae.

A 2.5-carat oval-cut emerald ring
At Wednesday night’s “Emerald Extravaganza” preview gala, compete in a trivia contest to win the breathtaking, bejeweled grand prize. While you’re attempting to recall those “Jeopardy” facts, who knows, you could end up rubbing elbows with special guest Terry Saban, wife of the beloved University of Alabama football coach. 

March 21 – 24
Festival of Flowers
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Th – Sa, Noon – 5 p.m. Su.

The event, produced by the Providence Hospital Foundation and presented by PNC Bank, benefits the radiology department.

Single day tickets: $12 in advance, $14 at the gate and $13 for seniors. Children under 12 get in free, and groups receive special rates.

Multiple-day tickets are available by calling the Festival of Flowers office.

Providence Hospital
6801 Airport Blvd. 639-2050. 1-877-777-0529.


text by Emily Hill

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