The newest botanical garden in Alabama is adjacent to the Anniston Museum of Natural History and the Berman Museum.
The Longleaf Botanical Gardens boasts the Tropical Cascade and the Rotary Sensory Gardens behind the Longleaf Event Center.
The Tropical Cascade Garden evokes a lushness and explosion of bright colors in the warm growing season from spring until frost. The Rotary Sensory garden is the largest planting and addresses the senses. Fragrance, Texture, and Color stir the mind in this garden where touching the fuzzy leaves is encouraged. Bold bananas and elephant ears sway in the slightest breeze. One section of the cascade area is dedicated to fruiting and edible plants. An additional section is a pollinator garden for butterflies, hummingbirds and other nectar-seeking creatures.
Additional plantings include some rare and unusual specimens for sun and shade. The rosemary and gardenia collection allow us to evaluate which varieties do best in central Alabama. We are raising drought-tolerant species, addressing water conservation in the landscape. Stroll around the premises to see a variety of perennials, trees, and shrubs.
The Longleaf Nature Trail is a third of a mile path into the adjoining oak-hickory-pine woodlands where our namesake tree, the longleaf pine, grows tall and stately. Twenty-five native tree species are labelled for those interested in learning our native tree species. The trail feature native azaleas and hydrangeas.
Although the gardens are in the infant stage, programming and educational opportunities at the Longleaf Botanical Gardens are well established and active with large attendance. The monthly series of Third Thursday programs are held on the day the gardens are officially open to visitors, the third Thursday of each month. There are two exceptions, in March we host the Spring Garden Symposium, and we are closed in December for the Holiday season.
The Longleaf Botanical Gardens has a master plan for future garden growth. The plan provides a visual connection to where the gardens will grow and evolve. We look forward to phase one of the event garden and event field where numerous social and entertainment affairs will occur. The garden will feature areas focusing on an array of native plants, winter-blooming camellias, dryland water-wise plantings, herbs and medicinal plants and more. The garden experience will include walking trails, birding paths, and spaces for relaxation and reflection.