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Bellingrath Gardens

Theodore, Alabama

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Bellingrath Gardens, a 65 acre Garden Estate, is in full bloom throughout the year. With camellias inBellingrath Gardens pictures the winter, azaleas in the spring, roses in the summer, chrysanthemums in autumn and Magic Christmas in Lights during the holiday season, it is a fun place for the entire family. It lies just a few miles south of Mobile, Alabama.

Walter Bellingrath, President of Mobile's Coca Cola Bottling Plant, purchased the property on which Bellingrath Gardens and Home would eventually be constructed in 1917 as a fishing camp. Mrs. Bellingrath began developing the gardens with architect George Bigelow Rogers in 1927.

The home was completed in 1935, encompasses 10,500 square feet with 15-rooms and features hand-made brick salvaged in Mobile from the 1852 birthplace of Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont. Ironwork was obtained from the demolished Southern Hotel (1837), also in Mobile. The home borrows elements of many traditions and eras - a Georgian staircase reminiscent of an English country house, French doors, a Mediterranean courtyard and was dubbed "English Renaissance." Bellingrath Gardens pictures

Flagstone terraces, a slate roof and figural copper downspouts join with a central courtyard, balconies and covered galleries to give the Home a Gulf Coast flair. The architect wanted the visitor to think of the house as a home, not a demolished Southern Hotel (1837), also in Mobile. The home borrows elements of many traditions and eras - a Georgian staircase reminiscent of an English country house, French doors, a Mediterranean courtyard and was dubbed "English Renaissance."

Flagstone terraces, a slate roof and figural copper downspouts join with a central courtyard, balconies and covered galleries to give the Home a Gulf Coast flair. The architect wanted the visitor to think of the house as a home, not a region. Bellingrath Gardens pictures

The Home was the most modern of its kind in 1935, but Alabama Power had not brought electricity to this remote area of Mobile County and the Bellingrath's depended on a large Delco generating plant for electricity until 1940.

The Gardens first opened to the public in 1932 while a national garden club meeting was taking place in Mobile. Mr. Bellingrath placed an ad in the Mobile paper, announcing that anyone who would like to see the spring garden could do so free of charge. After an overwhelming response, the couple decided to keep the gardens open year-round, beginning in 1934.

The adjoining guesthouse and garage was completed in 1939, and has housed a collection of Boehm Porcelain since 1967. This fine American porcelain collection was a gift to the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation by the Delchamps family of Mobile, long associated with the Bellingrath family. This building also serves as a visitors lounge and adjoins the family chapel.

I had the opportunity to enjoy Bellingrath Gardens' Christmas lights display recently. They celebrate the Christmas season (the Friday after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve) with a display of over three million lights. In my opinion, it is well worth the trip.

Additionally, you can take a 45-minute cruise from Bellingrath Gardens on a pleasant journey down the calm waters of the Fowl River (River of Birds). Enjoy the sights and sounds of osprey, pelicans,Bellingrath Gardens pictures blue herons, egrets, seagulls, song birds and migrating species in their natural habitat. The surrounding estuary environment is a mix of fresh artesian well water and salt water, and is home to a diverse population of plant and wildlife. While cruising, the captain gives an informative narration on river ecology and history. Daytime sightseeing cruises operate March through November. The vessel is heated or air-conditioned for you comfort.

Operating Hours
Daily from 8 am - 5 pm
During Magic Christmas in Lights 8 am - 9 pm

Bellingrath Gardens
12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road
Theodore, Alabama 36582



Bellingrath Gardens pictures Bellingrath Gardens pictures


A Tour of Bellingrath Gardens





Holiday Times at Bellingrath