Aldridge Gardens, an authentically beautiful tranquil environment “away from it all” that welcomes you to explore, ponder, learn and enjoy.
Eddie Aldridge has often said that Aldridge Gardens is a “Garden of Destiny.” In fact, he penned a book by the name in 2007. And here’s why:
Eddie Aldridge caught his first glimpse of the Coxe Family Estate in 1966 when he was hired to plant three magnolias on the property. Eddie and his father, both noted horticulturalists, agreed that this unique piece of property, located in the heart of Hoover, would be a perfect place for a botanical garden.
Eleven years passed, and the Coxe Family decided to sell the estate. A developer purchased the property and planned to level the property and build apartments on it. As luck would have it, Jefferson County placed a moratorium on sewer connections that year, so the developer’s plans fell through. Upon hearing that news, Eddie purchased the estate that he and his father had long admired. That step in 1977 began the first of many toward developing the property and in 1997, 20 years after acquiring the property, Eddie and his wife Kay conveyed the property to, dedicated as a public garden in perpetuity. The gates to Aldridge Gardens opened in 2002.
The Gardens’ focus is primarily hydrangeas, featuring the Snowflake Hydrangea as its signature flower. It isn’t often that gardens in the South are covered with snowflakes, but Aldridge Gardens will glisten every summer from the stunning white blooms of the Snowflake Hydrangea thanks to Eddie Aldridge. Eddie and his father first identified a single plant as it grew in a Birmingham suburb. They took several cuttings and returned to the nursery to plant them in containers. The next day, Eddie learned that the containers had been thrown in the dumpster, thought to be trash. The story goes that, once the plants were recovered, only one cutting survived. So, from that one chance seedling, the Snowflake Hydrangea now grows all over the United States and in 13 foreign countries.
For almost 10 years, Aldridge Gardens has been that place to get away from it all and enjoy an authentically natural environment. It’s a place to explore the trails through the woodland garden and enjoy a walk around the five-acre lake. A place to relax in a safe, quiet place to meditate or read a book. A place to learn all about the world around us through exceptional educational opportunities. Almost daily you see volunteers pruning and planting, children attending field trips, a young couple having a picnic or an elderly couple just enjoying the fresh air.
Now, Aldridge Gardens is not only a horticultural destination but an art destination as well. The Kay and Eddie Aldridge Art and Historical Museum features a gallery filled with the works of talented area artists, including the largest publicly-held collection of Frank Fleming bronze sculptures donated by gardens supporter Ken Jackson. A new sculpture was recently added to the Gardens’ entrance plaza which was commissioned by the Bluff Park Art Association. University of Montevallo Art Professor Ted Metz created and installed “On the Nature of Building” in the fall of 2011. Plans are to continue to maintain the Gardens as an environmental and cultural attraction.
Aldridge Gardens is indeed a “living” garden. With your help, we can keep it breathing.
Programs and Activities
Children's Education, Adult Education, Summer Camp Program, Intern Program, "Paws in the Gardens" benefiting the Shelby County Humane Society, art gallery exhibits and "Art in the Gardens", spring break fishing for children, tours, volunteer opportunities, Native American festival.
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