Enjoy Our New Self-Guided Tours - Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Birmingham Botanical Gardens is open!
A cherished place of respite for our community and visitors from around the world for more than 55 years, Birmingham Botanical Gardens is open to all, and we look forward to your visit. The Gardens are currently open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week, with access limited to the front entrance gates. Visitors are encouraged to practice social distancing. Face masks are required when interacting with others in the Gardens and for entering the Garden Center. For more information and guidelines for visiting safely, click here. We hope to see you soon at the Gardens!

Around the Gardens Blog

Enjoy Our New Self-Guided Tours

Enjoy Our New Self-Guided Tours

By Jamie Haas

Visitors exploring the newly opened paths of Birmingham Botanical Gardens will encounter signage offering a new way to experience a number of our garden spaces. Created by the Friends’ Education and Visitor Experience team and made possible by a generous gift from Publix Super Markets Charities, the signs allow you to take a self-guided audio tour to learn about the Southern Living Garden perennial border, enjoy a mindful woodland hike in the Barber Alabama Woodlands, and delve into other garden gems.

According to Brooke McMinn, Director of Education and Visitor Experience, these self-guided tours were born out of a desire to engage and educate garden-goers while also highlighting some of the many ways that Friends (staff, volunteers, donors, and sponsors) come together to enhance and strengthen the Gardens. The tours, many of which align with stories in The Garden Dirt, also encourage social distancing

“We’ve found that self-guided audio tours in natural areas—either on your own or with family—can be very empowering, almost meditative.”—Brooke McMinn

While inviting guests to dig deeper and seek comfort in the Gardens, they offer the additional advantage of adaptability. The Friends team plans to update the audio tours seasonally.

“A challenge for garden signage is that plants change frequently. The fact that these self-guided tours can be updated frequently is a wonderful bonus,” she says.

Visitors can anticipate the introduction of more self-guided tours throughout the Gardens as the year goes on, with informational tours already in the works for popular spaces like the Fern Glade and for features such as the Gardens’ sculpture collection.

To hear the audio tours, simply open your smartphone camera app or other QR code reader, hold it steady to scan the QR code on each sign, and listen.

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