By Kaitlin Candelaria
Fans of the Memorial Garden at the Birmingham Museum of Art are in for a big surprise. Renovations of the garden, which is managed and cared for by the Red Mountain Garden Club, are complete after almost seven years of work.
The garden was built almost 60 years ago at the museum’s then-entrance, but many things have changed in that time.
Garden club member Elizabeth Poynor said that when she “inherited” the garden in 2007, it wasn’t in the best shape. She and her crew began working to bring more sculptures out of museum basements and storage to spruce up the garden while also employing Mountain Brook landscape architect Norman Kent Johnson and the New York-based Charles Stone as a lighting designer.
All in all, it was a project that cost more than $125,000. Poynor said the club first turned to the Collat family and then to other families and businesses in Birmingham to make the renovation a reality.
Now, eight years later, the renovations are finally complete and the club debuted the garden’s fresh look at a cocktail party in November. Garden club members and guests enjoyed wine and tapas while watching the garden’s new lights come on at sunset.
“I think it’s just brilliant,” Poynor said. “It’s artfully done and it’s very tasteful.”
The Red Mountain Garden Club, which is affiliated with the Garden Club of America, is involved in a number of local projects to support its Memorial Garden and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, as well as many other groups and organizations dedicated to the environment and the beautification of Birmingham, according to its website.
Renovations at the garden aren’t the only renovations affecting the club this year. Because of renovations at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the club is moving its annual greenery sale to Rosewood Hall in Homewood this year.
“All proceeds from our greenery sale every year go to the maintenance of the garden and we really depend on people shopping at the greenery sale to keep the garden going,” Poynor said. “That’s how we maintain it as a club.”
The sale will be Dec. 2, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., on the first floor. Parking will be plentiful in the underground deck and visitors can purchase wreaths, mailbox decorations, kissing balls, garlands and boxwood trees in addition to a curated selection of gifts and arrangements. The sale is being co-chaired by Amy Ager and Kimberly Bean. Pre-order forms are available online at www.redmountaingardenclub.com.