By Donna Cornelius
Like the fine antiques it showcases, one of Birmingham’s most anticipated autumn events seems to just get better with age.
From Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens will celebrate the 15th anniversary of Antiques at The Gardens, which offers antiques for sale and talks by high-profile interior and floral designers, acclaimed architects and landscape gurus.
The show typically draws visitors from all over Alabama and across the Southeast.
Beginning in 2006, dedicated volunteer committees came up with a fun and inviting show structure: a kickoff gala, ticketed talks by noteworthy design influencers, and plenty of antiques dealers from around the country.
Special guests over the years have included renowned Southern gardener Ryan Gainey, American designer Miles Redd, lifestyle chef Alex Hitz, architect Bobby McAlpine, the “Prince of Chintz” Mario Buatta, notable decorator Bunny Williams and lifestyle icon Martha Stewart.
This year’s guest lineup features Southern favorites Charlotte Moss, Mark D. Sikes, James Farmer and Richard Keith Langham and some nationally recognized newcomers to the show: Christopher Spitzmiller, Suzanne Tucker, Cathy Kincaid, Corey Damen Jenkins, Ken Pursley, Matthew Carter and Fernando Wong.
The antiques show itself, which runs Friday and Saturday, Oct. 1-2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will have 21 dealers: Antique Cupboard, Atlock Farm, B. Viz Design, Blackwell Botanicals, Black Sheep Antiques, Brocante French Country Antiques, Dana Kelly Oriental Rugs Inc., D.R. Grissom Collection Estate & Fine Jewelry, Edwin C. Skinner, Gum Tree Farm Designs, Hedgerow Antiques, Leftovers Antiques, Madison James, Maison de France, McDonough Fine Art, Recreo Jewelry, Rick Ingenthron Antiques, Thomas M. Fortner Antiques, Very Vintage Villa, Vieuxtemps Porcelain and Whitehall Antiques. They’ll offer furniture, fine art, vintage and fine jewelry, silver, rugs and textiles, home decor and garden accessories.
The event starts Thursday, Sept. 30, with Gala in the Gardens, an outdoor affair honoring the show’s first co-chairs, Kim Matthews and Joan Starnes.
On Oct. 1, the show’s Red Diamond Lecture Series will feature talks by noted designers Charlotte Moss at 11 a.m. and Christopher Spitzmiller at 2 p.m. followed by cocktails and conversation with Mark D. Sikes at 4 p.m.
The schedule on Oct. 2 starts at 11 a.m. with a Tastemaker panel. Cathy Kincaid, Corey Damen Jenkins, Ken Pursley and Matthew Carter will talk about tips and trends. At 2 p.m., Fernando Wong will share ideas for outdoor spaces in his talk presented by Flower magazine.
The event’s finale is Oct. 3, with “Sunday with Suzanne” featuring Suzanne Tucker at 11:30 a.m. and James Farmer at 1:30 p.m.
Talks will be followed by book signings, with books available for purchase at the show.
Proceeds benefit the mission of the nonprofit Friends organization, which provides educational programs and outreach, promoting the stewardship and enhancement of the Gardens, sharing its story and raising funds to support these efforts.
For tickets, a show schedule and more information, visit bbgardens.org/antiques. Follow show announcements and reveals on Facebook and Instagram @antiquesgardensbham.
Additional tickets are required for the gala and speakers’ programs.