There is always something in bloom at Bellingrath Gardens, no matter the time of year. In winter, it’s camellias. In spring it’s the azaleas. Come summer: roses and hydrangeas – and fall? The cascades of chrysanthemums must be seen to be believed! No season is left undecorated at Bellingrath!
Bellingrath Gardens and Home was originally purchased as a fishing camp by Walter Bellingrath, president of the local Coca Cola bottling plant. Credit for how the acreage went from fishing camp to incredibly beautiful home and gardens is due in large part to Walter’s wife, Bessie Bellingrath.
With help from architect George Bigelow Rogers, Bessie Bellingrath designed the 15-room, 10,500 square-foot home that was to become the centerpiece to Bellingrath Gardens, borrowing elements from many sources. For example, the house includes a Mediterranean courtyard, French doors, and a formal Georgian staircase, to name just a few of the disparate influences.
The Bellingrath’s had no children and lived in their home until their deaths – Bessie in 1943 and Walter in 1955 – after which the home was opened to the public as a museum to accompany the gardens, with all of its original, opulent furnishings in place. The combined home and gardens have since been listed in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and in the National Register of Historic Places.
The 65 acres of Bellingrath Gardens and Home are cultivated with annual blooms and include a bridal garden, a conservatory, a great lawn, a bayou boardwalk, an Asian-American garden, rose garden, a chapel, a pool and lake, an observation tower, and more. The flagstone paths throughout the garden are paved with stone from Mobile’s old city sidewalks, previously ballast on cotton ships.
Plants in the gardens include live oaks, tulips, snapdragons, pansies, daffodils, poppies, ornamental cabbage and kale, primroses, varieties of narcissus, hydrangeas, Easter lilies, fuchsia, geraniums, begonias, bougainvillea, vinca, marigolds, and much, much more.
Other attraction on-site include a River Front Pavilion, Magnolia Café, the Bellingrath Gift Shop, and the Delchamps Gallery of Boehm Porcelain – a fine collection of rare and early porcelain sculptures by Edward Marshall Boehm, gifted to the Bellingrath-Morse Foundation by Oliver and Alfred Delchamps. It is the largest display of its kind in the United States.
The Bellingrath Home and Gardens are open for tours and, if you’re a fan of beautiful gardens and exquisitely decorated and designed historical homes, you wont want to miss a chance to visit!
Bellingrath Gardens and Home
12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore, AL 36582
Open daily, closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day
Gardens 8am to 5pm – Home Tours 9am to 3:30pm
Magnolia Cafe 11am to 2pm – Gift Shop 8am to 5pm
Visit Bellingrath online at bellingrath.org or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bellingrath
Lodging for Bellingrath Gardens and Home
Point Clear Cottages Bed & Breakfast, located on Mobile Bay in Fairhope, Alabama, offers gracious southern hospitality and classic comfort in our guest cottages and B&B. Explore the area or enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation right here on our private pier. Fish, enjoy a book and a drink, or simply sit back and watch as the pelicans fly off into one of our spectacular sunsets.