Bellingrath Gardens and Home

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Bellingrath Gardens and Home
The Bellingrath Home.
Bellingrath Gardens and Home is located in Alabama
Bellingrath Gardens and Home
Location 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road
Theodore, Alabama
Coordinates 30°25′53″N 88°8′22″W / 30.43139°N 88.13944°W / 30.43139; -88.13944Coordinates: 30°25′53″N 88°8′22″W / 30.43139°N 88.13944°W / 30.43139; -88.13944
Area 6.5 acres (2.6 ha)
Built 1925-1949
Architectural style 20th Century Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 82001609[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 19, 1982
Designated ARLH September 14, 1977[2]

Bellingrath Gardens and Home is a 65-acre (26 ha) public display garden and mansion located on the Fowl River in Theodore, a suburb of Mobile, Alabama. The site was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on September 14, 1977 and on the National Register of Historic Places on October 19, 1982.[1][2]


Azaleas in bloom from across Mirror Lake.

The gardens include a bridal garden, a conservatory, a great lawn, a nature walk, an Oriental garden, a rose garden, a chapel, the Mermaid Pool, Mirror Lake, an observation tower, and a river pavilion where river cruises are provided on the Southern Belle and the "Kingfisher".[3] The garden pathways are composed of flagstone that had been obtained from the old city sidewalks in Mobile, where they had been in place since arriving as ballast in sailing vessels collecting loads of cotton for the mills at Manchester, England. The gardens feature live oaks, camellias, azaleas, roses, and chrysanthemums year round. Plants featured in winter are tulips, snapdragons, pansies, ornamental cabbage and kale, daffodils, poppies, primroses, and many varieties of narcissus. Plants featured in spring include the more than 250,000 azaleas, hydrangeas, Easter lilies, impatiens, salvia, fuchsia, and Pelargonium geraniums. Plants featured in summer are the more than 2000 roses, allamandas, hibiscus, copper plants, begonias, ornamental peppers, bougainvillea, caladiums, coleus, vinca, and marigolds. Plants featured in fall are over 8,000 bedded, potted and cascading chrysanthemums, hibiscus, and copper plants.[4]


Water feature in the formal gardens.

The property on which the gardens would eventually be constructed were purchased in 1917 as a fishing camp by Walter Bellingrath, president of the local Coca Cola bottling plant. Mrs. Bellingrath began developing the gardens with architect George Bigelow Rogers in 1927. The home was completed in 1935, encompasses 10,500 square feet (980 m2) and features hand-made brick salvaged in Mobile from the 1852 birthplace of Alva Smith Vanderbilt Belmont. Ironwork was obtained from the demolished circa 1837 Southern Hotel, also in Mobile.[5] The house design borrowed elements from many traditions and eras. Some of the most obvious are a formal Georgian staircase reminiscent of an English country house, French doors, and a Mediterranean courtyard.[3]

Christmas season[edit]

The formal dining room in the main house.

Bellingrath Gardens celebrates the Christmas season with a display of over 3 million lights that is known as the Magic Christmas in Lights. The light show began in 1995; it runs from the Friday after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve. It features over 3 million lights with 1,000 set pieces in 13 themed scenes spaced around the estate.[6]

See also[edit]

Media related to Bellingrath Gardens and Home at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Properties on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage". Alabama Historical Commission. Retrieved October 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Motyka, john (March 23, 2007). "You Can Call It the Little Easy". New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2007. 
  4. ^ "The Gardens". "Bellingrath Gardens and Home Website". Archived from the original on October 25, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2007. 
  5. ^ "The Bellingrath Home". "Bellingrath Gardens and Home Website". Archived from the original on October 25, 2007. Retrieved October 14, 2007. 
  6. ^ "Magic Christmas in Lights". Bellingrath Gardens and Home. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 

External links[edit]