Members Area

Memorial Garden in Birmingham

 

April 20, 2021

Maintained by Red Mountain Garden Club Members

It’s been sixty-two years since the Red Mountain Garden Club (RMGC) bestowed the gift of Memorial Garden to the Birmingham Museum of Art to enhance the grounds of its new Oscar Wells Memorial Building.

The garden was proposed and funded by RMGC as a green garden in the heart of a busy and growing city, and its perpetual maintenance remains the club’s primary focus—even as Covid-19 restrictions cancelled RMGC’s 2020 major fundraiser.

Despite cancellation of the club’s thirty-eighth annual Greenery Sale, generous contributions from long-time supporters as well as memorial gifts, have allowed the club to continue providing maintenance and seasonal color.

Memorial Garden was envisioned in 1955 by the late Fariss Gambrill Lynn (RMGC club president 1955-57, 1965-67) as a garden space to complement the planned Oscar Wells building. Mrs. Lynn’s numerous contributions earned her a GCA Zone Horticulture Award in 1982 “in recognition of her sensitivity, creativity, and dedication to design and horticulture as evidenced by the Memorial Garden.” Redesigned in 1993 to accommodate a museum addition, the Memorial Garden still retains elements of the original garden, including ten Willow Oaks and Water Oaks—a gift of the Lynn family in 1965, and a club-commissioned memorial fountain, now a sculpture, by New York artist Barbara Lekberg. In 2010, the garden was listed as one of the Top 10 Great Public Spaces in America by the American Planning Association. In 2012, RMGC undertook a major project, raising extra funds to add dusk-to-dawn lighting to enhance the garden’s enjoyment well into the night.

While urban gardens require constant attention, RMGC’s membership remains committed to Memorial Garden, enhancing both the museum and the city of Birmingham, as originally conceived.

 
 

 

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