For years now I have made the drive from south Alabama to north Mississippi, but never have made the time to detour off I-65 north to a little town called Jemison, home of Petals of the Past until yesterday. I had heard about it for years, and a friend recently mentioned that I should make it a point to stop. And what a gem in the heart of Alabama! Started in 1993 by Jason and Shelley Powell and Steve Wilson, there are 25 glorious acres to behold. Dr. Arlie Powell, Jason’s father and a retired Auburn professor, now is instrumental in the lecture series they offer year round. Dr. Powell is a pomologist (studies fruit cultivation). He has developed a procedure for cultivating native blackberries here. Their specialty heirloom roses such as the chestnut rose which originates to the 1800’s, climbs to six feet, and is said to “laugh at black spots.” But, that is only a small sampling of what you’ll find. Annuals, perennials, and 6 acres of over 140 varieties of fruit plants are found on the grounds. Whimsical garden ornaments, bird houses, seeds, unique iron furniture, rustic planters, pottery, etc. You could easily spend an entire day there, and still not see all of the garden treasures. Also on the property is a huge barn-shaped classroom that accommodates large groups from around the country to hear informative lectures and speakers.
The rustic retail shop is loaded with garden treasures…
The blueberry bushes are “loaded”, and seem to usher in summer. Their 2013 Black and Blue Berry Festival is coming up on June 8.
Any gardener would never want to leave this charming, quaint heavenly dream! Make a detour on your next trip to the Birmingham area to one of the best kept Alabama garden secrets!