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Event Calendar

Purdy Butterfly House
May 1 – Sep 30 all-day

The Purdy Butterfly House, the nation’s largest open-air butterfly house, opens on May 1 and through September is home to 1,500 butterflies, as well as turtles, button quail, frogs, and other critters. A series of butterfly releases are scheduled during the season (see dates below) during which visitors can take part in an environmentally safe restoration of the indoor butterfly population.

Although our winged friends leave in the fall, Garden guests can enjoy the waterfalls, ponds, streams, and lush vegetation of the Butterfly House all year!

2019 Butterfly Releases:

Saturday, May 4 at 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 12 (Mother’s Day Brunch & Butterfly Release) from 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 8 at 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 13 at 10:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Presented by:


Making Alabama: A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit
Jun 8 – Aug 18 all-day

Huntsville is one of 67 communities in Alabama to host Making Alabama and the Huntsville Botanical Garden is proud to offer a venue to share our state’s rich history with you!

Celebrating 200 Years

This exhibit is a celebration of 200 years of statehood presented by the Alabama Humanities Foundation in partnership with the Alabama Department of Archives and History and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. The exhibit showcases the decisions and turning points that shaped Alabama history, culture, and geography through artistic interactive displays and teaching resources.

The Making Alabama exhibit is located in the Propst Guest Center and is free and open to the public during regular Garden hours.

More bicentennial events at the Garden:

(Garden Admission or Membership required for outdoor exhibits and events)

Sweet Homegrown Alabama

  • Test your knowledge with our state flora and fauna scavenger hunt (Click here to download the scavenger hunt)
  • View a replica of George Washington Carver’s Jesup Wagon
  • Learn about heirloom plants and traditional crops in the Children’s Garden, Herb Garden, and Demonstration Vegetable Garden

Art Exhibits

Presenting Sponsor:



Supporting Sponsor:

Sweet Homegrown Alabama
Jun 8 – Sep 30 all-day

State Symbol Scavenger Hunt

(Click here to download the scavenger hunt)

Do you know why Alabama is called the “Yellowhammer State?” Do you know what our state mineral is? What about our state wildflower? As you explore the Garden this summer and fall, be sure to check out our State Symbol Scavenger Hunt! We’ve posted informative signs throughout the Garden that offer fun facts about many of our state symbols.


View a replica of George Washington Carver’s Jesup Wagon

The Jesup Agricultural Wagon was the first vehicle used in Tuskegee Institute’s Movable School, an outreach effort of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) aimed at bringing modern agricultural tools and methods to rural areas and people in Alabama. Named for Morris K. Jesup, who funded the initial construction and acquisition of mules, rigging, and instructional materials, the wagon was designed by George Washington Carver.

Fully equipped, the Jesup Wagon carried a revolving churn, butter mold, diverse cultivator, planters, a cotton chopper, plows, different kinds of fertilizers, seeds, foodstuffs, a milk tester, and a cream separator, as well as a number of charts and demonstration materials. Recommended breeds of cows and chickens, well-developed ears of corn, stalks of cotton, bundles of oats and seeds, and garden products were included, all based on the locality visited and the season of the year.

Learn more at

Learn about heirloom plants and traditional crops

The Herb Garden has collections of culinary, medicinal, and dye herbs which all played an important role in the development of our state. We’ll also highlight native plants that were traditionally used for medicinal purposes along the Mathews Nature Trail. The Demonstration Vegetable Garden and Children’s Garden will also feature heirloom plants and traditional crops.


Corn, beans, and squash are called the “three sisters.” Native Americans inter-planted this trio because they thrive together:

  • The cornstalk provides support for the bean plant
  • The bean plant pulls nitrogen from the air and brings it to the soil
  • The large leaves of the squash plant create a living mulch that shades the soil, keeping it cool and moist and preventing weeds


  • Approximately half of the peanuts grown in the United States are grown within a 100-mile radius of Dothan, Alabama
  • The peanut is unusual because it flowers above the ground, but fruits below the ground
  • 20% of the world’s peanut production is used in candy
  • Peanuts may be a favorite food, but we’ve found many uses for their shells too! You might find peanut shells in kitty litter, wallboard, fireplace logs, paper, animal feed and sometimes as fuel for power plants!

Learn more fun facts at the Alabama Peanut Producers Association website.

Presenting Sponsor:


Supporting Sponsor:

Firefly Night Hike
Jul 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Click links below to register:

Register for June 11
Register for June 25
Register for July 2
Register for July 9
Register for July 23

We will meet in the Guest Center.

Bring your flashlight and a sense of adventure and let us guide you through an evening of exploration as you witness the changes in the Garden when night falls. We’ll see fireflies in the meadows, orb weavers spinning their webs, and maybe, if we’re lucky, some nocturnal animals out foraging for dinner. We’ll also stop along the way to roast s’mores!

Optional: Bring a clean, dry plastic jar with lid; mayonnaise jars work well, for a special firefly catch and release!

Wacky Wednesdays!
Jul 24 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

It’s time to get wacky!

  • 1 Wacky
  • 2 Wacky
  • 3 Wacky
  • 4 Wacky
  • 5 Wacky
  • 6 Wacky

Join us in the Children’s Garden each Wednesday (June 5 – July 24) from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. for sprinklers, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and crafts! This year we’re celebrating Alabama’s bicentennial and each week’s craft will feature one of our state symbols (and, of course, we wouldn’t forget the anniversary of the Apollo mission). We’ll also wind up with the annual Wacky Wednesday Tie-dye on July 24!



June 5
State Bird: Yellowhammer
June 12
State Nut: Pecan
June 19
State Insect: Monarch Butterfly
June 26
State Butterfly: Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
July 10
Space Rocket Craft
July 17
State Mammal: Black Bear
July 24

*Please bring your own t-shirt(s) for the tie-dye craft. We will not be providing them.

Seeds to Sprouts
Jul 26 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

seeds sprouts 0918Come and enjoy exciting stories for the season, crafts, learning activities, and walks (weather permitting) in the Garden with your little Sprout! Each class offers a different adventure to get your little one experiencing nature and all it has to offer.

June 14: Mouse in Space!
June 28: Alabama Alphabet
July 12: Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
July 26: Home Sweet Home

seeds sprouts 0918 2Stay tuned: More programs to come in June 2019!

Location: All Seeds to Sprouts sessions will be held in the Anderson Education Center Classroom

Selected Fridays from 10:00 am-11:00 am

Age: 2-5 (parent and child class)

$8 for the first child, $5 for each additional sibling in the same family.
Adults free with membership or Garden admission.

Pre-registration is encouraged. You can save the time of having to stop and pay on your way in! You can register online or over the phone at 256-830-4447 ext. 253.

Remember to take advantage of our Frequent “Sprouters” Program and earn a free class for every three paid classes that you attend. Pick up your card at the next class.

Contact Misty Hertzig if you have questions at

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