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Special Focus: Huntsville Botanical Garden

Numerous festivals throughout the year that are timed to the seasons and a variety of permanent gardens near downtown make the Huntsville Botanical Garden an attractive stop anytime of the year for groups.

“We have something special for every season,” said Nicole Hogan, marketing director for the garden. “In addition, we have more than 120 acres of beautiful gardens.”

The events run from the Spring Festival of Flowers to the fall Scarecrow Trail, with more than 100 scarecrows created by local organizations and businesses, to the holiday Galaxy of Lights, one of the largest holiday light displays in Alabama. Retired space-industry scientists, engineers and physicists help design the elaborate animated displays.

During the summer, the gardens feature one of the largest open-air butterfly houses in the South.
Among its permanent gardens are an aquatic garden with water lilies, a day-lily garden with more than 800 varieties, and rose, vegetable and herb gardens.

“We have little areas that have been taken over by different volunteer groups; we have more than 3,200 active volunteers,” said Hogan. “Some are just for hostas, some just dogwood, and so forth.”