Our new Collections Curator, Amanda Wilkins, is looking for volunteers to join her in gardening adventures on Saturdays from 9am to noon through August. Meet Amanda at the office.

Projects will include hard labor – weeding, planting, watering, some pruning in various areas of the Gardens – some may not be easy to get to! We have a lot going on, from general maintenance to working on the new Aromi Collection area and the Butterfly Garden, and your help will get us GROWING!

There will be many opportunities for learning about the plants and gardening techniques with a plant walk during or after each work morning. You will be working directly with Amanda.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own gloves and pruners. The Gardens will provide bottled water and other tools.

No long term commitment is needed– if you can only come out once in a while on a Tuesday or a Saturday morning, we will still be glad to see you!

If you would like to be added to the Cavalry Crew contact list, please submit your name and contact information here. Volunteer Contact Information (will open in a new tab) – or email awilkins@mbgardens.org

GROUP VOLUNTEERS. If you have a group who need volunteer hours or community service, please contact Amanda Wilkins at (704) 747 2163 or awilkins@mbgardens.org to set up a project. We’d love to work with you!

Spring Cleaning? If you have good give-away stuff please help the Gardens put on a BIG Yard Sale the last weekend in June.

Beginning Monday, May 4th, bring it out to the Gardens! And then come back to the Gardens on Friday and Saturday, June 26th and 27th to find something to fill that clean space you just created!

Here’s a list of what we can and cannot accept: Yard Sale items list It will open in a new window.

We also need newspapers (without the ad inserts), plastic grocery bags, and medium to small boxes to be used at the sale. These items can be dropped off anytime at the MBG Office!

Questions? Please call us on (251) 342 0555 or email us at mbg4@bellsouth.net

Along with donations we are looking for volunteers to help:

Sort and price items before the sale,
Floor workers to help customers
Holding Area Attendants

Please call or email the office if you can help!

Sunday, May 3rd 2pm – 4pm

Join members and friends of the MBG for a casual enjoyable and instructive walk in our 35-acre Longleaf Pine Treasure Forest.

Tours will be led by MBG member volunteers who have actively managed the woodland.

2.00pm – Meet at the Longleaf Trail Head, just off the MBG’s main parking plaza. Welcome & Longleaf History by Andrew Saunders, MBG President

2.15 – 3.30pm – Walking tour of the Longleaf in small groups led by John Goodloe, Keville Larson, Patrick McGough, Bill Finch, John Olive and Andrew Saunders.

3.30 – 4.00pm – Q&A and discussion with all participants will be led by John Goodloe, Chairman of MBG’s Longleaf Forest Management Committee

BYOB of water and put on your walking shoes!

This is a FREE event, but reservations are encouraged. Please call the Office at (251) 342 0555 or email mbg2@bellsouth.net

The Koi have Names!

Thanks to everybody who submitted entries! With only a little bit of pouting, the Koi Name Selection Committee, have selected the winners of our contest!

A Big Drum Roll and an Official Photo of the Koi, goes to:

Karen Rhea White of Fairhope for submitting Sunny and Rascal

Marilyn Way of Mobile for submitting Moonbeam, Tiger Boi and Lei Lei

And once again, many thanks to the Kahkola’s who arranged the generous donation and transportation of the Koi! For the full Interstate Story of how we got the Koi please see A Fish Tale…OOPS…Tale

Big Mama for Koi name post

Big Mama – our original koi

This is Big Mama! Our Original Lonely and Only Koi!
She seems very happy to have friends to share her Pond!

Sunny for koi name post


Meet SUNNY – short for Sunburst.

She is female and 3 years old. She has a lot of white on her side, and has an orange nose. She was born in Florida

Rascal for Koi Name post


Meet RASCAL – up to mischief from the beginning when she got caught up in the pond skimmer, almost on arrival. She is Sunny’s sister and 3 years old from Florida. She is mostly orange with black splotches, and has a black nose. We originally misidentified her as a male, so ‘Trouble’ is probably her middle name!

Moonbeam for koi name post


Meet MOONBEAM – so named because he glows like a moonbeam, with the orange dot on his tail looking like the blazing orange orb of the setting sun. He was a little bit shy when he first arrived, because he came from a different pond than the others, but he’s now enjoying the company!

Tiger Boi for koi name post

Tiger Boi

Meet TIGER BOI – his markings gave him the Tiger, and the Boi is a combination of Boy and Koi! He is a male and is 5 years old. He is the ‘flashiest’ fish in the pond. He has perfect markings and coloration, but has a dent in his gill which stops him from being a show fish.

Lei Lei for koi name post

Lei Lei

Meet LEI LEI She is a female and is 10 years old. She was born in Japan and then lived in Hawaii! A well-travelled fish! She is now the largest fish in the pond. She is orange and white.

Thunder for koi name post


THUNDER was named on the day he arrived! A little boy was visiting when the fish were being put in the pond. He crouched down to watch them all swimming. When his mom told him it was time to go, her said “That one is named Thunder and my name is Christopher” and left.

We would love to know how to find Christopher, so he can have an official photo of Thunder!

Thunder is male and about 9 years old. His pattern is (amazingly) not considered a color in the Koi World, but he glows almost irridescent! He was considered shy and stand-offish in the big pond where he lived, but seems to be very comfortable in his new home!

Way back in 2014, Kirsten and Mike Kraljevic volunteered to get the Koi Pond in our Founders Garden cleaned and cleared. In October they spent a weekend completing the installation of a new pump and skimmer system. Dr Jack DiPalma and his wife Ann funded the much needed components to make it all work. The result was a stunning waterfall, and a healthy pond!

Herding goldfish in 2014

Herding goldfish in 2014

Kirsten cleaning the koi pond in 2014

Kirsten cleaning the koi pond in 2014

Kirsten knee deep in the Koi Pond 2014

Kirsten knee deep in the Koi Pond 2014

Clean pond, working waterfall, and Big Mama in 2014

Clean pond, working waterfall, and Big Mama in 2014

Lonely Big Mama March 2015

Lonely Big Mama

And Big Mama! Our only and lonely Koi! Well, she had some small fry for companions, and was happy chasing them around the pond occasionally, but she was not just the Biggest Koi in the Pond – she was the only one!

As the story goes, Kirsten was working on, or more probably IN the Koi Pond, and got talking to a couple visiting the Gardens from out of town – Paul and Penny Kahkola from Tennessee. And it turns out that Paul’s brother and sister-in-law raise Koi.

So, in the weeks following, Paul and Penny in Greenback, Tennessee ask Sonja and Ken in Dunellon, Florida to donate koi to Big Mama’s Lonely Koi Pond in Mobile Alabama and Sonja and Ken generously agreed to donate SIX koi and sent us advance photos! Now, that’s fishnet-working at its best!

They arrived on Thursday afternoon (March 26th) and after a while floating around in travelling bags to get acclimated to the new water temperature, they were released to their new home!

Big Mama is overjoyed! Big Mama is no longer lonely! And the new Koi are ready to make a big splash with our visitors!

Our heartfelt thanks to Sonja and Ken Kahkola for the very generous donation and transportation of the Koi, and to Paul and Penny Kahkola for going out of their way to remember a chance meeting at the Mobile Botanical Gardens and make it all possible!

Bagged koi for donation post

Travelling Bagged Koi

Letting the Koi out of the BAgs!

Letting the Koi out of the Bags!

Happy  Koi for dnation post

Happy Koi!

Happy Big Mama for donation post

Happy Big Mama!

Very Happy Fish - not bubble bath - Koi spawning May 22!

Very Happy Fish – not bubble bath – Koi spawning May 22!