On Saturday, April 9th, 2016 we officially opened our new Aromi Hybrid Azalea Garden. An extension to our existing Millie McConnell Rhododendron Garden, this new garden is filled with Dr Gene Aromi’s native azalea hybrids along with companion planting.

Members and donors were invited. Over 250 people attended the event – which featured beautiful weather, and a glorious display of plants.

Dr Aromi’s daughters, Jeannette and Marilyn, and his grandchildren were present in person AND in the beautiful azaleas named for them. They cut the ribbon and escorted attendees on the first walks through the Garden. Jeanette and Marilyn shared their memories of growing up with their father’s azaleas. Read Jeanette’s Speech Here

Gina Gregory, President of the City of Mobile Council, and representative of District 7, emphasised the benefits of the Mobile Botanical Gardens for the City of Mobile. We are honored to have her support in becoming a world-class garden.

Tom Johnson, Director of Magnolia Gardens & Plantation in Charleston,SC, was pivotal in spearheading the fund raising for the new Gardens, and is a great cheer-leader for us in the world of horticulture.

Terry Plauche, Landscape Architect, and Jeremy Carter of Total Quality Landscape, are to be commended on their thorough and accurate overseeing of the path-laying and plant-placing and installation of the new Garden.

Maarten van der Giessen, our azalea guru, and owner of van der Giessen Nursery in Semmes, AL was THE person with the vision and was the driving force behind the new Garden. He gave a very powerful and thought-provoking speech – something that all friends of the Gardens should read! Maarten’s Remarks at the Aromi Garden Opening (opens in new tab)

For more about Dr Aromi’s work and about his Native Azalea hybrids follow these links:

Video talk – Aromi Azaleas by Maarten van der Giessen (opens in new tab)

Aromi Garden Handout (PDF) -opens in new tab

Aromi Azalea Collection at MBG (opens in new tab)

Catering by Georgia Roussos Catering (opens in new tab)
Photography by Elizabeth Gelineau of Fleeting Moments Photography LLC (will open in new tab)
Also read Elizabeth’s blog about the Opening at www.fleetingmoments-photography.com/blog (opens in a new tab)

Just a few of the photos from the Aromi Azalea Garden Opening Day! These are photos that have been posted to our instagram account. Our thanks to Elizabeth Gelineau of Fleeting Moments Photography LLC (will open in new tab) for the sneak peek photos. – more will be posted soon!

You can click on any photo to see them in a slide show with the instagram captions. Follow us on instagram at mobilebotanicalgardens.

Benches in the garden - great for stopping to smell the #azaleas. Many of the #Aromi hybrids retain the sweet #honeysuckle scents of their parents. Come out and #visit! Photo by @fleetingphoto #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2 ...

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#Aromi #garden Opening. April 9, 2016. Dr Gene Aromi was an Education Professor at the University of South Alabama, but transformed his backyard into a hybridization heaven. Coffee cans were the unlikely start for many of his beautiful #azalea #hybrids #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2 photo credit to @fleetingphoto our official event #photographer ...

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#Aromi garden! The view from the ribbon! Located to the west of our existing #Rhododendron #Garden, the pathway meanders under a canopy of #Longleaf #pine trees. #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2 ...

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#Aromi Hybrid Azalea Garden Opening! Dr Aromi's daughters and grandchildren were our guests of honor! ALL of them have their named azalea planted in the Garden! How neat is that! These are the real life grand children 🙂 #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2 Photo by @fleetingphoto ...

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#Aromi Hybrid Azalea Garden Opening Apr 9 2016. Members and guests enjoying the beauty of the existing open air #plaza in our #Rhododendron #Garden. Photo by @fleetingphoto Refreshments by Georgia Roussos Catering #evergreen #azaleas by Mother Nature (and her horticultural helpers) #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2 ...

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#Aromi Azalea Garden. Come and visit soon. We have benches, blooms, and beautiful vistas! Just a part of the new #garden on opening day #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2 ...

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Maarten van der Giessen inherited the bulk of Dr Aromi's work making new selections for the market. Just have to share this exuberant photo of his late father Peter who established Van der Giessen Nursery in #Semmes AL. He is missed. #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2 ...

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These two had big beautiful smiles all day! #Aromi hybrid azalea garden fundraising was spearheaded by Maarten van der Giessen and Tom Johnson @magnoliaplantation they done good! Heartfelt thanks to both of them! #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2 Photo by @fleetingphoto ...

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#Aromi Garden Opening. Over 220 members & guests enjoyed refreshments by Georgia Roussos catering in the #azalea #plaza. A great place for open air #rentals #mbgrent1 #aromiscene2 ...

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#Aromi Garden Opening! Maarten van der Giessen, our #azalea guru on the right, chatting with Andrew Saunders, MBG president at the reception. Maarten is the Force behind our new collection. Not often seen in a suit!#mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2. Photo by @fleetingphoto ...

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Dr Gene #Aromi named many of his hybrids for family and friends. Our display showed the people behind the names. We even had many there in person as well as in #flower. #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene2 ...

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Just a few of the photos showing the Aromi Garden building progress. Posted from our instagram account.

You can click on any photo to see them in a slide show with the instagram captions. Follow us on instagram at mobilebotanicalgardens.

Aromi #azalea Garden construction. Paths laid out and being poured. Planting soon! April Opening!#mobilebotanicalgardens #mbgscene #aromiscene1 ...

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#Aromi #garden - new collection of #deciduous #azaleas - hybrids by Gene Aromi being planted. Official opening April 9th. #mobilebotanicalgardens #mbgscene #aromiscene1 ...

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#Aromi Garden. More planting and #pinestraw mulch. Late March 2016. Counting down to the official Opening! #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene1 ...

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#Aromi hybrid azalea #garden is officially open. Here's a view of the installation of pathway from March 2016. #mobilebotanicalgardens #mbgscene #aromiscene1 ...

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#Aromi garden path construction March 2016. Our thanks to Terry Plauché, Landscape Architect and Jeremy Carter of Total Quality Landscape for overseeing the project #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene1 ...

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#Aromi Hybrid Azalea Garden installation - brick footprints prepared for visitor benches. The paths meander under a canopy of #longleaf #pines. #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene1 ...

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#Aromi Hybrid Azalea Garden - paths complete and #planting begins March 2016. Companion plantings selected to add year round interest and complement the beautiful late spring blooms. #mobilebotanicalgardens #aromiscene1 ...

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