Birmingham Botanical Gardens is open to all, every day of the week. Fall/winter hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (November 7–March 12). Please note that the City of Birmingham requires face coverings inside City-owned buildings and venues, including the Garden Center and other indoor facilities at the Gardens, effective July 29, 2021. For more information and guidelines for visiting, please click here. We look forward to your visit!

The Library at the Gardens

Use your library card here!

Archives & Rare Book Room | Art Gallery | Catalog | Honors & Memorials | Thyme to ReadContact Us

The Seed Exchange

About The Library

The Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens is part of the Public Libraries in Jefferson County, making it the only public horticultural library in the United States. Simply present your blue or black library card to check out one of over 8,000 books, DVDs, audio books and magazines from our circulating collection. As a full-service public library, we can access all of the vast resources of the entire Public Library System in Jefferson County. Stop by today and dig into our collection—your knowledge is sure to grow!

Hours of Operation

As of July 6, 2021the Library at the Gardens is officially operating at full service once again! Visit Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and browse our collection. We hope you'll pull up a chair and stay awhile!

 The Library Offers:

  • Large selection of new gardening books

  • Children's section. Click here for the Kid's Catalog!

  • Over 65 different circulating gardening and horticulture magazines

  • Archives and Rare Book Room

  • A large collection of DVDs

  • Free internet access

  • Free Wi-Fi

  • Magic School Bus DVDs

  • Eyewitness books and DVDs

  • Resource material for Hands-on Activities Science Program (HASP) modules on Living Things, Organisms, Plant Growth and Development, Butterflies, Ecosystems and Earthworms

  • Multiple copies of Peterson's First Guides: Forests, Trees, Urban Wildlife, Butterflies & Moths and Caterpillars

  • The entire Discovering Alabama series on DVD

  • Teacher Resource Area with lesson plan materials

  • Used books & magazines for sale

  • Friendly staff and volunteers to help with all your gardening questions


Complete list of newest available titles at JCLC

Contact Us

205.414.3920 | phone
205.414.3922 | fax

Got a gardening question? Email us

Original brochure for The Library at The Gardens 

Give a Cutting, Take a Cutting!

The Library at the Gardens has a new program that propagation enthusiasts are sure to dig! Simply bring us a cutting rooted in water or soil (well-established roots are a must!), then choose a cutting from our collection to take home. Lavender, pothos, Christmas cactus, jewel orchid, flame violet, Chinese evergreen, umbrella plant, rosemary, and peperomia are available!

Winter Family Geocaching Scavenger Hunt

December 1, 2021–February 28, 2022

All ages welcome (registration required)

Free and open to the public

This winter, the Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens will partner once again with North Shelby Library for our popular community scavenger hunt program. Put on your sleuthing hats, and join in for some family fun with this virtually aided, seek-and-find scavenger-style hunt to explore what's hidden in plain sight at the Gardens! We provide the clues and Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) coordinates; you and your teammates try to spot your target using your GPS-enabled device. Then enter your team in a prize drawing for a chance to win a Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens gift basket or gift card. Registered teams of 1–6 members with adult supervision required.

Visit or call 205.439.5504 to register or learn more.

Community Seed Swap

Saturday, January 29 | 9 a.m.–1 p.m.

Strange Auditorium at Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Free and open to the public

Join the Library at the Gardens as we celebrate National Seed Swap Day with our first-ever Community Seed Swap! Bring any open-pollinated, heirloom seed you would like to share: locally saved seeds, specialty seeds, or excess seeds you purchased.

Learn tips and tricks, take home books, and chat with others who share a love of seed saving. For more information, contact Library Director Hope Long at [email protected] or 205.588.4593.

If you would like to volunteer to help with the Community Seed Swap, contact Alice Thompson Moore at [email protected] or 205.533.7659.

Honey for Sale

Take advantage of the Library at the Gardens' curbside service to purchase locally sourced honey from Birmingham Botanical Gardens' hives or honey flavored in cinnamon, lemon, or jalapeño from Ivy Brook Apiary.

Cost: $10/bottle (Birmigham Botanical Gardens)
Cost: $7-12 (Ivy Brook Apiary)

Call 205.588.4593 or 205.533.6062 to schedule a pickup between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. 


2021 Thyme to Read Book Club 

A monthly gathering hosted by the Library at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Join us virtually at 6 p.m. on select Tuesdays to discuss the month's reading selection. For more information contact Hope Long, library director, at 205.588.4593 or [email protected] 

The Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, co-sponsors this project. 


Explore our 2021 Book List:

February 2, 2021

The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree

By Susan Wittig Albert

March 2, 2021

Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard

By Douglas W. Tallamy


April 6, 2021

American Dirt

By Jeanine Cummins

May 4, 2021

Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking

By Bill Buford


June 1, 2021

The Body in the Castle Well

By Martin Walker


July 6, 2021

Where I Come From: Stories from the Deep South

By Rick Bragg


August 3, 2021

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants

By Robin Wall Kimmerer

September 7, 2021

The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South 

By Michael W. Twitty 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the virtual gathering.

October 5, 2021

Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey through Every National Park

By Conor Knighton

November 9, 2021

The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things

By Peter Wohlleben


December 7, 2021

Always Home: A Daughter's Recipes and Stories

By Fanny Singer


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Saving America’s Amazon: The Threat to our Nation’s Most Biodiverse River System

By Ben Raines


Tuesday, February 1, 2022

This Is Your Mind on Plants

By Michael Pollan


Honors and Memorials To Support the Library at the Gardens

Don't see a book in the library that you think we should have? We welcome suggestions and donations. You can also choose to memorialize or honor a relative, friend, or colleague and help grow the Library at Birmingham Botanical Gardens at the same time. Be sure to note that your tribute gift is for the Library at the Gardens. Thank you for your support!