Thomas Rainer, a leading voice in ecological landscape design, will speak Jan. 31 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens during the Annual Member Celebration and Inaugural John A. Floyd Jr. Lecture.
The Birmingham native will talk about his landscape philosophy and how it applies to homeowners’ gardens and to the Kaul Wildflower Garden.
Rainer is a principal with Phyto Studio in Washington, D.C., and has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the New York Botanical Garden, according to a statement by the Gardens. He has been featured in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Landscape Architecture Magazine, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Architectural Digest.
His recent work focuses on incorporating wild plant communities into designed plantings that thrive in towns and cities.
Light refreshments will be served during the event, which runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and a book signing will follow the talk. Registration is required; visit bbgardens.org and click on the calendar link to find the event and registration form.
The inaugural Floyd lecture has been created by the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens to honor Dr. John Alex Floyd Jr. Floyd was a lifelong gardener, skilled horticulturist and longtime editor in chief of Southern Living whose commitment to the gardens during 1981-2021 made a lasting impact at the Gardens, according to the statement.
He was a driving force in creating the Southern Living Garden in 1981 and, while serving as board chair, oversaw the Gardens’ second master plan and the fundraising efforts that made it a reality.
Through his work with Southern Living, he was instrumental in positioning Birmingham as an epicenter of Southern gardening, style and hospitality, according to the statement. After retiring, he continued his community service, volunteering weekly in the Japanese Garden, helping shape the Gardens’ latest master plan and sharing his expertise and talents until his death in 2021.