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Huntsville Botanical Garden welcomes fall with “Festifall” events

Among the most popular events during Festifall is the Scarecrow Trail, a collection of whimsical scarecrows created by local community members and businesses.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — As the first day of fall approaches the Huntsville Botanical Garden offers seasonal activities for all ages with “Festifall,” the Garden’s annual celebration of the changing seasons.

Among the most popular events during Festifall is the Scarecrow Trail, a collection of whimsical scarecrows created by local community members and businesses. This year, the Scarecrow Trail features 35 scarecrows of all shapes and sizes.

Communications Director Anna Beck says this is a way the community gets involved.

"This is an annual Fall tradition here at the garden," Beck says. Community members, businesses, local organizations, they all contribute these incredible scarecrow creations and they pepper them throughout the garden, so they're wacky, they're whimsical, they're silly. Coming in all different shapes and sizes and it's really a new way to bring the garden to life."

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Along with scarecrows, guests at the Garden can enjoy pumpkin displays, late-season blooms such as mums and black-eyed Susans, and a fall family photo opportunity with a 1949 Ford tractor and its wooden-wheel flatbed wagon, all included with regular Garden admission.

Outside of regular admission, the Garden offers additional programs and events during Festifall.

The annual Fall Plant Sale begins on Sept. 22 for Garden members before opening to the public on Sept. 23 and 24. The sale will feature a wide selection of trees, shrubs and native plants, and staff and volunteers will be available to lend their expertise and help guests with plant selection.

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For children and families looking for Festifall events, options include an overnight campout in the Garden; guided night hikes through the Scarecrow Trail; and a live raptor show with owls, hawks and more from the Southeastern Raptor Center. BOOtanica, a Halloween celebration in the Garden, also returns this year with trick-or-treating, crafts, games and costumes.

Educational offerings in September and October focus largely on trees as a reminder that fall is the best time of year to plant trees, large shrubs and perennials.

“Many home gardeners don’t realize that fall is the best season for planting shrubs and trees,” said Rebecca Turk, director of learning and public engagement at the Garden. “Planting now gives time for these plants to establish their roots before the stress of warmer temperatures in the spring and summer. At the Garden, we talk a lot about trees in the fall to help our community remember this tip so that they can have happy, healthy gardens of their own.”

For ages 4 through 11, the Garden’s Fall Break STEM Camp, “Tree Adventures,” provides a week-long outdoor experience that explores what trees do for us and what we can do for them.

For adults, fall classes include selecting the best trees for your home landscape and how to prune trees properly. Taught by the Garden’s own certified arborist, the classes can be taken individually or as a series.

“Fall is such a special time of year to be at the Garden,” said Anna Beck, the Garden’s director of communications and special projects. “Whether you’re learning something new or exploring familiar scenery, it’s the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature.”

Festifall at the Huntsville Botanical Garden takes place in September and October. For more information about event dates and ticket prices, visit hsvbg.org/Festifall.

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