I rolled into the Leaf and Petal parking lot—and by rolled, I mean I frantically turned the wheel and pressed in the clutch and prayed I wouldn’t hit the cars next to me—turned off Fitz (my car), and got out, only to be met with the wet humidity I now find characteristic to Alabama.
It did not feel like fall. Not a drop. The air was still heavy, the kind that clings to you like a wet towel, and the temperatures were sky-high (for this Californian, at least). Despite what the weather said, the Leaf and Petal (Mountain Brook location) display said otherwise.
Pumpkins overflowed onto the sidewalk in all varieties; I was particularly attached to those with the moniker of Cinderella—they were so lovely, so creamy, it seemed slightly plausible that one might turn into a coach. We had driven by Leaf and Petal several times, as there is a location in English Village, a terribly charming enclave in Mountain Brook. Today, however, we took the trouble to get out of the car—and as we wandered through the rows and rows of plants, it was clear it was no trouble at all.
Tiny topiaries stood tall like soldiers, succulents dangled lazily from their pots, and morning light streamed through the ceiling windows. And the orchids—oh, the orchids. Vibrant, luscious, velvety flowers that gave absolutely no warning they would die as soon as they entered my care. (For this reason, I abstained from purchasing one; no orchid has ever made it out of my house alive.) For someone who loves flowers, it was a little slice of what heaven must be like: overrun with greenery and life and color.
Aside from the various potted flowers and plants, there were planters galore and in fun designs—turtles, elephants, sturdy earthenware. This was my first little excursion in the quest for beauty in Birmingham…and I think it satisfied quite nicely.
To Visit Leaf and Petal
There are four locations throughout Birmingham.
- Leaf and Petal, Mountain Brook Village: 2817 Cahaba Road Mountain Brook, AL
- Leaf and Petal Deal Depot: 370 Summit Boulevard Birmingham, AL
- Leaf and Petal at the Summit: 4113 Crosshaven Drive Birmingham, AL
- Leaf and Petal at Botanical Gardens: 2612 Lane Park Road Birmingham, AL