Pockets of green are popping up all over the Magic City as urban dwellers transform a concrete jungle into gardens and greenery. Richard Carnaggio and Tammy Cohen are a trend-setting couple who began living in downtown Birmingham before living downtown was cool. They are the founders of Cohen Carnaggio Reynolds Architectural firm and they set up shop and built living quarters above their business 10 years ago. They have built their business and have also created a beautiful landscape in the heart of the city, overlooking the iconic smoke stacks of Sloss Furnaces.
Charlie is scavenger at heart! He sees value and interest in objects that others discard. From old bicycles to broken planters to rusty chairs, he creatively transforms trash into treasures for the garden. 'Flower' magazine profiled one of his creations in the June 2015 issue. Take a look!
Here’s a simple, beautiful way to support tall-growing tomato plants (aka “indeterminate tomato plants“): a Bamboo Trellis Tower, brainchild of horticulturist and garden designer Charlie Thigpen of Birmingham, Alabama. Bamboo can be surprisingly easy to find, as it grows vigorously and often a little too enthusiastically for those on whose property it resides — chances are they will welcome your taking some away.
“Creative people create their own opportunities. That’s certainly true for Cindy and Charlie Thigpen, a couple in Birmingham, AL, who opened Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery, a combination nursery and art gallery, in 2009. Prior to opening the gallery, the Thigpens worked at a publishing company, where he was garden editor for Southern Living magazine and director of landscape for the 27-acre campus (recognized by the White House as one of the top landscapes in the country), and she was creative services director on the marketing side of the business. Clearly, they know a little something about making outdoor spaces look great, and that is why opening their own garden gallery was a natural next step after they left their previous jobs.
On a recent Saturday morning Cindy Thigpen whips around plants and garden decor in the shop she co-owns with her husband. She doesn’t really stop as she bags a ceramic garden figurine or greets people entering the store. She’s particularly excited because Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery is experiencing a cash mob.