Hear Eddie and Kay Aldridge talk about the Gardens in the spring of 2017. Unfortunately, Eddie passed away in November of 2018. But his legacy forever lives on here in the beauty of Aldridge Gardens.
Eddie Aldridge caught his first glimpse of the Coxe Family Estate in 1966 when he was hired to plant two magnolias on the property nestled near the corner of Lorna Road and Rocky Ridge Ranch Road. Eddie and his father, both noted horticulturalists, knew beauty when they saw it. Both were nurserymen and had been given the opportunity to work in a profession that developed their appreciation of nature and the beauty of the environment. In fact, both agreed that this unique piece of property, which was located in the heart of Hoover, would one day be a perfect place for a public garden.
Eleven years passed, and the Coxe Family made the decision to sell the estate. Upon hearing that news, Eddie wasted no time in making an offer on the property that he and his father had long admired. In 1977, Eddie purchased the estate, and with that step began the first of many toward developing the property as a public garden.
Commercial and residential development in Hoover was growing at a rapid pace. The City of Hoover, which had been experiencing exponential growth, was now recognized as the sixth largest city in Alabama and one of the fastest growing in the South. By 1994, Eddie knew the timing was right and began exploring options for transforming the property into the public garden he had dreamed of for so many years. In collaboration with the City of Hoover and the City Council, in 1997 the City purchased the land. A resolution was also passed to ensure the property would remain public space in perpetuity. A Master Plan was commissioned and in 2002, Aldridge Gardens opened to the public, twenty five years after Eddie had acquired the property.