BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Dr. Harold Settle is a native Virginian, but his medical career led to Alabama, which is where his mother was born. While searching for a permanent home, he discovered a special property located along a peninsula surrounded on Logan Martin Lake. Today when the roses are in bloom, The Settle Family Gardens are transformed and alive with beauty.
“The rose is a challenging plant to grow. It rewards you with incredible beauty, and to be able to cut them and give them to people, and that’s what Virna loves doing. There’s so many different varieties and it’s always a surprise when you’ve got a new variety and see that bloom for the first time. My gardening concept is, I’ve got to have a lawn. I’ve got to have someplace to walk and then I put my gardens around the lawn.”
It was Logan Martin Lake, not the roses, which led the retired cardiologist to settle here, “I got into sailing. One day I got this wild idea to buy a sailboat and put it up here.”
But the location was unique, which made the spot perfect for the roses, “We’re on a peninsula in Logan Martin and there’s three-quarters of a mile of water over there and there’s three-quarters of a mile of water over there, and in the winter, obviously, the water retains a little bit of heat during the day, releases it at night and we stay about four to five degrees warmer right here than you do a half a mile away; probably a zone very similar to what you would find in Montgomery.”
Still, it isn’t just roses which allows the gardens to remain beautiful year-round. “Through the years I probably have acquired about 100 named varieties of Japanese Maples on the property. I like growing anything. I had a vision of what I wanted to turn in into and I’ve been able to do that. I’m a gardener. Yes. Definitely a gardener. It’s in my blood. I can’t help it.”