Explore: Gardens & Collections

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is home to a stunning range of collections, displays and trails. Here, our devoted horticultural staff take a moment to introduce them to you.

Contact Our Horticulture Department Here

Main Conservatory, Herb & Physic Garden

Pam Butts

Curator

I like to share the beauty of the Gar­dens and pro­vide a learn­ing expe­ri­ence for our vis­i­tors. In the Herb and Physic Garden, always be on the look­out for unfa­miliar plants or some­thing very familiar fea­tured for an unfa­miliar use. For ins­tance, this sum­mer I’ve included in the Garden a pot of Urtica dioica (Sting­ing Net­tle) to show that a plant you’d prob­a­bly never want in your Garden has ben­e­fi­cial uses. Sting­ing net­tle is used as a tex­tile dye, a nutri­tious food source and a tex­tile fiber. It has sev­eral medici­nal uses includ­ing the treat­ment of arthri­tis. In the Vis­i­tor’s Cen­ter, you’ll find an ever chang­ing dis­play of trop­i­cal plants in the areas sur­round­ing the Great Room(upper level). Showy spec­i­mens from our Trop­i­cal Green­house Col­lec­tion are fea­tured in the Conser­va­tory through­out the year. You never know when you’ll see an Ana­nas como­sus (Pineap­ple) with ripen­ing fruit or the amaz­ing flower of the Aris­tolochia gigan­tean (Brazilian Dutch­man’s Pipe).

Shade & Native Flora Gardens

Joey Allen

Curator

The Shade and Native Flora Gar­dens are at their peak in the spring when dog­woods, mag­no­lias and aza­leas are burst­ing with color! The Native Flora Garden is espe­cially enchant­ing as we watch spring ephe­mer­als and wild flow­ers bloom in suc­ces­sion—al­most every day brings some­thing new! The fall is also a great time to see the glo­ri­ous col­ors of the Garden as the leaves change from green to reds, yel­lows, oranges and pur­ples. When the weather is cool, it is time to start look­ing for the Camel­lias to shine! In the sum­mer­time, it is a great Garden to have a lei­surely stroll to stay cool in the shade.

International Garden

Billie Gotsch

Curator

As a nature lover, I am hap­pi­est when it sur­rounds me. I have hope that, in a world of hus­tle and bus­tle, peo­ple will still take time to smell the roses and appre­ci­ate the great out­doors. I am wild about the Inter­na­tio­nal Garden because I feel it has some­thing for every­one. I have favorites in the Garden, but nonethe­less I enjoy being able to see the sub­tle day-to-day changes the most.

Heritage Garden

John Tait

Curator

The her­i­tage Garden is a place where our his­tory comes alive. Pass-along peren­nials remind us of our grand­mother’s Garden, and the brick walls and sym­met­ri­cal hedges evoke the early gar­dens of Savan­nah, Char­le­s­ton, and the rural South. I par­tic­u­larly enjoy grow­ing his­tor­i­cal crops such as cot­ton, tobacco, rice, and indigo. Some vis­i­tors are reminded of work­ing in the fields, while others expe­ri­ence these impor­tant plants for the first time. Visit in the spring­time to see aza­leas, dog­woods, mag­no­lias, and old-fashioned roses in bloom; or come in the autumn and win­ter to see the win­ter veg­gies, confed­er­ate roses, and ripen­ing cit­rus fruit

Flower Garden

Shelly Prescott

Curator

I gra­d­u­ated from The Uni­ver­sity of Georgia with a BSA in Hor­ti­cul­ture. I am an avid Bull­DAWG fan in all sports but mainly foot­ball. I am pas­sio­nate about plants and enjoy all plants for what they bring to the envi­ron­ment. I have worked in almost every phase of hor­ti­cul­ture dur­ing my career. Cre­at­ing some­thing that peo­ple enjoy is what makes me most proud of what I do.

Trails & Natural Areas

Wade Seymour

Grounds Forman

I am Wade Sey­mour, grounds fore­man here at the Garden. I have seen many changes and addi­tions over my twenty some odd years work­ing here. I am a gra­d­u­ate of the War­nell School of Forestry and have hiked many trails in the Appalachians and out West. My respon­si­bil­i­ties include oversee­ing large con­struc­tion and main­te­nance pro­jects when cura­tor crews need help. I take care of most of the non-theme areas of the Garden prop­er­ties. The road cor­ri­dors, park­ing lot land­s­capes and many of the build­ing land­s­capes are my area of respon­si­bil­ity. I also take care of our equip­ment. Our five miles of trails and two miles of elec­tric deer fence take up a lot of my time.

Horticulture Greenhouses

Melanie Parker

Greenhouse Manager

Some of my most poig­nant child­hood mem­ories include seed­ing and har­vest­ing veg­eta­bles and flow­ers with my Dad and help­ing tend to giant house­plants passed from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion, friend to friend, with my Mom. When it came time to choose a major in col­lege, I sat down and paged through the dif­fer­ent depart­ments and classes and noted studies that sounded enjoy­able. I did not con­sider loca­tion or income. I only con­sid­ered per­so­nal ful­fill­ment. What sounded fun? If I was going to do it all day every day I needed to love it! I earned my Bach­e­lor’s degree in Hor­ti­cul­ture from the Uni­ver­sity of Georgia in 1994. Dur­ing col­lege I interned at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and worked there dur­ing the sum­mers as Green­house Assis­tant. After gra­d­u­at­ing I returned to ABG full-time for sev­eral years. It was there I devel­oped a pas­sion for green­houses and a love for Botanical gar­dens. In Septem­ber of 2007 I became Green­house Man­ager at SBG. I love my job and I love the Garden. I’m proud of what I do and look for­ward to many more years of it!

Gold Medal Plant Program

The Georgia Gold Medal Plant Pro­gram, a joint ven­ture between the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, UGA Exten­sion Ser­vice and the Georgia Plant Nursery Indus­try, selects up to five plants annu­ally that are con­sid­ered out­s­tand­ing plants to have in your land­s­cape.

Learn More QR Codes

The Garden’s Learn More! QR Code Pro­gram grew out of my desire to send our vis­i­tors home with more infor­ma­tion. The pro­gram, thanks to the help of the UGA Coop­er­a­tive Exten­sion and our own Cura­tors, now allows vis­i­tors to scan codes placed through­out the Garden and learn more about the area they are vis­it­ing. I focused the pro­gram on three areas: Grow­ing Tips, Usage Tips and Learn More Tips. Our Grow­ing Tips explain how one can inte­grate plants seen at the Garden into a home Garden. Usage Tips describe plants that usu­ally can’t be grown at home, but can be found in com­mon every­day prod­ucts. The Learn More Tips cover broader top­ics of inter­est, such as infor­ma­tion about monas­tic gar­den­s—the inspi­ra­tion for our Herb Garden. So take out those phones, start up your QR app and enjoy!

Contact Our Horticulture Department

For Information about our Gardens & Collections

(706) 369-5884
garden@uga.edu

John Tait

Curator, Heritage Garden

Melanie Parker

Greenhouse Manager

Wade Seymour

Grounds Foreman

Bill Laveque

Assistant Grounds Foreman

Billie Gotsch

Curator, International Garden

Joey Allen

Curator, Shade and Dunston Native Flora Garde

Pam Butts

Curator, Main Conservatory, Herb & Physic Gar

Shelly Prescott

Curator, Flower Garden

Sheldon Jones

Curator, Seasonal Displays