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


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

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


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


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


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

James Gilstrap

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

Jeannette Coplin

Director of Horticulture