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.
The Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden
In 2017, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia will break ground on the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden—the ideal place for children to play and learn in an environment that will inspire their sense of adventure, wonder and love for nature. This new garden will transform two and a half acres into a fun-filled educational environment for children of all ages.
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.
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.
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!
The Hummingbird Trail was researched and designed by Judy Royal Glenn for the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. The trail hosts 21 markers that show where hummingbirds frequent within the Garden. The trail is open from May 1st to approximately the first week of October when the hummingbirds typically leave. Check the calendar for upcoming hummingbird classes and rambles. A Flickr page was designed to allow visitors an opportunity to upload photos taken of hummers in the Garden.
Hummingbird Trail Maps are available at the Visitor Center Front desk or by download here.
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.
Shade and 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.
Trails and Nature Areas
I am Wade Seymour, grounds foreman here at the Garden. I have seen many changes and additions over my 20 plus 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 areas 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.
Tropical Conservatory, Herb and Physic Garden
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, 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 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).