Explore 22 acres of tranquil gardens and trails, featuring six distinct gardens that showcase the horticultural history of the Atlanta region.
The three-acre Quarry Garden shelters one of the state’s most comprehensive collections (nearly 600 species) of plants native to pre-settlement Georgia, many of which are rare and/or endangered. See plants like the Franklin Tree (Franklinia alatamaha), discovered on the banks of Georgia’s Altamaha River and now extinct in the wild; the yaupon holly (Ilex vomitoria), a signature plant of Southeastern Native Americans; and various species of native azaleas (Rhododendron spp.).
Stroll through the versatile gardens that rural Georgians maintained for pleasure and utility in the 1860s. A fenced vegetable garden provides heirloom produce for the mid-nineteenth century kitchen, while corn and cotton fill a quarter acre devoted to moneymaking field crops. Old fashioned ornamental flowers such as love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus sp.) and rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) grace the enclosed front yard of swept dirt. A slave’s personal vegetable garden, common in 1860s Georgia, lies beside a small cabin behind the main farmhouse.
Observe how Asian plants and their American counterparts co-mingle in this informal woodland setting. Extensive collections of maples (Acer spp.), hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp. & cvs.), and herbaceous plants flourish under towering trees. While many of these plants are the backbone of Atlanta-area gardens, the amazing similarities between the Asian and American varieties lead to much speculation among scientists.
Walk through 10 acres of green, robust forest surrounding the Swan Woods Trail. Vestiges of terraced cotton fields abandoned a century ago are still visible and sightings of wildlife reward the watchful. Lying among the towering pine, beech and tulip trees, is the charming Fern Circle which produces a collection of species of ferns and wildflowers native to the Georgia Piedmont. Also situated on the Swan Woods Trail is the Garden for Peace, part of an international gardens network dedicated to promoting peace.