Learn more about historic gardens of Georgia

The Georgia Historic Landscape Initiative (GHLI) is directed at supplementing the national Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) effort. While carried out on a smaller scale and following less stringent standards than those prescribed by the national HALS Program, the Georgia Historic Landscape Initiative has, nevertheless, played an important role in creating greater awareness for the preservation of the State’s historic landscape resources.

Initiated in 2002 under the direction of Landscape Architect Jim Cothran, FASLA, collaboration was forged among the State Historic Preservation Office, The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc., the Cherokee Garden Library at the Atlanta History Center, and the National Park Service Southeast Regional Office for the purpose of conducting a statewide inventory of Georgia’s historic gardens.

Using the volume Garden History of Georgia, 1733-1933 as a framework, garden club members and library fellows have determined which of the book’s significant gardens remain, which have been destroyed, and what changes have occurred to those still in existence. To date, one hundred and ninety-five surveys have been completed through the hard work of Garden Club of Georgia volunteers, community volunteers, and the Cherokee Garden Library research fellowship program for graduate students. The first phase of the effort has ended with documentation completed on all of the gardens described in Garden History of Georgia.

The Historic Preservation Committee of the Garden Club of Georgia is currently developing the next phase of the program. This year the Georgia Historic Landscape Initiative is piloting a documentation program of vernacular landscapes in Pike and Spalding Counties. Vernacular landscapes and gardens are beginning to be recognized as historic resources. Farmsteads, and their associated landscape features such as barns, outbuildings, kitchen gardens, fields, pastures, orchards, etc., tell a wonderful story about how the rural areas of our country developed.

The Cherokee Garden Library is the repository for the surveys and materials collected through the Georgia Historic Landscape Initiative.

For more information regarding the GHLI, please contact Garden Library Director, Staci Catron, at 404.814.4046 or scatron@atlantahistorycenter.com.