The Garden Tourist in Atlanta – Part 1

Sep 26, 2016 | Lifestuff

When my husband and I travel one of our favorite things is to start the day with a garden destination in mind and then let the rest of the day unfold spontaneously. Instead of going through a checklist of locations, this manner of exploration lets us discover the unexpected, meet local people, stumble onto visual surprises and delicious food. In this way, “garden tourism” is a wonderful way to discover new countries and regions.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to start a new series of blog posts under the title of The Garden Tourist. These are suggestions for places where you might want to visit to begin or add to your own wanderings. And since I’ve just returned from the GWA conference in Atlanta, I’ll do a few posts about the wonderful places we visited.

If you’re in Atlanta, be sure to go to the Atlanta History Center and their Goizueta Gardens.  There are twenty-two acres of trails, woodlands and gardens that speak to the various ways Georgians have used plants, nature, farms and gardens throughout history. The areas I loved most were the peaceful, shady Quarry Garden and the Smith Family Farm Gardens.

At the Smith Family Farm Garden the washed but well-used dish towels added an authentic air to the back yard. Clotheslines somehow tug at our hearts...

At the Smith Family Farm Garden the washed but well-used dish towels added an authentic air to the back yard. Clotheslines somehow tug at our hearts…

The Quarry Garden was a nineteenth-century gneiss quarry that has been reclaimed and planted with plants native to pre-settlement Georgia.

The Quarry Garden was a nineteenth-century gneiss quarry that has been reclaimed and planted with plants native to pre-settlement Georgia.

 

But my one of my favorite places at The Atlanta History Center wasn’t a garden at all, but a library. It turns out that the library here houses the Cherokee Garden Library, with a lovely collection of garden books and seed catalogs. We were treated to a short talk and display by the Director, Staci Catron, a dynamic woman who made me want to move right in for some great reading or research. (Note: if you’re working on any historical or garden project that has to do with the southern USA, you should check out the resources in this library.)

Staci Catron welcomes a group of garden communicators on the GWA visit to Atlanta. She'd very thoughtfully arranged a few pieces from their collection for our enjoyment.

Staci Catron welcomes a group of garden communicators on the GWA visit to Atlanta. She’d very thoughtfully arranged a few pieces from their collection for our enjoyment.

One of the old books on display celebrates the reasons people gardened in the past as they do today.

One of the old books on display celebrates the reasons people gardened in the past as they do today. “For the health of the body as to the pleasure and delight of the eye.”

 

If you’re anywhere near Atlanta, start your day at the Atlanta History Center and see where it takes you…

2 Comments

  1. Jo ONeill

    Love your idea to add the Garden Tourist to your blog. Whenever I have the good luck to travel the first destination I look for is a garden of some sort. This past Spring I had a quick trip to PA and visited Chanticleer. Well worth the 16 hours of driving! Nothing recharges the soul like a hour spent in a garden. Thank You

    Reply
    • CL Fornari

      Jo,
      Glad you like it – I’m going to add several posts to this tread in the months to come. I agree that Chanticleer is worth a long drive…or any other travel! I’ve often said “If you can only visit one public garden in your life, it should be Chanticleer.” Of course, thankfully we are not limited to one and many other delightful gardens await. I hope to post about many here!

      Reply

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