Monday, April 7, 2008

Garden History Groups in the USA


For those of you wishing you were in London to volunteer with the Parks and Gardens trust, there are a few local garden history groups here in America for you to join (though not enough, IMO!) There are also several national umbrella groups, which I'll cover in another post, but unfortunately we have nothing in place like the British GHS with its network of local history societies. What we do have is a well-established network of Garden Clubs, which would be an obvious avenue for starting regional/local garden history groups.

The Southern Garden History Society, whose goal is "to stimulate interest in Southern garden and landscape history, in historic horticulture, and in the preservation of historic gardens and landscapes in the South" holds its annual meeting this week in Atlanta:

"High Cotton & Tall Columns will explore the influence of cotton on the architecture, gardens and landscapes of middle Georgia. A local tour will include several antebellum Greek Revival homes and The State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Also included in the meeting will be a tour to nearby Madison which largely escaped the ravages of the Civil War. Sunday’s optional tour will be to Milledgeville, the original capital of Georgia, and will include the old Governor’s Mansion which has undergone extensive renovation. "

Their helpful journal, the appropriately titled Magnolia, is online.

The Garden Club of New Haven has a garden history committee, currently engaged in "reviewing 17 gardens in Connecticut with plans to select one for inclusion in the Smithsonian garden archive collection."


The California Garden and Landscape History Society is "dedicated to celebrating the beauty and diversity of California’s gardens and cultural landscapes."

The New England Garden History Society published a journal from 1991 to 2003, indexed here. Alas, it now appear to be defunct.

Do please let me know of other organizations I've missed and I'll be glad to pass them on.

[Above is the Bellwood Plantation, Upson County, Georgia, drawn in pastel by Loula Kendall ca. 1850. Source is the Southern Garden History-Cherokee Garden Library, housed at the Atlanta History Center. Unfortunately, their wonderful collection is not available online. Somebody give them a grant!]

2 comments:

The Garden Faerie said...

There's also a biennial (next in Sept. 2008) historic plants symposium at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants in Charlottesville, Virginia.
~ Monica

Landscape Designer said...

I keep checking your blog and find no new entries.... Hope you update soon, Your knowledge is vast and fabulous that you are willing to share. I find you a great refresher course!!!
Sandra Jonas of RECREATING EDEN LANDSCAPE DESIGN

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