On May 19th, 2015, a number of GCMGA members participated in a field trip to see Coach Dooley’s incredible garden in Athens. The grounds were a lush green with many trees and shrubs blooming throughout his property and we enjoyed strolling down the different paths with Coach identifying any and all plants as we went. Enjoy the pictures from the morning.
On November 11, 2014, several members took the walking tour on the Atlanta Beltway. Master Gardener Lawrence Richardson, who is also a Trees Atlanta Docent, led the walk. The tour explored the Eastside Trail, focusing on the horticultural collections, spotlighting native trees, architectural interests, key historical stories, and much more. Everyone had a great time.
Gwinnett Master Gardeners and guests visited the garden of internationally-known, madly passionate garden enthusiast Ryan Gainey. Not only is Ryan Gainey a gardener, but also a poet, raconteur, philosopher, mentor, visionary, designer, and showman all in one.
Upon moving to Atlanta, he began to nurture his own piece of land, a two-acre garden in Decatur, Georgia which has been featured in every major gardening publication in the United States and abroad. Visiting this paradise is a highlight each year for the thousands who partake of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Gardens for Connoisseurs tour. His garden has been a featured stop for 20 years.
As with all of our gardens, this garden reflects the personality of the owner. It is stimulating, thought-provoking, exuberant, creative, romantic, whimsical, embracing …. but in reality mere words are inadequate to describe this unusual garden.
After exploring the many garden rooms, through twists and turns and surprises in every corner, Ryan Gainey gave an overview of the development of the property and answered our many questions. Following the tour, we enjoyed lunch at a local restaurant to discuss what we had learned from this experience.
The Cox Arboretum and Gardens is a private estate located in Canton, Georgia. Numbering over 4,000 living specimens, the plantings display one of the largest private collections of temperate flora in the United States. The property is also bounded by several large wetland habitats where many migratory and native fowl make their home. It is situated on 13 acres in the middle of an old-growth southern deciduous hardwood forest, containing many large Oaks, Hickory, Poplar and Sweetgum—some of which are over 100 years old.
We were led on a tour of the gardens by owner and garden creator Tom Cox. Tom served as a national president of the American Conifer Society and he now travels the world in search of conifers that might be adaptable to the Southeastern United States. Along with Dr. John Ruter, he is in the process of co-authoring a first-ever book on conifers for the South.
The opportunity to experience a collection of trees and conifers from around the world provided a wealth of knowledge. We are now more aware of the diverse selection we have to choose from that can successfully be grown in our environment.