In the Garden: Seeking Eden

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Inspired by historic gardens throughout Georgia, a new book tells the stories of these spaces through vivid photography and well-crafted detail.

Photography by James R. Lockhart –

In 1933, the Peachtree Garden Club put together Garden History of Georgia, 1733-1933, a book detailing the 200-year evolution of the region’s most impressive private and public gardens. Through illustrated garden plans and historic photographs, the book recorded well-known gardens like Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville, the Andrew Low House in Savannah, and distinguished spaces at Berry College, the University of Georgia, and Atlanta’s West View Cemetery.

Today, nearly 30 of those landscapes have been revisited in a new book, Seeking Eden: A Collection of Georgia’s Historic Gardens by Staci L. Catron and Mary Ann Eaddy, with photography by James R. Lockhart.

In an effort to promote an awareness of, and appreciation for, Georgia’s rich garden heritage, Seeking Eden records each garden’s evolution and history as well as each garden’s current early 21st-century appearance, as beautifully-documented in photographs. Dating from the mid-18th to the early 20th centuries, these publicly and privately owned gardens include 19th-century parterres, Colonial Revival gardens, Country Place-era landscapes, rock gardens, historic town squares, college campuses, and an urban conservation garden.

Seeking Eden also explores the significant impact of the women who envisioned and nurtured many of these special places; the role of professional designers, including J. Neel Reid, Philip Trammel Shutze, William C. Pauley, Robert B. Cridland, the Olmsted Brothers, Hubert Bond Owens, and Clermont Lee; and the influence of the garden club movement in Georgia in the early 20th century.

Publication of this book was supported in part by the Garden Club of Georgia, Inc., the Atlanta History Center, the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Georgia Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and the Mildred Miller Fort Foundation, Inc.

Book proceeds go toward the Garden Club of Georgia’s historic landscape preservation grant program. Matching grants provide seed money to nonprofits and local governments working to preserve and restore historic landscapes across the state.

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