Gardens for Connoisseurs
Saturday - Sunday, May 11 - 12
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
From grand estates to "gardener's gardens," the 2013 Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour showcases eleven spectacular private gardens representing the finest in garden design. Both gardening enthusiasts and the “garden curious" will delight in exploring exquisite design and enchanting planting ideas by talented landscape architects, garden designers, and local gardeners.
This year the Tour includes bonus admission to the Decorators’ Show House exterior gardens and discounted $15 admission to the interior house on May 11 and 12.
The Tour is an annual Mother’s Day Weekend tradition since 1984 with proceeds benefitting the Garden.
$25 Advance Ticket (Until May 10)
$30 Day of Tour (cash or check only)
Children under 12 Free
Tickets available at Garden Admissions until May 10, at Select Retailers or directly at the Tour Locations the day of Tour.
Online tickets purchased between May 3 and May 9 will be held for pick-up at Will-Call. Convenience fee of $1.00 added to each ticket purchased online. Online purchasing available until May 9.
Tour Location 1: Mary & John Huntz
1693 Noble Drive, Atlanta, GA 30306 | Tour Map
In the heart of Morningside, this cottage garden evokes the small town feel of the South. Showcasing evergreens and woody shrubs, old camellia japonicas White Empress, Rev. John Drayton and Governor Mouton are intermingled with hydrangeas, crepe myrtles, gardenias, azaleas, hellebores, and ferns. To round out this delightful plant lover’s garden are white callicarpa, “Tokyo Tower” Chinese Fringetree, Washington Hawthorn, the deciduous magnolias “Ann” and “Stellata”, and a fruit bearing pineapple guava. Master Gardener Mary Huntz has won many ribbons at the Southeastern Flower Show, including the Camellia Trophy with her Governor Mouton.
Tour Location 2: Becky & David Orrison
708 Greenview Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30305 | Tour Map
Designed for year round interest and to attract bees and butterflies, the perennial borders of this charming cottage garden in Peachtree Park display an array of sun and shade plantings. The front lawn hails visitors with roses, summer phlox, coneflowers, hydrangeas, buddleia, asters, anemone, allium, iris, ferns, lenten rose, solomon’s seal, baptisia, joe pye weed, goldenrod, and clethra. Retreat to the bird friendly, wooded back yard with its mature hardwoods and shrubs, such as bottlebrush buckeye, sweet bay magnolias, oakleaf hydrangea, and camellias. Owner designed and maintained.
Tour Location 3: Leslie Swain
700 Greenview Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30305 | Tour Map
Over 28 years, Mrs. Swain has transformed a lawn her sons once played soccer upon into an edible landscape reminiscent of her mother-in-law’s English country garden. Abounding with flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruit trees, this urban garden showcases an olive tree, a pomegranate tree, a huge Kadota fig tree, a pear tree, blueberry bushes, and a bay laurel more than 12 feet high. Amidst hydrangeas, elderberries, asparagus and fragrant tea olives are juxtaposed varieties of graceful old English roses and peonies. Employing sustainable gardening practices, watering is from rain barrels with organic sprays limited to the roses.
Tour Location 4: Pam & Steve Wakefield
201 Blackland Drive, Atlanta, GA 30342 | Tour Map
Inspiration for this woodland setting was drawn from the mountain scenery in the Colorado Rockies where the couple was engaged. A stream with waterfall, bridge and a naturalistic stonescape, are the focus of this backyard retreat covering almost half an acre. Built with wheelchair accessibility in mind, a six degree grade with a “switchback” path provides access for Mr. Wakefield to enjoy the garden. Resulting from the felling of a 90-foot Red Oak during a storm, this idyllic garden features extensive woody ornamentals, stunning perennials and a variety of ground cover.
Tour Location 5: Jean & Bill Astrop
205 Blackland Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 | Tour Map
A passionate gardener, Jean Astrop transformed what was once a “jungle of fallen trees and weeds’” into a woodland garden featuring native azaleas, viburnum, hellebores, magnolias, camellias, sasanquas, and an impressive hydrangea collection. Instead of adhering to a design plan, the gardens surrounding this Philip Trammell Shutze designed house have evolved over time. At first a few paths with benches, then a garden house to replace a storm damaged building, and finally a boxwood parterre garden where once grass refused to grow. During a drought year, Ray Padgett built a 6,000-gallon cistern that collects rainwater from the hillsides and gutters to circulate through a waterfall/pond and irrigate the landscape.
Tour Location 6: Frances & Bill Creekmuir
5445 Claire Rose Lane, Atlanta, GA 30327 | Tour Map
Inspired by the Tuscan landscape, the Creekmuirs created a captivating garden they maintain principally themselves. Wander up a terraced hillside of stunning perennials to an organic kitchen garden with a fountain overlooking the pool. From a shade garden of hellebores, ferns, and acanthus, stroll by viburnum, sweetspire and topiaried vitex. Pass under jasmine and wisteria covered arbors, to a white perennial garden. Enjoy fountains, birdhouses, a garden kaleidoscope, sculptures and ceramics. Featuring 14 Japanese maple species, over 30 container gardens (primarily from AW Pottery Atlanta), and a stone raised vegetable garden by Gramma B’s Home & Garden.
Tour Location 7: Bernadine & Jean Paul Richard
1295 Heards Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30328 | Tour Map
What was once a “wilderness” overgrown with brush, poison ivy, privet, and wisteria, the Richards have transformed into nine enchanting garden spaces covering 5 acres. A Herculean task, they first cleared a path and built a potting shed. Today the shed is a stone garden house and paths lead to themed gardens that incorporate sculptures and water features. Discover the Meditation, Symphony, Waterfall, Winged Victory, and Chapel gardens, as well as a labyrinth, a camellia garden, a koi and lotus pond. Graceful old Cunninghamia trees are the largest stand in the Southeast.
Tour Location 8: Marty & John Gillin
4645 Harris Trail, Atlanta, GA 30327 | Tour Map
Nestled amongst two acres of woods, this garden’s natural setting inspired the Gillins to create a haven from city life. Designed by Dan Cleveland of Boxwoods, native woodland plants, water features, and tranquil spaces evoke an atmosphere reminiscent of the North Carolina mountains. Beneath a Japanese maple, listen to the soothing sound of a 25-foot cascading waterfall or follow moss covered stones to a serene spot and observe wildlife. Azaleas, roses and urns planted with succulents, guide visitors to two parterre gardens, one with a honeycomb boxwood maze.
Tour Location 9: Boxwood House Garden
3053 Habersham Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 | Tour Map
Designed by Philip Trammell Shutze in the 1920s, Boxwood reflects the picturesque English Manor style. Recently, Pak Heydt & Associates renovated the house and John Howard with the Howard Design Studio team restored the original gardens, while seamlessly adding new garden rooms. Covering almost 5 acres, exquisite garden spaces include a grand lawn, armillary parterre, a rill garden with twin water rills, koi pond, aviary, and culinary garden. Plant collections showcase roses, camellias, peonies, azaleas and hydrangeas. Look for the dovecote with marble doves. Featured in Town & Country.
Photo Courtesy of Emily Jenkins Followill
Tour Location 10: Susan Crawford
81 28th Street, Atlanta, GA 30309 | Tour Map
An ode to the South with allusions to England, this jewel of a shade garden is tucked away from the bustle of Peachtree Street. Framed by a low stone wall, a winding fl agstone path leads past camellias, English boxwoods, hydrangeas, tall English laurels, acuba, and variegated daphne that grace this garden’s gentle hills. A pond with goldfi sh and a gazebo create tranquil spaces for refl ection, while Alice’s Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and White Rabbit are sure to delight. Designed in partnership with Mark Fockele of The Fockele Garden Company.
Tour Location 11: Ryan Gainey
129 Emerson Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030 | Tour Map
A 105-year-old home is nestled within a Southern cottage garden setting of antique and heirloom plants. Originally the site of a cut flower nursery founded in 1917, today this romantic garden bursts with roses, camellias, and boxwood topiaries. The plant collection provides fragrance and color year-round, while greenhouses and a tree house delight all ages. Enamored with formal garden design seen on his many travels, Mr. Gainey is an internationally recognized garden designer.
Bonus Garden: Decorators' Show House & Gardens
3284 Northside Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30327 | Tour Map
Drawing inspiration from the design of this exquisite French style house, landscape designer Ed Castro has created a timeless garden that reflects the classical tradition to which it pays homage. Against a dramatic woodland backdrop, a boxwood parterre with a striking floral display seamlessly extends the architecture into the landscape while also framing the grand lawn. Parterre gardens are situated to capture picturesque views from the kitchen and master bedroom, while a large stone terrace provides a lovely outdoor space for entertaining. For more information visit decoratorsshowhouse.org.
Tour ticket valid May 11 and 12 for FREE admission to the exterior gardens. $15 admission ($10 off) to the interior show house.
Complimentary round-trip shuttle service provided between the Show House parking area to the Show House. Shuttles run approximately every 15 minutes.