Monday, February 8, 2010

Southern Gardens

Rose Garden, New Orleans Botanical Garden
New Orleans City Park

In honor of New Orleans' win last night, all those tempting gardening catalogs I'm receiving, and the fact that I'm just tired of the cold.... I thought I'd take a quick look at Good Southern Gardens.

A good Southern garden has some structure to it, achieved with shrubbery and trees- in addition to some man-made structures. I love boxwoods too for their evergreen.

Best of Show: Seven Boxwoods That Thrive in the South
Southern Accents

Savannah Getaways

Tara Dillard

Flannery O'Connor's garden via Garden and Gun

One can't mention structures and gardens without referencing Pearl Fryar's Topiary garden in South Carolina.

Pearl began his topiaries, reportedly, in an effort to win a neighborhood garden award. He certainly succeeded and his passion and art are amazing.

Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden
photograph by Pat Hartley

When I think of Southern gardens, I also think of statues- adding a bit of gothic to the setting. This one is in Dothan Botanical Gardens in Alabama.
Statue, Dothan Botanical Gardens
photography by cablebreak (flikr)

Mixed with Hydrangeas- another very Southern view.

via A Southern Garden- Phillip Oliver

Garden in Savannah
Garden in Savannah via This Eclectic Life

And amid the dreaded Spanish Moss.
Afton Villa Gardens

Pests are a given... Spanish moss is evil, evil, evil but I can't help but romanticize it when in reference to Southern Gardens. Below is a photo from Magnolia Plantation, which has been open to the public since the 1870s. This is a long time for Americans!
Bridge, Magnolia Plantation Garden
photo by Carl

Can't you just feel the humidity?Huffalump Tree

This photo from Afton Villa Gardens in Louisiana is a great transition to Azaleas, another Southern staple.

Azaleas (the old school variety; I've found that the the new, highly-advertised ones just don't up to the Southern heat). A great example at Goodwood Museum and Gardens in Tallahassee, Florida.

Goodwood Museum & Gardens, USAGoodwood Museum & Gardens, Tallahassee
photos by Karl Gercens and the Goodwood Gardens (center)

And while I'm leaving out numerous Southern gardens and plants, I can't not mention two of my favorite plants with their cool white flowers- Magnolias and Gardenias. Evergreen, so you have some winter interest, and lovely scented blooms in the summer. Can you get any better than that?

Gardenias in a container

Southern magnolia flower

OK, sometimes Magnolias are pink.
 One of the many Magnolia trees is in full bloom.
via Moosey's Country Garden

Check out Garden Visit to find gardens to visit. For more on Southern Gardening, you must visit Phillip Oliver's blog (his gardens are amazing!) and Tara Dillard's blog (I was fortunate to have taken her class on Southern Gardening at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens).

For more resources, great books include The Southern Garden by Lydia Longshore9780821257753_154X233 and A Southern Garden by Elizabeth Lawrence.A Southern Garden

Have a great day!



  1. Thanks for the lovely photos on such a dreary cold day. At this point in the winter, I long for the humid days of summer and the sounds of crickets in the evening.

  2. I am so over the cold too girl! Thanks so much for brightening up this dreary ole day for me. XOXO

  3. There's just something so romantic about these gardens -- the Spanish moss, the magnolia, the statutes...gardening is an activity I've never been very good at, but I do love and admire pretty gardens (and wish I had one myself!).

  4. Love the topiary! It's so pleasant to look at garden pictures this time of year, and dream about what's to come!

  5. Looove Magnolia trees!! Stunning!! Aahh, I can't wait for summer!!!

  6. wow, it's all so gorgeous. just seeing this makes me want to be outside and away from to the office stat!

  7. Great photos! We do have some wonderful gardens down here.

  8. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

  9. Oh, how inspiring. My garden is such a mess I definitely need inspiration.

  10. of course we love the first garden. Starting to think about the the spring and gardening. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  11. Still cold and icy here in boston, loved seeing some pretty spring pictures. The magnolias are gorgeous!

  12. It's so lovely to see beautiful and inspirational gardens from other parts of the world - thank you. Leigh

  13. I don't know how I missed this earlier but a belated "thank you" for the mention.

    Is the N.O. Botanical photo a recent one? We are going in March and I'm so excited. I haven't been there in over 10 years. I'm a little apprehensive as to what to expect though, post hurricane Katrina.

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