Gardens Galore! Can You Dig It?

A Tour and an Exhibit

Sandra Bussell preparing her garden for this year’s tour. Not a “garden club,” in the sense of white gloves and socializing around tea and cake, the Piedmont Gardeners are a group of serious gardeners intent on cultivating plant knowledge and employing hands-on learning.

Everything gardens and gardening is coming up, be it roses or perennials, a tour and an exhibit, trail and a plant sale (pg. 5). And because it’s all outside, or inside and distanced, you can feel safe venturing beyond your own yard to explore these oh-so-welcome springtime events of 2021.

The 27th annual Piedmont Gardeners’ Spring Garden Tour of Athens should be in your date book for Saturday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. After having missed last year’s tour due to the pandemic, we are all more than ready for this year, rain or shine.
Four fabulous Athens’ gardens have been carefully selected to emphasize different styles of gardening by do-it-yourselfers who are eager to share their gardens and their know-how with attendees.

Meandering paths, shaded garden retreats, native as well as exotic species and specimen trees all await you as well as lots of ideas you can copy. What better way to spend a relaxing Saturday!

Proceeds from the tour are used for funding the annual scholarships for UGA Horticulture or Landscape Architecture students, maintaining the gardens of the Brumby House Welcome center, and donating garden-related books to the Athens-Clarke County Regional Library. Funds have also been used to support projects that develop and preserve public gardens and the natural beauty of the Athens area.

Tickets are $15 in advance and can be ordered online at or purchased at the following businesses: Athens Feed and Seed, Appointments at Five, Cofer’s Home and Garden Showplace , Goodness Grows, Perryander Studio, and Wild Birds Unlimited. $20 day of tour.

Public Garden Art Exhibit

Gardens of the South: April 16 – May 28
The Southworks 2021 exhibit at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation in Watkinsville will feature Greyson Smith’s works on paper, depicting public gardens located in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas. Smith has incorporated his photographs of nearly two dozen public gardens into mixed-media works using drawing and painting.

Who Knew?

By Allan Armitage

“If no one shows up, at least we will have cleaned up our gardens.”

That was one of the thoughts voiced when some friends and gardeners met to discuss the idea of a garden tour of Athens. In about 1991, I was a young UGA horticulture professor impressed with the number of people talking about the annual Historic Tour of Homes in the city. I thought there might be enough serious gardeners in Athens to create a great garden tour that could become another annual tradition and source of community pride.

I brought up this idea to Mrs. Laura Ann Segrest, a native Athenian who was much admired and who was passionate about her garden. She immediately insisted the first meeting take place at her home on Milledge Circle. On that auspicious evening, six people gathered around a table and ideas started to flow. Each of them offered, without hesitation, to open their own gardens the next Spring. Besides me, there was Gerald Smith, a UGA Extension Horticulturist, Ed and Donna Lambert, Ken Washburn and Laura Ann. Not that there were not some doubts, least of all if the community would support it but support it they did.

Many of the original group of six are no longer with us, but as the Piedmont Gardeners’ Tour approaches thirty years, they would surely exclaim, “Who knew?”

This article was written by the BoomAthens Staff.

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