Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens

The nearest big city and airport to us is Savannah, Georgia, about an hour away.

A few weeks ago we visited the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens there.


Most of the plantings are quite new and the new visitor center just opened last year.

The Georgia Colony, established by the British in 1733, was intended to be a great economic resource for England. There were high hopes for bringing great riches and wealth from the New World back to Britain.

To that end, Governor James Oglethorpe was instructed to open a 10-acre plot of land on the Savannah River and begin America's first agricultural experiment station with tropical plants from the East Indies, South America, and Europe.

Ten of the botanical garden's total 51 acres replicate some of those test plots with plants that would have been trialed there, including cotton which was to become so important to the economies of the southern colonies.

Medicinal and food crops that the first settlers to the Georgia colony were expected to produce were also trialed.

These included mulberry leaves for silkworms, grapes for wine, pomegranates, stone fruits, sesame, hops, and oranges.






For 60 years the US Department of Agriculture used the land for researching agricultural plants for the Southeast. The station closed in 1979 but the greenhouses and other buildings remain in use.

The entrance to the USDA was at the gate by this giant holly tree.






Water garden

Sago palm

We were too late for the camellias -- the largest collection of camellias outside of China -- but we have a schedule now and we'll be going back to see our favorite things in bloom.



  1. Cynthia Savannah sounds great I remember this city watching filn Siuth and North. Garden looks charming

  2. Very informative Cynthia. I have been told by family and friends that Savannah is the "Pearl
    of the South" in natural beauty. Unfortunately I never got there - damn! Anyone who visits
    Georgia and doesn't visit Augusta or Savannah has "rocks in their heads".
    Pity that the camellias were not blooming but they sure were still blooming in Augusta!
    Thank God I am now not getting up at 3.00am, I hope Jordan's "melt down" doesn't effect
    his golfing career. It certainly was a shattering experience for one so young to go

  3. Very interesting to see the sago palm fruit. It looks like a great place to visit.

  4. Very interesting to see the sago palm fruit. It looks like a great place to visit.

  5. We learn so much from tours of botanical gardens. You've given us a good trip with all the history thrown in.

  6. What a great place to visit, some striking plants.

  7. What a good idea to replicate the pioneer garden trials. It looks a great place to visit.

  8. Nice place to see with some unknown plants for me. hat giant tree I like very much.

  9. The palm looks excellent.
    History is interesting, and always a lovely read.
    That's tree is so big but beautiful.

  10. This is so pretty! You are a great history teacher Cynthia! I cannot imagine a holly tree that big. I love the orange tree. That looks just like my old wheelbarrow filled with sticks sitting there. :)

  11. I love trial gardens an ag experiment stations! Lots to be learned there! That Holly Tree is absolutely stunning! What a fun day for you! :)

  12. That is a handsome and gigantic holly tree. Wow. I like the porch on the building too, a nice place to sit.

  13. I have always wanted to visit Savannah...what beautiful pictures! I love the orange tree :)

  14. What beauty! That orange tree is huge!