Milk and wine lily, Confederate rose, cockscomb, yellow flags, “Old Blush” rose, blackberry lily . . . Even their names evoke the romance, whimsey, and elegance of their histories. Cherished for their beauty and imbued with meaning, these and many other Southern heirloom plants have been carefully and lovingly passed down generation after generation. Their living legacy preserves the quiet charm and whispery remembrances of gardens long ago...and offers to us part of our own heritage. By exploring and applying time-tested garden designs and plants modern Southern gardeners can profit from successes of their ancestors while creating beautiful and practical landscapes.
We think of these plants as heirlooms, or living antiques because they are tangible symbols of success for generations of Southern gardeners. Many have been lovingly handed down among the families that contribute cultural diversity and richness to our gardens The fact that these plants have been time-tested in our Southern climate and soils over a long period makes their use in today’s gardens a compelling choice. As we become more and more a nation of gardeners, the successful traditions and plants of our ancestors offer a unique opportunity from which to reflect and build our future.
Also of great interest and significance to Southern gardeners is information on the impact of many different cultures - Native American, English, French, Spanish, German and African-American - on the South. It is as important to know where we came from, and how, as it is to plan for future change. Regional diversity and ethnic influences survive to this day, chronicled through plants such as poet’s laurel, sweet myrtle, pomegranate, banana shrub, cape jasmine, jujube, camellia, chinaberry or the magnolia fig. Swept yards, parterres of boxwood hedges, knot gardens, hen yards dotted with umbrella chinaberry trees or small plumtrees, planters created from whitewashed tires, or even bottle trees and bottle edgings created from castoffs - all have different stories to tell.
We hope you will enjoy visiting The Southern Garden website. Materials are grouped into several categories:
- Landscape Design Study Courses
- Oktober Gartenfest
- News, Tours, and Special Events
- Planning the Landscape
- Plants for the Landscape
- Cultural Practices
- William C. Welch Biographical Information
- Link to Horticulture Update Newsletter
- Link to Book Reviews
- Link to Features
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