Members had a unique opportunity for an exclusive preview before Smithgall Woodland Garden opens to the public! Smithgall is a 168-acre satellite garden of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It is located in nearby Gainesville, where collections of trees and shrubs are grown and studied. The Smithgall Woodland Garden expands the Botanical Garden’s current native plant conservation program, and endangered plants are propagated on the site. Additionally, plants are grown from seeds collected in Asia and evaluated for their suitability to southeastern landscapes.
Many of us have purchased some of the wonderful plants propagated at this site. We received an educational demonstration on propagation of plants by cuttings and seeds to learn how they do it. After the demonstration, we received a behind the scenes tour of a new garden before the grand opening!
We then traveled a short distance to McMahan’s Nursery. McMahan’s is a rare plant nursery specializing in hardy, unusual perennials, shrubs and trees for the southeastern U.S. Owner Scott McMahan is an extreme plant fanatic. He has traveled to China, Japan and many other spots in search of rare finds. Tiffany Jones runs the nursery with Scott and she has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and worked at the Atlanta Botanical garden. Scott and Tiffany provided information on specialty plants to help in determining the “right plant in the right place” in our gardens before making our selections.