Gardens & Plant Collections
Judge Arthur Solomon Camellia TrailSasanqua, snow, vernal and common camellias and their hybrids fill this wooded garden, began in 2002, that continues to expand in size and plant diversity today. Peak flowering occurs from October - starting with tea and sasanqua camellias - to various hybrids and common/Japanese camellias through March. It is one of the most diverse and unique collections of species camellias in North America.
Formal Garden and CrescentCompleted in late spring 2015, the four Italian-Renaissance parterres of the Formal Garden are viewed off the back terrace of the Visitor Center. Over 800 hedged yaupon hollies are surrounded by olive and Natchez crapemyrtle trees. Nearby is the Crescent, a bed anchored by a specimen Emily Bruner holly. Also seen are four mule palms and French Baroque-inspired hedges of golden privet.
Rivers of IrisHundreds of Louisiana irises form "rivers" in the low-lying draining basins around the Tea Garden. When in bloom, these irises create a floral effect akin to a Monet painting and in a breeze, the flowers dance like butterflies. Peak bloom is weather-dependent, but usually is in April and early May. Alongside are upland plantings of spuria irises, which boast tall, stately flowers in April.
Barbour Lathrop Bamboo CollectionInvestigate our historic bamboo plantings, many brought back from plant collecting trips to eastern China in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Some species are the first of their kind ever planted on North American soil. Both clumping and running bamboos grow here, comprising a collection of over 70 different species and cultivars.
Dwarf Palmetto and Palm CollectionsNumerous species of cold-hardy palms grow at CGBG. Many shrubby and trunked palms were first planted in the late 1990s. This is the largest outdoor palm collection north of Florida and includes members of genera Sabal, Serenoa, Acoelorrhape, Rhapidophyllum, Livistona, Butia, Acrocomia, Brahea, Washingtonia, Trithrinax and more.
Water GardenThis 50,000-gallon water feature showcases a 9-foot waterfall and shallow bog basin. Hardy and tropical waterlilies and marginal aquatic plants fill the pools, with flowering occurring from March until repeated hard freezes (late December). Beautiful views of the north lake and bald cypress shoreline are nearby.
Rose GardenDisease-resistant and low-maintenance shrub/landscape roses grow in this rose garden. Flowering is non-stop from April to early December, featuring Julia Child®, Knock Out™ and Drift™ rose selections. In the center of the garden is a 5-foot-tall tiered fountain. Five topiary hollies anchor the circular beds.
Cottage GardenPopular for wedding ceremonies and social gatherings, the Cottage Garden's signature feature is a white gazebo. Planted in the mid-1990s, various shrubs and herbaceous perennials create an intimate setting under the shifting shade of nearby Asian tulip poplar, water hickory, dawn redwood, sawtooth oak and Chinese pistachio trees.
Woodland Shade GardenInitially planted the latter months of 2014, this area is set around freshwater lakes. Light/high shade from slash and loblolly pines creates a habitat for many native trees and shrubs as well as wildflowers, spring-flowering bulbs and ferns. Numerous rare Asian- and American-native plants are being added as well as hundreds of Southern Indica, Encore, Satsuki and Glenn Dale azalea selections.
Sun GardenThe spiral pathway with a golden orange seating wall marks the center of the Sun Garden. Here find foliage and flowering plants that display gold to yellow leaves, blossoms or fruits. Look for palms mixed with citrus, flowering shrubs, hardy tropical perennials and spring bulbs. The adjacent open savanna of the Sun Garden features pillars of juniper jutting up from rosettes of agave and red-orange flowering perennials.
White GardenThree elegant white fiberglass pergolas anchor a Bermudagrass lawn in this garden completed in summer 2015. Soothing vistas to the lake may be seen from all areas of the White Garden. Also look for seasonal flowers from white-flowering or silvery-white-foliage plants, such as Iceberg rose, wormwood, silver saw palmetto, Chinese snowball, Stokes aster, evergreen clematis, Mexican bush sage, daffodils and Chinese fringe tree, just to name a few.
The Garden for All AbilitiesThis area focuses on raised beds to facilitate easier gardening for people with various physical abilities. Paved walkways and modified planters help with mobility and access for a broad range of gardeners. Plant materials grown change by the season, in both shade and sunny conditions.
Mediterranean GardenSituated between the Conference Center and Bridal Cottage (two historic USDA buildings dating to ~1930), the Mediterranean Garden is a semi-formal landscape featuring plants, flower and textures typical of a classic Southern European landscape.
Bamboo MazeA 45-foot observation tower overlooks our developing 4-acre Bamboo Maze. Planted with over 2,000 plants in the summer of 2014, it will take 3 to 5 years for it to fully grow-in to create the three difference maze experiences: one low/easy maze for small children, one intermediate maze, and one large (most challenging) maze. Feel free to visit the mazes now, but remain on pathways so to avoid damaging the growing bamboo plants.
Historic Georgia Trustees Garden ReplicaA miniaturized replica of the 10-acre Trustees Garden first constructed by James Oglethorpe in 1734 in Savannah, our replica was completed in spring 2015. It contains historically accurate plantings of mulberries, sour oranges, grapes, figs, pomegranates and many more crops and plants first trialed and used by the first colonists to settle in colonial Georgia.
Orchid GreenhouseHistoric USDA Greenhouse #1 (built in the early 1960s) is a showcase for tropical orchids. In partnership with the Deep South Orchid Society, this glasshouse is home to a wide array of orchids being grown among appropriate tropical companion plants.
Crapemyrtle AlleeA 300-foot-long brick path is lined by a collection of crapemyrtles. Architecturally interesting in the fall and winter when the trees are defoliated, this lane is aglow with floral splendor from late June to mid-July, depending on the weather. The allee is also an illuminated sight to behold during our December Nights & Holiday Lights event.
Xeriscape Demonstration GardenXeriscaping conserves water and maintenance input by grouping garden plants by common needs. This area reveals the basic tenets of xeriscaping, as well as including good landscape use of various common shrubs, trees, palms and turfgrass for southern Georgia. Ultimately, irrigation water usage declines and garden maintenance diminishes.
Rain GardenIn partnership with UGA's Marine Extension, this small demonstration garden near the Lakeside Pavilion features Georgia-native plants that tolerate wet soil. These plants help remove runoff polluntants before rainwater drains into the lake.
Current Garden Expansion Projects
Guided by our 2014 Master Plan and funded by benefactors through efforts by Friends of the Coastal Gardens, these new projects are under way or being prioritized in planning stages: Sun Garden, Artist's Garden and the Children's Garden (through S.P.L.O.S.T. funding).