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History of the Garden

 The Hart County Botanical Garden is an outstanding example of what can be achieved in a small community when there is a partnership such as we have among gardening enthusiasts, civic groups, county and city government, private businesses, and churches.. In 2000, the Hart County Board of Commissioners approved the local development of the Botanical Garden and Nature Trails and in 2004 the original lease was signed. The garden is located on a 6.17-acre tract adjacent to the Recreation Park, just south of downtown on Elberton Highway (Hwy 77S). It is open FREE to the public 365 days a year from dawn to dusk. The mostly wooded property is divided by a gently flowing stream, which is surrounded by large maples and poplars.

 In 2003, 14 graduate students from UGA School of Environmental Design submitted plans for the garden. The result is that the best of all 14 designs was incorporated into the always changing site. At the present time, Master Gardeners have been working on a number of garden areas: sun perennials, camellia, hosta, fern, rhododendron, children's, memorial trees and brick pavers, bog, and butterfly. The sun perennial garden was recently designated as a "Gold Medal Plant Selection" demonstration garden with more than 50 specimens at this point.

 In recent years, the community groups have added a lovely pergola, a beautiful water feature fountain, a pavilion which also serves as an outdoor meeting room and classroom, an amphitheater/outdoor classroom, a potting shed, and an information kiosk by the entrance. A children's playscape and picnic table have been added to the children's garden along with a 40' curvy "snake" sculpture using a variety of ground covers to replicate "stripes." The most recent addition is a paved wedding venue with a rose arbor and catering facilities. Volunteer gardeners have created lovely bright sun perennial, memorial, herb and butterfly gardens that inspire. Others present to the community cool gardens filled with hostas, ferns, camelias, rhododendrons, and native plants in the dappled shade of tall trees.

 Since 1998 the organization has held an annual plant sale to raise money for the continued maintenance and development of the Botanical Garden. The Garden is incorporated as a non-profit corporation and has a 501 (c) (3) designation from the IRS. In April, we had our most successful plant sale spanning 2 days. People in the community line up at the gate with carts and wheelbarrows for the opening moment! Botanical Garden members are always on hand to advise gardeners about plants and to share their passion for home landscapes.

 This year, we are opening up membership to the garden to any interested gardeners in the area. We all learn new gardening information as we volunteer and work together to create this special place that is unique to Hartwell. If you want to make new friends and share in our gardening adventures, check out our membership page and come join us today!