Gardens on the tour

Map of Homes on the Tour in Downtown Eatonton

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205 N. Lafayette Avenue
Marsha and Dan Sichveland moved to their historic home in Eatonton in 1996.  At the time, the 3-acre grounds were all grass enhanced by the beautiful old trees.  Marsha had been a landscape designer and immediately started planning and establishing the gardens and backyard pond.  Later the arbors, brickwork, garden sculptures, night lighting and other water features were added.  She and Dan both enjoy fine tuning the garden and are often seen outside enjoying the flowers, birds and butterflies it brings.  Something is blooming all year long.  Perennials and self-seeding annuals dominate the garden with azaleas, roses, hydrangeas, butterfly bushes and hollies accenting the garden during their seasons.  The back garden is designed to be park-like in its nature and lends a quiet, peaceful appeal.  Closer to the house, the brick patio and its water feature, with Frog Baby as its focal point, offer a more formal setting.  The rose arbor on the side of the house features New Dawn, Knock Out and old roses.  The arbor was built from old columns saved from a nearby house being demolished.  Dan and Marsha have enjoyed their gardening journeys which started with their first home in 1970 and look forward to more years of enjoying and working in their garden.

421 N Madison Avenue
Jenkins Garden: The Wilkins/Cooper/Jenkins House (ca 1817-1885) was moved from Carriage Way in 1909, about 200 yards south, when Judge Jenkins noted “this lane is getting entirely to busy”.  Fruitlands Nursery (PJ Berkmans) was contracted to design the garden. Correspendence between the Berkmans & Leila Jenkins outlined the garden plan and proposed plantings.
Leila designed the massive brick piers that signal the property entrance. After the landscape design fashion of the period lead by AJ Downing, the garden embodied the ideals of the ‘beautiful’ (calm and serene”) and the ‘picturesque’ (dramatic).
The design features a long drive, passing through an open meadow, past a spirea hedge forming a partial curve around a circle drive. A brick walk parallels the drive and ends in front of a long balustrade (about 170’) spanning the front garden, which sits about three feet below grade, creating a sunken garden. 
Eight feet in width, the terracotta tile walk with decorative liners forms spans the front and sides of the house, enclosing garden space between the walk and the Gothic Revival porches. The back and rear sides of the garden are enclosed by a privet hedge with brick piers marking wide gated entrances and a small gate on the east. There are dogwood, camellia, tea olive, hydrangea, vitex and boxwood as well as old roses, iris & many bulbs, surviving from the original garden plan.
100 years later the 12’ wide drive has taken on a more bucolic country road aspect & the garden space between the brick walk & drive has encroached the drive by several feet.  This long garden space contains older plantings of varieties of spirea, sugar berry, holly, flowering quince, yucca & iris, with many varieties of spring bulbs. Large trees now line the brick walk and provide a screen between the once open meadows and the drive.
The house was situated between old water oaks when it was relocated & there are a variety of venerable trees on the property. In spring the majority of blooming trees and hedges are white, accented by the white yucca plants interspersed around the garden space. White dogwood and redbud trees dot the landscape.
The landscape from the front garden gate presents an open vista, with large mature trees forming a backdrop for the circle drive and meadow beyond. The entire site is surrounded by woods & has woodland pathways that meander through the woods down to the spring at the bottom of the hill behind the house. Rock lined pathways lead to the spring, now overgrown with bamboo.

300 N Madison Ave
The most notable feature of this garden is the boxwood parterre at the rear of the house. Having seen the gardens at Versailles, Keith Rowell was determined to have something similar, and so the 800 boxwoods were planted in the pattern you see today. The layout of the parterre and the brickwork were designed by Keith. His admiration of the English countryside inspired him to plant 400 Spanish bluebells in the wooded area, which create a blue carpet in April. In mid-March the front lawns and verges are a mass of blue star flowers which Keith refuses to compromise with lawn care chemicals.

310 E Magnolia St.
Master Gardener Joye Hancock’s two-acre garden is known in our Putnam/Baldwin area as containing one of the most creative and unusual garden ornament designs.  Acquiring the garden in 2006, Joye has filled her perennial borders, walkways, entrances and porches with “stuff” she has discovered at yard sales, flea markets, charity resale stores and Eatonton curbsides.  Visitors will be amazed at what has caught Joye’s eye and been nestled among the colorful plantings on her property. In addition to traditional arbors and trellises, you will discover a child’s crib, a copper tub, a baritone horn, old garden implements, an iron bedstead with a “quilt” of flowers, a bicycle, a bowling ball, broken china, work boots, to name but a few repurposed items.  She also utilizes the trunks of cut-down trees as focal points. Her garden has been featured in a Power Point Master Gardener presentation on Garden Ornament. Her rule is: “I acquire what I like and put it anywhere it fits.”  Athough she feels “You cannot hurry a garden,” she can always find room for “one more plant” and finds that digging in the dirt “is good for me.”

Butterflies & Blooms in the Briarpatch
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419 Oak Street
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Butterflies & Blooms in the Briarpatch: Creating a habitat based on native butterfly larval host plants, this space is more than an esthetically pleasing garden.  It is designed to provide the plants needed by Georgia butterflies, skippers and bees to reproduce and flourish as nature intended. Educating the public on which plants are required by several species of butterflies and creating an environment that allows us all to enjoy the sight of native and migrating butterflies as well as hummingbirds and other pollinators as they live in the habitat. Certified by the North American Butterfly Association and listed as a Monarch Way Station, this habitat has been recognized as meeting or exceeding the requirements for reproduction of native butterflies.
Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch has invited several local artists, craftsmen, and a nursery to share this gardening event on site and hope that visiting gardeners will stop by the habitat to visit and add some butterfly larval host plants to their own gardens. A fund raising grill will be available to those who would like to have a bit of lunch and contribute to the expansion of the habitat.
You can follow our progress on our Facebook page at Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch or contact volunteer leader, Virginia Linch at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to volunteer at the habitat or to find out how to develop your own butterfly garden. As the numbers of butterflies decrease, it is critical to their survival that we all step up and provide what they need to reproduce.


This Year’s Plant Sale
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Vincent Gardens is a Certified Nursery located in Douglas, Georgia. Owner operator, Donna Vincent prides herself on providing quality plants for residential and commercial use and strives to be knowledgeable and stock the plants that will encourage wildlife to visit garden habitats. Donna has a world of information & expertise with a wide variety of plants and loves to talk about all things gardening.  Vincent Gardens specializes in providing native plants that will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The nursery is also stocked with drought tolerant perennials, woody ornamental shrubs, native plants and trees.  All perennials and shrubs are grown under natural conditions, using high quality potting media, and slow release fertilizer. Nursery stock is competitively priced and ready to transplant directly into your garden.  Vincent Gardens is certified by the Georgia Department of Agriculture Live Plant Division. A mail order nursery only, not open to the public,  available for public sales by appointment only.  Catch Donna’s passion and Beautify YOUR World With Wildlife In Mind!