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News: GCA Leader Chairs Southern Garden History Society Annual Meeting


February 08, 2018

Marianne Salas, chairman of the GCA’s Garden History & Design Committee, will chair and speak at the Southern Garden History Society (SGHS) 36th Annual Meeting, April 13-15, in Jacksonville, Florida. The meeting will feature nationally known garden history authorities speaking on topics of interest well beyond the region. In a presentation on April 14, she will speak about the role of the GCA and the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens (AAG) in preserving garden history.  Salas also will address the GCA’s new Restoration Initiative, a $50,000 national grant program designed to respond to immediate needs identified by GCA clubs around the country for public landscape restoration and conservation projects in communities devastated by recent natural disasters, such as hurricanes, wildfires, mudslides, and earthquakes.   

The SGHS is a group of enthusiasts and professionals that fosters and shares scholarly research about historic gardens, cultural landscapes, and horticultural history through educational programs and publications. The organization has nearly 600 members from thirty states. Membership in the society is required for annual meeting registration, and attendance is limited to 175. Susan Haltom, current president of the Southern Garden History Society, is a member of the Garden Club of Jackson. Many other GCA members from across the country belong to the SGHS.

Among the speakers, in addition to Salas, are local author and preservationist Wayne Wood, with an introduction to the history of Jacksonville; Joel Fry, curator of Bartram Gardens in Philadelphia, on the native flora of the south as seen through the eyes of William Bartram; Emily Lisska, president elect, Florida Historical Society, regarding Harriet Beecher Stowe's winter home in Mandarin, Florida; David Shields, professor at the University of South Carolina, presenting the history of citrus growing in Florida; Bart Brechter, curator of gardens at Bayou Bend, Houston, discussing historic azaleas; Bill Noble, garden designer and former director of preservation for the Garden Conservancy, speaking on garden restoration, especially at Longue Vue gardens in New Orleans; and Judith Tankard, on her new book Ellen Shipman and the American Garden and recent Shipman garden restorations.

The three-day meeting also will feature a visit to the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, with its 1910 English Garden designed by Thomas Meehan; its 1931 Ellen Shipman Italian Garden; and its 2013 Olmsted Garden restoration.  Other tours will take in Jacksonville’s historic parks, notable local private gardens, Glen Saint Mary Nurseries, established in 1881, and historic St. Augustine. Two of the private gardens on tour have been documented by the Late Bloomers Garden Club for the AAG.

Download the meeting brochure