“We hope people are inspired by creative ways to use floral design to enhance your Christmas and your family experience,” said club president Elizabeth Martin. “We hope that they have an uplifting feeling. … It is a way to give back to community in a happy way.”
Set for Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the tour will take visitors through three Buckhead homes, all of which are significantly different from each other.
“It’s the time of the year to bring people together and just enjoy the day without stress,” said Louise Stewart, the club’s chair of publicity. “People are inspired to go home and try different things.”
First on the tour is a Virginia Tidewater-style plantation house on Fairfield Road, which was originally designed by James Means in 1966 and includes reclaimed bricks, floor and slate for the roof.
The second home is the epitome of Southern architecture, Martin said, and is located on Tuxedo Road. It was originally designed by James Ford.
The third home on tour, on Muscogee Avenue, is a French-style house designed by Summerour and Associates in 2001. It is nestled into the neighborhood and has sections covered in green moss and a small garden in the front.
“We try to have them all unique in architecture and ones that have a horticulture environmental statement,” Stewart said.
The 85 active club members, designers and homeowners work collaboratively to have all the houses decorated in time for the tour.
Martin said all of the proceeds go back into the club’s community fund to provide financial support for nonprofits, which are usually in the fields of horticulture and conservation. They previously raised funds for the Piedmont Park Conservancy and Atlanta Botanical Garden, both in Midtown, the Shepherd Center in Buckhead and the Southeastern Horticulture Society in northwest Atlanta.
The two longest standing projects the club funds is the Swan Woods Trail at the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead since 1968, and the Neil Reed Scholarship Fund at the University of Georgia since 1946, Martin said. In 2011 the tour raised $43,000. This year the club hopes to bring in $50,000.
“Once we raise the money, the club has a community fund board and they make the decision about where the money should go,” Martin said.
The tour started in the 1940s and ran for 20 years, stopped, and then re-started in 2008.
“It was kind of when the economy crashed,” Martin said. “We thought it was something to do to help people feel good. … The money goes back to things centric to this area. It’s very grassroots.”
She said the mission of the club is education, conservation and beautification.
“We have a civic improvement responsibility,” Martin said. “We focus on educating our members and the public, focusing on horticulture, flower arranging and photography.”
The club started in 1923 and is celebrating its 90th anniversary next year. It also became a part of The Garden Club of America in 1968.
o What: Peachtree Garden Club Christmas Home Tour
o When: Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
o Where: any of the homes on tour
o Tickets: $25 in advance or $30 at the door
o Information: www.peachtreegardenclub.org