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Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour celebrates 30 years
by Nicole Dow
May 07, 2014 01:28 PM | 3152 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special Photo / The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour will feature 11 private gardens throughout Atlanta, including the Brookhaven garden of Patty and Brad Ferrer, which has a courtyard with Annabelle hydrangeas and boxwoods.
Special Photo / The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour will feature 11 private gardens throughout Atlanta, including the Brookhaven garden of Patty and Brad Ferrer, which has a courtyard with Annabelle hydrangeas and boxwoods.
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Eleven unique, private gardens in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Decatur, Druid Hills and Sandy Springs are featured this year as part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour.

The self-guided tour, held Saturday and Sunday, is an annual Mother’s Day weekend tradition now in its 30th year benefiting the Midtown venue.

“It’s wonderful to bring your mother and your children and expose them to all these wonderful flowers and gardens and nature,” said Sandy Kellam, who is co-chairing this year’s tour along with Sue Hebda. “It’s just a great way to spend Mother’s Day. The whole family can enjoy it.”

Rebekka Kuntschik, the botanical garden’s senior development officer, said, “With this tour, there are people that come every year and have been for years. People that are new to it are always so delighted that they come back again and again. We even have people fly in from Texas and California to visit people here to go on the tour.”

Both Kellam and Kuntschik said this year’s group of gardens represents a well-balanced variety.

“We really have a diversity,” Kellam said.

She said some are large estate gardens while others are smaller personal ones.

“There’s one in Buckhead that’s five acres,” Kellam said. “But then we have one that’s quite small in the back of a condo.”

Kuntschik said there is also a good mix of those professionally designed and others created by the homeowners.

“While some of the gardens are done by some of the premier landscape designers and garden designers in the city, we have a few on [the tour] that have been created by Master Gardeners who are the homeowners themselves,” she said. “To see homeowners that have an amazing love of horticulture and gardening and what they can do with their gardens is always delightful.”

Kellam said the planning committee gets recommendations about which gardens to feature from landscapers or others who know the homeowners and their gardens.

Kuntschik said more than 3,500 visitors attended the tour in 2013 and she hopes even more come out this year.

“Last year, we brought in $87,000 for the garden,” Kellam said.

Kuntschik said all fundraising proceeds will go toward supporting the garden’s mission to develop and maintain plant collections for research, conservation, education, display and enjoyment.

If you go:

What: Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour

When: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: various locations throughout Atlanta

Cost: $20 for members and $25 for non-members in advance, $30 at the door and free for children under 12

Information: www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org
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