A Coastal Garden Right off I95
By Kathy Conner Cornell VCE Southside Master Gardener I’ve been reluctant to write about gardens to visit since so many were closed during the worst of the pandemic. However, things seem to be coasting towards normalcy so I’ll get back to the job of sharing some of the gardens I’ve enjoyed. The Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden roots go back to growing timber bamboo by Mrs. Smith prior to the Civil War. She remarried and her farm hand, Mr. Dayton sold bamboo shoots to local restaurants and bamboo poles to the locals. He knew that the bamboo would be destroyed by any new owner. (Bamboo is notoriously difficult to kill so I’d like to know how that would happen. A story for another day). He appealed to Dr. David Fairchild, a renowned botanist and plant explorer. Eventually wealthy Barbour Lathrop bought the property and leased it back to Fairchild and the USDA for $1. The USDA used the land to research potential agricultural plants for the Southeast. The USDA started to phase out the research in 1975 and a cost cutting move, closed the facility in 1979.