The Garden features over 11 acres of gardens on the early twentieth century farmstead of Dan and Catharine Bland. Wander the trails, paths and courtyards and explore the intriguing natural and cultural wonders of the southeastern coastal plain, where persistence, ingenuity, and a deep respect have bound people to the land. Discover a significant and growing collection of native and heritage plants, including over 20 of the state’s protected species. Peer down a pitcher plant, gaze upward at the gnarled branches of a magnificent longleaf pine, and inhale the heavy scent of confederate jasmine. Wrap your hands around the handles of a plow or admire the 1929 cover of Georgia Magazine, which features Mr. Dan and Miss Catharine’s farm as an inspiration for all of Georgia. Enjoy the past, wonder at the present and learn for the future at the Garden of the Coastal Plain.
The Garden offers woodland trails, a landscape garden of coastal plain natives, a native azalea collection, an arboretum, a children’s garden, a complex of early 20th century farm buildings, the Rural Life Museum, the Whelchel Camellia Garden, heritage gardens, a bog and sandhill, and the Kennedy Outdoor Classroom. The Garden is a research and educational resource for faculty and students and provides undergraduate and graduate programs, projects, and internships as well as continuing education programs of interest to the community.
Daniel and Catharine Bland met in 1916 at the First District Agricultural and Mechanical School, now Georgia Southern University. Their lives tell the story of rural farm life on the southeastern coastal plain.
Mr. Dan and Miss Catharine worked hard to coax a living out of the sandy coastal plain soil. They ran a small dairy, raised livestock, and grew pecans, pears and row crops, winning accolades as a model farm from Georgia Magazine in 1929.
Mr. Dan was a self-taught naturalist with a keen interest in the plants and animals from this region. He planted these natives in his garden, along with camellias and other old-fashioned favorites that have blossomed into our Southern Heritage.