Four for the Fortieth
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” — Marcus Tullius Cicero
ATLANTA, GA – This year, the Cherokee Garden Library celebrates a significant milestone in its history. Founded 40 years ago by the Cherokee Garden Club in Atlanta under the leadership of Anne Coppedge Carr, the Cherokee Garden Library is one of the special collections of the Kenan Research Center located at the Atlanta History Center.
Dating from 1586 to the present, the Cherokee Garden Library collection includes over 30,000 treasures, documenting gardening, landscape design, garden history, horticulture, floral design, botanical art, cultural landscapes, natural landscapes, and plant ecology, with a particular focus on the Southeast region. Serving over 8,500 researchers annually, the Garden Library also supports the research of the Atlanta History Center’s garden curators. Like all the collections housed at the Kenan Research Center, the Garden Library is FREE and open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
In honor of the anniversary, four special gems from the collection have been selected to highlight and celebrate the materials housed in the Cherokee Garden Library.
Philip Miller’s The Gardeners Dictionary: Containing the best and newest methods of cultivating and improving the kitchen, fruit, flower garden, and nursery … 8th edition. London: Printed for the author, 1768.
Philip Miller (1691-1771) was the superintendent of the Chelsea Physic Garden in London from 1722 until near his death. His volume, The Gardeners Dictionary, is considered the bible of eighteenth-century British and American gardeners and reached an enormous audience. Founding Fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both owned copies and referenced them frequently. First published in 1731, The Gardeners Dictionary went into numerous editions, and in this significant 1768 edition, Miller fully changed to the Linnaean system of binominal nomenclature. Miller corresponded with other botanists, and obtained plants from all over the world, many of which he cultivated for the first time in England and is credited as introducing them to the world. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, his extensive knowledge of living plants was unsurpassed in his lifetime.
Jane Wells Loudon’s The Ladies’ Flower-Garden of Ornamental Greenhouse Plants. London: William Smith, 1848.
A successful writer and magazine editor in England, Jane Wells Loudon (1807-1858) is often overshadowed in the annals of garden history by her husband John Claudius Loudon, renowned landscape designer and horticultural writer. Jane Loudon supported herself with botanical works, producing a series of volumes on annuals, bulbs, greenhouse plants, perennials, and wildflowers. Her books were immensely popular, and her writing influenced a generation of Victorian gardeners, including those in the United States. A self-taught artist, Loudon illustrated her books using a new technique of chromolithography that enabled fast print production. The botanical plates were drawn on zinc from nature, and then colored by hand with watercolor. Through her books, Loudon made gardening accessible to the burgeoning middle class interested in gardening as a form of recreation and pleasure.
Loula Kendall’s ”Bellwood Plantation,” pastel on paper, ca.1850
Loula Winifred Kendall Rogers (1838-1931), the daughter of physician and plantation owner David Lane Kendall and Louisa Rogers Steele Kendall, documented life at the Kendall family home, Bellwood, in Upson County, Georgia, through letters, diary entries, and drawings. In the early 1850s, she created a pastel of Bellwood Plantation, detailing the main house, slave cabins, her father’s office, and the gardens. Original artworks, like this pastel, provide insight into garden design in the Antebellum South. A prolific writer, Loula Kendall was a member of the first graduating class of Wesleyan Female College in Macon in 1857. In 1863, Kendall married James Henry Rogers, a second lieutenant of the Upson Guards, and they had seven children. She later became a faculty member at Gordon Institute in Barnesville, Georgia. A prolific poet, her poems were published in local newspapers as well as in her book, Golden Rod and Cypress, in 1914.
Hastings’ Seeds, Catalogue No. 44, Fall 1912
In 1889 in Interlachen, Florida, Harry George Hastings (1869-1962) established H. G. Hastings and Company, a mail-order business specializing in garden and field seeds as well as nursery stock, which aided both farmers and home gardeners throughout the South. In 1899, the company moved to Atlanta, a more centralized distribution point where the family business continued until it was sold to an outside party in 1976. Hastings’ Seed Catalogues are important twentieth-century treasures that document the plants and seeds offered in the past. They are beautiful and unique examples of commercial art, valuable resources for horticulturists to study cultivars from the past, and touchstones for historic preservationists who wish to recreate gardens with plants from years gone by.
With worldwide use, the Cherokee Garden Library is an important resource for historic and contemporary reference materials related to gardening and horticulture in the Southeast, and offers a year-round calendar of lectures, exhibitions, tours, and collaborations with partner agencies to share the joy of gardening and the natural world with the public.
Cherokee Garden Library’s featured anniversary program takes place on October 14, 2015, when acclaimed garden writer, Ken Druse, presents the Cherokee Garden Library 40thAnniversary Celebration Lecture. Tickets and more information are available at AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/Lectures. For further information, please call 404.814.4046.
ABOUT THE CHEROKEE GARDEN LIBRARY:
Founded by the Cherokee Garden Club of Atlanta in 1975, the Cherokee Garden Library, one of the special subject libraries of the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center, serves as an educational resource center for those interested in gardening, landscape design, garden history, horticulture, floral design, botanical art, cultural landscapes, natural landscapes, and plant ecology. Over 28,000 books, photographs, postcards, manuscripts, seed catalogs, and landscape drawings are included in the Cherokee Garden Library collection. Serving over 8,500 researchers annually, these rare and valuable resources tell the story of American horticulture and botanical history in the Southeastern United States and areas of influence throughout America, Europe, and Asia. For information about the Cherokee Garden Library, call 404.814.4046 or visit AtlantaHistoryCenter.com/CherokeeGardenLibrary.
Leigh Massey, 404.814.4033; LMassey@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com
Staci Catron, 404.814.4046;SCatron@AtlantaHistoryCenter.com
Images and interviews available upon request