Taxodium ‘Cascade Falls’

Conifer mix on a property in Waynesboro, VA

I hear people say that conifers won’t grow in the southeastern U.S. Wanta bet!

2016 marks the 8th year of the Reference Garden program sponsored by the American Confer Society (ACS)- Southeast Region. From Kentucky and Virginia south to Florida, 19 public gardens were now participating in the program. Two of the latest additions are Brookgreen Gardens (Murrells Inlet, SC) and Lockerly Arboretum (Milledgeville, GA).

Since 2009, ACS Southeast Region has awarded 21 grants totaling more than $30,000 to the Reference Gardens. The program is funded by the proceeds from regional meetings and auctions. To join the Reference Garden program, a garden must meet certain criteria and agree to submit a short report annually summarizing their conifer related activities.

Despite record heat, drought and excessive rainfall in many areas of the Southeast, Reference Gardens report that more than 600 conifers were planted and a myriad of programs were presented. The ACS Southeast Region Reference Gardens program is helping to spread the word that conifers are a great landscape option in Southern gardens. Here is the latest list of participating gardens:

Gardens of the Big Bend, Quincy, FL

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta, GA

Armstrong State University Arboretum Conifer Garden, Savannah, GA

Lockerly Arboretum, Milledgeville, GA

Smith-Gilbert Gardens, Kennesaw, GA

The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens, GA

Baker Arboretum, Bowling Green, KY

JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh, NC

Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC

Hatcher Garden-Woodland Preserve, Spartanburg, SC

Moore Farms Botanical Garden, Lake City, SC

East Tennessee State University Arboretum, Johnson City, TN

Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis, TN

University of Tennessee Gardens, Knoxville, TN

West Tennessee Research and Education Center Gardens, Univ. of TN Jackson, Jackson, TN

Al Gardner Memorial Conifer Garden, Reynolds Community College, Goochland, VA

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA

Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk, VA

State Arboretum of Virginia, Boyce, VA

*excerpted from  report appearing in March 2017 ACS Newsletter by Barbie Colvin, SE Reference Garden Committee Chair.

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