Established in 1992….
On March 6, 1991 a group of friends met to discuss forming a gardening group. Not a “garden club” in the sense of white gloves and socializing around tea and cake, but a group of serious gardeners intent on cultivating plant knowledge and employing hands-on-learning. These plucky ladies went on to call themselves simply “The Piedmont Gardeners”. From that day forward, they focused on gardening education not only for themselves but also in ways to benefit the Athens community with their endeavors. In a serendipitous discussion with Allan Armitage, Professor of Horticulture at the University of Georgia, who regularly brought his students to visit local private gardens for learning plant identification and uses, the idea of a garden tour was spawned. The first tour was held in 1992 and intended as a one-time event. However, the initial tour proved so successful another tour was planned for the following year.
Since then it has become an annual event attended by hundreds of garden enthusiasts who want to see how others create and grow their personal backyard paradises. The tour emphasizes different styles of gardening by do-it-yourself gardeners who are willing to share their gardens and what they know.
Other projects and activities to benefit the Athens area are also undertaken by the club members. Every year members volunteer their time for the regular maintenance of the Herb Garden at the Athens Welcome Center. The club also funded improvements of the garden including adding a trellis, benches and an irrigation system.
Other community efforts in the past include:
· West Broad St. median plantings (crape myrtles)
· Two benches for UGA Trial Gardens
· Water pump for Barnett Shoals Elementary School water garden
· Tax payment for 5-Acre Woods—an Over-the-River Neighborhood Association purchase to save land from development
· Donation for Council on Aging garden projects
· Supplies for the Boys’ & Girls’ Club garden
· Gardening books for the Athens-Clarke County Public Library