Gardens for Connoisseurs

Tour Atlanta’s Finest Private Gardens

Celebrating 30 years of beauty, the 2014 Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour showcases eleven spectacular private gardens representing the finest in garden design. Delight in exploring exquisite design and enchanting planting ideas.

The Tour is an annual Mother’s Day Weekend tradition since 1984 with proceeds benefitting the Garden.

Garden Tour Descriptions
Learn About the Tour
Ticket FAQs

Know Before You Go

Member Tickets

Non-Member Tickets
$20 Member Advance Ticket (April 8 – May 9)
$25 Advance Ticket (April 1 – May 9)
$30 Day of Tour (cash or check only)
Children Under 12 Free

Tickets available at Garden Admissions until May 9, at Select Retailers or directly at the Tour Locations the day of Tour.

Online tickets purchased between May 1 and May 8 will be held for pick-up at Will-Call. Convenience fee of $1.00 added to each ticket purchased online. Online purchasing available until May 8.

Saturday - Sunday, May 10 - 11
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tour Sponsors

Beacham & Company Realtors               Land Plus              Harry Norman Realtors             Planters Garden           Monrovia 

Learn About the Tour

Hear from the founders of the Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour. Watch the video to learn about the inspiration behind the tour.

Watch More Garden Videos on YouTube

Tour Location 1: Mary & Jim Rubright

3435 Woodhaven Road, Atlanta, GA 30305 | Tour Map

Recently redone by landscape architect Jeremy Smearman and his award-winning firm Planters, the garden of this Georgian home echoes its classic architecture. With a large boxwood scroll garden providing a stately entry, the rear features a bluestone terrace with a stunning stacked slate outdoor fireplace flanked by two huge viburnums. Roses and peonies abound within perennial borders, while a cozy pavilion shaded by an enormous Chinese Fringetree overlooks the pool. From the formal area, a woodland walk meanders through a shade garden leading to a quiet sitting area with an antique fountain. Discover the hidden path to a secret children’s garden, which is sure to delight!

Tour Location 2: Lisa & Paul Brown

52 Blackland Road, Atlanta, GA 30342 | Tour Map

Discover a private oasis tucked away in the midst of bustling Buckhead. Covering 5 acres, this spectacular garden integrates formal spaces with a surrounding woodland. Fountains provide a focal point to both a private courtyard as well as a stunning rose and vegetable garden featuring 24 raised beds. Delight in numerous varieties of roses, Japanese maples, a glorious perennial garden with a greenhouse and butterfly gardens. Azaleas and dogwoods invite visitors to explore paths that lead past bubbling streams, three ponds and a 10 ft. waterfall.

Not recommended for those with difficulty walking; location contains uneven and steep terrain.

Tour Location 3: Rosie & Lindsay Davidson

53 Barbara Lane, Atlanta, GA 30327 | Tour Map

An avid plant collector, Rosie Davidson’s passion began as a young girl in Scotland. With a philosophy of "I like that, let's see if it will grow here,” she has transformed her garden over eighteen years to showcase collections of maples, ferns, camellias, succulents and specimen plants. Terraced on four levels, a woodland garden displays a magnificent Parottia Tree, while a parterre garden features Edgeworthia. This delightful plant lover’s garden contains an abundance of perennial beds, specialty maples as well as an herb and vegetable garden. A Camellia Cleopatra hedge surrounds the pool for tranquility and privacy.

Tour Location 4: Angi & Michael Evert

4700 Northside Drive NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 | Tour Map

A Master Gardener, Angi Evert has transformed her family’s lacrosse and kickball field into a retreat with stunning year-round interest. Two acres of red soil twenty years ago now boasts over 5,000 spring-blooming bulbs, along with hydrangeas, viburnum, ferns and hellebores. For privacy, visual impact and fragrance, Angi planted bottlebrush buckeye, sweet bay magnolia, gardenias, myrtles, azaleas, Carolina Sapphire, tea olives and Japanese maples. From the pool house, enjoy the lovely view of a perennial bed abounding with phlox, peonies, hydrangeas, acanthus, iris, lilies, roses, ferns, sunflowers and birdhouses.

Tour Location 5: Sidney & Don Childress

1414 Indian Trail NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 | Tour Map

A seamless union of modernist landscape design and architecture, the garden of this contemporary home celebrates a remarkable site overlooking the Atlanta skyline and the Chattahoochee National Recreation Area. Designed by the notable landscape architect Edward Daugherty, the site encompasses five acres of native trees and shrubs, along with borders of flowering shrubs, perennials, herb and vegetable gardens. A fire circle was created at the ruins of a cabin built around 1900. As the landscape has matured, Spencer Tunnell of the award-winning firm Tunnell & Tunnell has worked with Mr. Daugherty to refine this garden.

Photo Courtesy Edward L. Daugherty

Tour Location 6: Lisa Bartlett & Lloyd Fruchtman

652 Londenberry Road, Atlanta, GA 30327 | Tour Map

Winding up a hillside and through the woods, discover life-size animal topiaries, sculptures and five water features in this delightful cottage style garden. Owner of Gramma B’s Home & Garden in Sandy Springs, garden designer Lisa Bartlett creatively employs natural and found materials while juxtaposing a variety of plants displaying a color palette reminiscent of Impressionism. Conceived as both a work of art and a testing ground for plants to ensure their compatibility with the southern climate, the collection includes specialty roses, a rainbow of heuchera, diverse conifers and camellias.

Not recommended for those with difficulty walking; location contains uneven and steep terrain.

Tour Location 7: Candy & Greg Johnson

5300 Old Hundred Lane NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 | Tour Map

Owner and Master Gardener Candy Johnson has created a lyrical “four seasons” garden that compliments the Country French style house and the hilly terrain. Footbridges lead to an enchanting moss garden with a stone wall and a mossy staddle stone reminiscent of the Johnsons’ time in England. Follow stone steps to a spring fed artesian well with fish, a fountain and aquatic plants. For tranquility, rest upon granite benches along the creek edged with stone or wander along footpaths through a woodland garden. Tiered retaining walls and five dry creek beds control rainwater runoff and aid in soil retention.

Parking located on Burdette Road

Tour Location 8: Patty & Brad Ferrer

4332 Davidson Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30319 | Tour Map

Inspired by this home’s cottage style architecture, landscape architect Alec Michaelides of Land Plus Associates, Ltd. extended its covered outdoor spaces into the garden with a courtyard fountain that is surrounded by drifts of Annabelle hydrangeas and boxwoods. Framed by Yoshino cherries, a sunken lawn allows ample space for garden parties, while a wooden pergola with stone seating provides a restful retreat for the owners and their guests. Tucked behind a hedge of Sasanqua camellias, a formal vegetable garden is bounded by a bed of mixed perennials.

Tour Location 9: Nancy & Hank Carson

1245 Bellaire Lane NE, Atlanta, GA 30319 | Tour Map

Designed by Ryan Gainey, the formal space of this urban townhouse garden boasts over 20 types of evergreen and deciduous plants. Follow a bluestone walkway bordered by boxwoods to a lovely copper-roofed folly covered in wisteria, confederate jasmine, clematis, Banks and Zephirine Drouhin pillar roses. Along the way, admire native azaleas, Nantucket Blue hydrangeas, hostas, irises, camellias and gardenias. A 50 year-old stand of primroses frames the terrace featuring a goldfish pond with aquatic plants, climbing hydrangeas, heirloom gardenias and tea olive. Folly by Marc Mosley of Carlson Mosley Architects

Tour Location 10: Deb Watts & John W. Ward, MD

1537 Emory Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30306 | Tour Map

Designer David McMullin of New Moon Gardens has successfully transformed a Druid Hills corner-lot into a bountiful flower garden with perennial borders. Exemplifying smart design in a compact space, garden rooms feature clipped box parterres, a sunny vegetable garden, pots brimming with lush plantings and a tropical patio with fountain. Owners John Ward & Deb Watts marvel at the “amazing influx” of birds, insects, and small mammals attracted by the garden, as well as the community engagement it creates with neighbors stopping to admire, photograph or sketch her delightful garden. 

Tour Location 11: Ryan Gainey

129 Emerson Avenue, Decatur, GA 30030 | Tour Map

A 105-year-old home is nestled within a Southern cottage garden setting of antique and heirloom plants. Originally the site of a cut flower nursery founded in 1917, today this romantic garden bursts with roses, camellias, and boxwood topiaries. The plant collection provides fragrance and color year-round, while greenhouses and a tree house delight all ages. Enamored with formal garden design seen on his many travels, Mr. Gainey is an internationally recognized garden designer.