Smith-Gilbert Garden: Past, present and future topic at next Backyard meeting


From Special Reports

When Lisa Bartlett became garden manager at the Smith-Gilbert Garden in Kennesaw several years ago, she found a private garden that had been neglected for years.

Since then, she and her staff have brought it back to life, adding exciting new features. What once was a private garden is now fast on its it way to becoming a world-class public garden.

Bartlett will speak on “The Smith-Gilbert Garden: Past, Present and Future” at the next meeting of the Coweta County Master Gardeners Backyard Association. The free presentation begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 11, at the UGA Extension – Coweta County.

Bartlett will share the history of the gardens and how its caretakers have big plans for the 16-acre garden with more than 4,000 species of plants, several quite rare in American gardens. Since she became garden manager, the garden has been brought back to life. The plant collection ranges from rare herbaceous perennials to unusual trees including one of the largest collections of bonsai in the Southeast.

Under Bartlett’s guidance, the garden established its award-winning Butterfly Exhibit at Smith-Gilbert Gardens in 2017. In 2018, she created a first for Georgia, a Crevice Garden that recycled concrete that was once the sidewalk around City Hall in Kennesaw. Keeping tons of debris out of the county landfill. this garden is filled with rare and unusual dwarf-growing plants that mimic the harsh climate of an alpine mountain side.

Bartlett also served on the board of The American Hydrangea Society and is creating what she hopes will be a nationally recognized collection of hydrangeas.

The Backyard Association is an educational program sponsored by the Coweta County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs). The presentations are free to the public and are at the UGA Extension – Coweta County, located at 255 Pine Road in Newnan.

You do not have to be registered to attend, but if you want to be in the drawing for door prizes, usually plants and gardening supplies, please call the Extension office at (770) 254-2620 or email [email protected]. And for more information, visit:

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