In 1995 the Morgan County Landmarks Society was awarded a $7,000 grant by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, an arm of the National Park Service, to research and document the heritage gardens of Morgan County and also to document the gardeners who created them. The documentation collected through this grant will be added to the extensive information already compiled through a Heritage Education grant received in 1992 from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation.
Morgan County’s architectural heritage has received much attention over the years. With the county seat of Madison recognized as a bastion of many architectural styles, there has never been much question about the need to preserve these structures. Morgan County’s historic landscapes, however, have never been the subject of an extensive study. Only the most celebrated gardens, Boxwood and Bonar Hall, were included in the Garden History of Georgia published in 1933. The heritage landscapes study, begun in 1996, has revealed that Morgan County’s gardens have historically been as impressive as its architecture, although, sadly, not as well preserved.
In 1998, the Morgan County Landmarks Society, Inc. conducted a garden tour in Madison, Georgia. A Garden Guide, Descriptions of Madison Gardens, compiled and written by Rick Crown and Richard Simpson (both active Landmarks members), featured the garden designs and plants in each of the gardens on tour. This publication, along with A Brief History of Morgan County Gardens and Garden Club Activities, will further the awareness of heritage landscapes in Morgan County.