Registration for the 38th Annual Meeting is limited to 175 participants, on a first come, first served basis. The registration fee will be approximately $400, which covers activities on Friday and Saturday, including lectures, transportation, tours, receptions, and all meals, as noted.


Rooms have been set aside at the Holiday Inn & Suites at 625 First Street, Alexandria, Virginia  22314.

The cost is $149, single or double occupancy. To receive this rate, reservations must be received by the Holiday Inn by April 2, 2020. After that date, rooms that have not been reserved from our block will be released to the general public and the rate for the rooms will be at the prevailing rate.

Overnight and day parking will be complimentary. For reservations visit Holiday Inn Group Rate Booking Link or call 703-548-6300 and make sure you identify the group block, which is, of course, The Southern Garden History Society.



Tony Avent
Peggy Cornett
Victoria Johnson
Peter Del Tredici
The one and only, J. Dean Norton

Friday Evening

Dinner at the American Horticultural Society.


We will depart from the historic Alexandria wharf on the paddle wheeler, Cherry Blossom, to travel to Mount Vernon.


Saturday Evening

Join us for an evening reception on the east lawn of Mount Vernon and dinner at the Mount Vernon Inn.




Southern Garden History Society Scholarships


The Society offers scholarships to attend the annual meeting to bona fide students enrolled in college and university majors relevant to the mission and goals of the society. Entry level professionals working in the field of historic horticulture or historic preservation not currently enrolled in a course of study are also encouraged to apply. Previous recipients are ineligible except that students may apply for scholarships once while an undergraduate and once while pursuing a graduate degree. Up to three scholarships may be awarded per annual meeting. The scholarship provides a waiver of registration fees plus $500 to assist with travel and lodging. An application and a letter from the applicant stating his/her course of study, interest, and career objectives and a letter of recommendation from the student’s advisor or immediate supervisor certifying the student or professional is enrolled in a degree-granting program or employed in stated field, should be sent to Jeff Abt, the society’s scholarship chairman ( no later than March 1. In return, recipients are asked to write a brief report (up to 1,000 words) on their experience and present it to the scholarship chairman ( no later than 30 days following the annual meeting. Download the application.

James R. Cothran Student Scholarship — Each year, one scholarship winner is selected as the recipient of the James R. Cothran Student Scholarship for meritorious scholarship and career objectives relevant to Southern garden history, appreciation and preservation. The James R. Cothran Student Scholarship was established in 2012 following the unexpected death of James “Jim” R. Cothran on January 29, 2012. Jim Cothran was a landscape architect, urban planner, author, and past president of the Southern Garden History Society. He was passionate about the study of Southern garden history and worked tirelessly to promote its appreciation and preservation. Our Southern garden heritage is much enriched and better elucidated because of his commitment, dedication, and devotion. He was a kind and gentle man, a scholar, a friend, and a colleague who will be sorely missed but fondly remembered. The Board of Directors of the Southern Garden History Society unanimously approved the establishment of the James R. Cothran Student Scholarship.

SGHS Annual Meetings on the Horizon:

2020 Annual Meeting – Mount Vernon, Virginia, April 24-26


An annual meeting is held each spring in a different location in the South for the purposes of studying the garden and landscape history of that area, creating further interest in garden history and restoration in the area, and stimulating interchange of information and ideas among members. Membership in the Southern Garden History Society is required to register for the meeting.

Previous meetings have been held in the following locations; click on the location name to view the program. (The program from 2001 is missing.)

2019 Birmingham, Alabama
2018 Jacksonville, Florida
2017 Lexington, Kentucky [Photo Gallery] [history of the James farm]

2016 Charleston, South Carolina [Photo Gallery]

2015 Nashville, Tennessee

Carnton tintype
Tintype photo at Carnton Plantation of 2015 Annual Meeting attendees, courtesy of photographer Blake Wylie,

2014 Savannah, Georgia
2013 Lynchburg, Virginia
2012 Richmond, Virginia
2011 Baton Rouge, Louisiana
2010 Mount Vernon, Virginia
2009 Camden, South Carolina
2008 Athens, Georgia
2007 Annapolis, Maryland
2006 Fort Worth, Texas
2005 Fredericksburg, Virginia
2004 New Orleans, Louisiana
2003 Atlanta, Georgia
2002 Natchez, Mississippi
2001 Tryon Palace, New Bern, North Carolina
2000 Mount Vernon, Virginia
1999 Houston, Texas
1998 Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina
1997 Tallahassee, Florida
1996 Eastern Shore, Maryland
1995 Mobile, Alabama
1994 Williamsburg, Virginia
1993 Washington/Fayette Counties, Texas
1992 Charleston, South Carolina
1991 St. Francisville, Louisiana
1990 Mount Vernon, Virginia
1989 Savannah, Georgia
1988 Nashville, Tennessee
1987 Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia
1986 Montgomery, Alabama
1985 Annapolis, Maryland
1984 Natchez, Mississippi
1983 Atlanta, Georgia