2019 Annual Meeting
Birmingham, Alabama
April 26 – 28

  • Photo by Irene T. Gardner

  • Photo by Irene T. Gardner


Lectures will be held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the headquarters hotel is the Embassy Suites by Hilton Birmingham, 2300 Woodcrest Place. For reservations call (205) 879-7400 by March 26 and identify yourself as being with Southern Garden History Society. The group rate is $189 per night. Please note that there is a race at Talladega Speedway the same weekend; plan for heavy traffic on Interstate 20 throughout the weekend.

Meeting registration information was mailed to current members January 28, 2019. The meeting brochure, including registration information, may be downloaded here.

Birmingham 2019Membership in Southern Garden History Society is required to register for the meeting. Members who join at the Sustainer level or above are offered early registration for the Annual Meeting. Visit our membership page to join today.

The Annual Meeting will convene Friday, April 26 at 12:30 pm at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the site for all our lectures. Friday afternoon we will hear about the early history of Birmingham, recent “green” trends in the city, and a history of Vulcan. We will tour downtown and Redmon, and we will visit a vintage cottage garden and a hilltop estate rescued from kudzu. Friday dinner will be at Vulcan Park. On Saturday, there will be presentations and a curated tour of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, visits to four private gardens in Mountain Brook and Forest Park, then a progressive dinner at two private Redmont residences overlooking the city. The optional Sunday Tour will include private garden tours in English Village and Abingdon, a visit to Stone Hollow Farmstead, and lunch at Chancellor Farm, the historic home and gardens of SGHS members Barbara and Sonny Adkins.





sundial-and-topiariesSouthern 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 (j.abt@mac.com) 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 (j.abt@mac.com) 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.)

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, www.blakewylie.com

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