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Elizabeth Lawrence Gardens

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Elizabeth Lawrence (1904-1985) is one of the South’s best-known garden writers. Her book, A Southern Garden: A Handbook for the Middle South (University of North Carolina Press, 1942), is a standard on almost every gardener’s bookshelf.
After Elizabeth Lawrence’s death, her home and garden were sold to Mary Lindeman “Lindie” Wilson, who lovingly gardened and maintained the property for 23 years until it was purchased by the Wing Haven Foundation with a mission of preservation and opening it to the public as a “vibrant, dynamic, and undeniably inspiring living laboratory.” Visit Wing Haven’s website here:
Garden Curator Andrea Sprott has worked at Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden going on thirteen years. Andrea says, “As I began to familiarize myself with the garden, I soon realized I needed to discover Elizabeth Lawrence as wholly as possible in order to understand and better interpret her garden for the public.  To merely maintain the garden within the confines of the job of gardener meant to ignore its most precious and powerful gift: its soul.  This property, like its creator, is layered and multifaceted; nothing is as simple as it may appear.  This is the living legacy of a truly brilliant woman–a sensitive and perceptive landscape architect, plant person of encyclopedic knowledge, and one of the South’s preeminent garden writers–who I fully believe infused this soil with herself.” 
Andrea Sprott served for six years on the board of the Southern Garden History Society, and the Elizabeth Lawrence House and Garden maintains an Institutional Membership in the society.
In 2017 Andrea talked with Jennifer Jewel on Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History and the Human Impulse to Garden, a program of North State Public Radio, California State University, Chico. Listen to the podcast here:


Images Courtesy Andrea Sprott

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Randy Harelson, President (Louisiana) Randy Harelson was born in Macon, GA to parents whose families both came from East Baton Rouge Parish, LA, for many generations. The family moved back to Louisiana when Randy was seven, but always called him their “Georgia peach.” Educated at LSU Lab School and Louisiana State University, Randy moved to Massachusetts in 1974 to teach art in an innovative “integrated arts in education” program in Attleboro Public Schools. A gardener since childhood, he worked at Hill-Roberts Elementary School to develop an “outdoor classroom” of trees, shrubs, and flowers while a full-time art teacher. He later served as a professional designer and assistant horticulturist at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol, Rhode Island. Randy’s broad career has included writing and illustrating nine published books, and running a retail nursery in Seagrove Beach, Florida that won the S. J. Blakely Award in 2003. Back home in New Roads, Randy has planted a small arboretum of trees and shrubs both native and imported, documented in Louisiana by 1860. Randy first attended a SGHS annual meeting at Mount Vernon in 2010. The next year his home was included in the Sunday tours at the Baton Rouge meeting. Randy and his husband Richard Gibbs, an architect and gardener, have been members ever since, and Randy joined the board of directors in 2015. At home they care for two acres of gardens, a 500-year-old live oak, the 200-year-old LeJeune House, and a Siamese cat named Miss Priss.
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