With this Magnolia the editors begin a series of articles looking back over the four-decade history of the Restoring Southern Gardens and Landscapes conference. Until 2019, Old Salem Museums & Gardens in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, hosted this biennial event. Here you will learn about the very first conference, held in 1979, in an account focusing on the people, institutions, and circumstances that made it possible. This issue’s book review will surely please all who enjoy visiting botanical gardens or with a horticultural bent…in other words every member of the Southern Garden History Society and most non-member website visitors. In his examination of Barbara Thiers’ Herbarium: The Quest to Preserve & Classify the World’s Plants, Davyd Foard Hood highlights efforts beginning in the sixteenth century to gather, classify, and preserve plant specimens from wide-ranging areas, including the American South. Readers will learn of flora (and fauna) preserved in another manner in Jeff Lewis’s discussion of the Porcelain and Decorative Arts Museum soon to open at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. They can also enjoy a page-full of details about a single, but multi-faceted, plant in “Loofah! Loofah!” by Randy Harelson. The issue closes with Gail Griffin’s moving recollections of Jane Campbell Symmes, a Georgia gardening stalwart and longtime SGHS honorary board member who died in August 2021. Editors and authors alike hope that readers will take as much pleasure from reading these and other articles as they did in preparing them for publication.
Feature Image credit: Salem from the Southwest 1824
Christian Daniel Welfare (1796-1841)
Salem, North Carolina
Ink and paint on paper, Wachovia Historical Society (P-453)