|Contact Address||932 Scott Blvd.
Decatur, GA 30030
|Hours of Operation||
Open Seven Days a Week
Woodlands Garden is currently closed to visitors. We apologize for this inconvience. Read further to learn about the Capital Campaign Construction taking place while access to the Garden is restricted below:
Although Woodlands Garden has long been considered a hidden gem of Decatur greenspace, the Garden continues to raise its profile within the broader community. An ambitious and successful capital campaign to “Keep it Green Indie-Catur” has laid the groundwork for a renovation that will include many enhancements to the visitor experience at the Garden. The planning and design effort for the project is being led by our Construction Committee, comprised of Board and staff members, in collaboration with TSW, an award-winning architecture and planning firm.
Learn more about the construction project and improvements.
About the Garden
When Dr. Chester Morse of Massachusetts and Eugenia Slack Morse of Decatur, Georgia first moved to this wooded land in 1946, Scott Boulevard was a dirt road and their property, an old farm site, was a honeysuckle jungle. Chet and Gene added to their original small parcel to create the 7-acre tract that is now Woodlands Garden. In 2002, Chet and Gene Morse arranged to have their Decatur home and its surrounding seven acres permanently preserved from development, so future generations could experience and enjoy their wooded estate. They understood the importance of tempering Decatur’s rapid urbanization (projected 29 percent growth in 20 years) and turned down large offers from developers.
Since 2002 the family and community have created a remarkable collaboration. Woodlands Garden is now a 501c3 nonprofit with a dedicated Board of Directors who honor the Morse Family vision to open the garden to the community. Now the property serves as a unique showcase for plants and trees native to the north Georgia Piedmont. The Board of Directors pursues a Strategic Plan to achieve the mission of Woodlands Garden:
Preserving a woodland garden as an urban sanctuary to educate and engage the community in the natural world.
The original home is now the Visitor Center and offices. A second larger home, built to accommodate a family that grew to four children and 13 grandchildren, was deconstructed in 2012, according to the owners’ wishes and the original master plan. This large sunny area will soon welcome all kinds of creatures with extensive pollinator gardens, bird baths, sitting areas, and a small shelter.
Woodlands Garden has completed Phase I of the Strategic Plan: building a sustainable board; raising capital funds to make basic improvements to the grounds; creating a master plan for the property and a planting plan of Piedmont natives; installing over 400 plants and trees; outfitting an existing building for office space; hiring a Garden Manager and Executive Director; developing a fundraising plan; and opening the garden to the public full-time.
Phase II of the plan is now underway: providing a safe accessible entry and adequate parking; welcoming visitors with information and an accessible Visitors Center; transforming the corner of Scott Blvd and Clairemont Ave into a pollinator friendly garden of native plants welcome visitors to Decatur and Woodlands Garden.
About the camellia collection
How often do you get to come across a garden in full bloom around this time of the year? While most of our plants take a break for the winter, our Camellia garden is at its colorful best now. Take a walk through to see the pretty flowers in a range of reds, pinks and whites. See photos of some of the camellias.