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GREEN SPACE: Woodlands Garden enters second phase
by Sarah Anne Voyles
July 31, 2013 03:44 PM | 2054 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Special / Tom Walsh and Ryan Jenkins present the plans for the Woodlands Garden.
Special / Tom Walsh and Ryan Jenkins present the plans for the Woodlands Garden.
Chester Morse told his bride that he would always have fresh flowers for her, so he surrounded their home with plants that would bloom all year. In April of 2002, the Morse family dedicated their property to the community instead of selling it to land developers.

Woodlands Garden off Scott Boulevard and Clairemont Avenue is seven acres and contains plant life which is only native to the Piedmont area. Morse’s desire for the garden is for it to become more accessible and accommodating to the public and to operate seven days a week during daylight hours.

“It is important to know the context, this is a privately-owned garden by a nonprofit to be open to the community,” garden board Director Claire Waggenspack Hayes said. “This was always intended from when the Morse family transferred the property.”

In an effort to preserve the lands donated by the Morse family, the garden has partnered with Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh and Associates to complete phase two of a master plan for the garden. The capital campaign for phase one was completed in 2004.

Phase two has four different objectives. The first is to address the entry to the gardens on Scott Boulevard. The next is to address parking since there is limited space. The third objective is to add new bathroom facilities to the property and the final objective is to formalize the open area left from the main house being torn down.

“The main goal is to serve the public,” Hayes said. “The entrance on Scott Boulevard is hard to see and can be a little daunting when trying to enter and exit.”

The landscape architects at the garden said they view this opportunity with the garden as a once in a lifetime opportunity with the vast amounts of natural landscape. Architect Ryan Jenkins said landscapers seek these types of projects out because there are so few of them available.

“This is a landscaper’s dream of working with these woodlands,” Jenkins said. “It is a special type of place and fairly unique. There are not many native woodlands open to the public.”

The firm put together a team to best meet the needs of the garden with Long Engineering, garden designer Esther Stokes and Stability Engineering.

The board of directors at the garden and the firm set a goal to finish all fundraising and design by May 2014.

A closer look:
To learn more about the gardens visit

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