Afton Villa handwritten notes


Garden History & Design

Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens

The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Gardens collects, preserves, and provides access to resources that document the history of gardens in America. The Archives includes photographic and written documentation on over 10,000 historic and contemporary gardens. The collections document the work of landscape architects, garden designers, and garden photographers as well as a handful of seed companies. Photographic formats and processes represented in the collections include stereographs, lantern slides, autochromes, glass plate negatives, 35mm slides, and digital images.

The Archives serves the needs of researchers, historians, preservationists, designers, students, and other interested parties by preserving garden images and records and making them available for research use and publication.

Garden History and Design uses photography and research, the study of good design practices, educational and lecture programs, and internships to develop an appreciation of America’s gardens. New Orleans Town Gardeners worked with the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens to document cultivated gardens in New Orleans. Explore some of the homes and gardens in The Garden Club of America Collection on the Smithsonian’s website >>

Images courtesy of the Garden Club of America Collection, Archives of American Gardens, Smithsonian Institute

Grinnan House and Garden

Grinnan House and Garden, LA058

Established in 1991, this one acre garden includes a marble tub, sun dial, a copy of an old trellis from previous garden, and a wall fountain with a South Sea clam shell as the basin. (Laura C. Williams, Photographer)

The Frierson’s Hidden Retreat

The Frierson’s Hidden Retreat, LA060

A city property measuring 90 by 120 feet with a Georgian style house built in the 1920's has formal garden rooms that fulfill the owners' principle requirements: privacy with a sense of enclosure, year-round color and fragrance, and visibility of the garden from every room in the house. (Laura C. Williams, Photographer)


Greenbough, LA103

Greenbough is an one and one half acre urban property in New Orleans with formal green and white gardens. (Flora French, Photographer)

Harriet’s Garden

Harriet’s Garden, LA104

There are formal garden rooms surrounding this classically-styled New Orleans house, an urban property of more than one-third acre in the Garden District. (Flora French, Photographer)

Middlegate Japanese Gardens

Middlegate Japanese Gardens, MS040

Located on three acres in the town of Pass Christian, Mississippi is the site of Middlegate Japanese garden. Its original owners, Rudolph and Lynne Watkins Hecht were inspired by a 1924 trip to Japan and began cultivating their own Japanese-style garden upon their return. (Frank Evans Farwell, Photographer)

Rosemonde’s Garden

Rosemonde’s Garden, LA019

A formal garden on a small urban lot features a wall fountain, small accents of sculptures, and expanses of lawn for the owner's grandchildren. (Flora French, Photographer)