Supported entirely through private donations and event rentals, please consider supporting this Athens and UGA treasured place.
The Founders Memorial Garden commemorates the twelve founders of the American garden club movement, which was established in Athens, Georgia in 1891, and is also dedicated as a memorial garden to those who served in the US Armed Forces.
(Founders Garden Brochure)
The Garden houses over 300 species of plant material and features historic trees, shrubs, and perennials. It was conceived, designed, and installed under the guidance of Hubert Bond Owens, the founder and first dean of the UGA landscape architecture program. Today, this 2.5 acre award-winning garden and associated historic buildings are managed by the College of Environment and Design, and serve as a teaching resource and public garden for all campus users and visitors to appreciate.
In the 1930s, The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc. funded the project with contributions from many individuals and garden clubs around the state. Dean Owens, his staff, and students designed and oversaw the garden construction, and the Founders Memorial Garden officially opened in 1939. A formal boxwood garden, two courtyards, a terrace, a sunken perennial garden and informal arboretum areas surround the Lumpkin House, Kitchen Building and Smokehouse. The building complex and garden are on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as the Georgia Register of Historic Places. The garden was recognized in 1999 by the American Society of Landscape Architects as one of the top 100 “landscapes of significance” in the United States.
The Robert J. Hill Courtyard, tucked between the buildings, honors Professor Hill, who taught landscape architecture at UGA for 30 years and served as the director of the garden for 20 years.
The historic rose-brick Greek Revival style house serves as an active center for the Founders Memorial Garden. Originally built in 1857 as a faculty residence, it was the first recorded address on Lumpkin Street, and is referred to as the Lumpkin House. The house was used from 1898 to 1919 as student housing and a dining hall; as the residence for Mary Lyndon, the first Dean of Women in the early 1920s; as home to the first on-campus sorority, Phi Mu, in the late 1920s; home to the Department of Landscape Architecture from 1939 to 1956; and state headquarters from 1963 to 1998 for The Garden Club of Georgia, Inc.
Sitting on a site rich in a history spanning over 150 years, the Garden itself recently celebrated its silver 75th anniversary! Dedicated to keeping this nationally registered historic landscape and its buildings intact and utilized as a teaching garden, the College of Environment and Design has created The Founders Memorial Garden Endowment Fund to provide annual funds for upkeep and restoration of the buildings, original plantings and hardscape materials.
Please consider making a gift to see that this crucial endowment is fulfilled, and this national treasure preserved. We need and appreciate your support. Make a gift or contact CED’s Director of Development, Jennifer Messer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 542-4727.
Still used actively as a teaching garden and place of respite for students and visitors, the Garden and House can also be rented to celebrate special events.
Weddings + Receptions
- Variety of options from a simple wedding ceremony to a full reception, in the historic 1857 house, outdoors in various garden rooms or both
- 2-hour, 4-hour or 12-hour rental options
- Event must be complete by 12 am
- Weddings not held on Home Football Game weekends
- Meetings, receptions, or luncheons four hours or less in duration
- Pay with a chart string account number
- Event must be complete by 10 pm
- Sororities, honor societies, clubs, etc.
- May or may not be affiliated with UGA, but not paying with a state account number
If you are interested in renting the Founders Memorial Garden for an event, please click here or use the link below to request information.