The Andrew Low House garden is one of three remaining original 19th-century garden plans in the city of Savannah. The garden, installed shortly after the completion of the house in 1848 and the distinctive hourglass-shaped beds, were described by the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray in a letter written during one of several visits to the Low family during the early 1850’s. The bedding plan has been maintained for 160 years by the family and later the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia, although plantings within the beds have varied over the years. In May of 2009, noted historic landscape specialist, James Cothran, FASLA of Robert and Company was hired to develop an historic landscape plan for the ALH garden. The plan was completed in December of 2009.
Plantings in the historic parterre garden include appropriate historic species such as sago palm, English daisies, verbena, stokesia , holly fern, karume azaleas and violets odorata. There are also existing plantings of azaleas, camellias, sasanqua, Spanish squill, narcissus, summer snowflake and boxwood. The grade of the pathways between the beds in the garden rose over time concealing the traditional edging tiles that outline the beds. The pathways were regraded to expose the tiles and resurfaced with river aggregate.
Our historic garden is a key educational component of our site and is the only original Savannah garden accessible to the general public. The double-hourglass garden design evolved from the Elizabethan knot gardens. There have been numerous plans for the garden in the 82 years that the NSCDA in GA have owned the property. The first major replanting was conducted in 1955 by landscape architect, Clermont Lee. Ms. Lee also supervised improvements to the garden from 1961 until 1967 and again in 1987. In all cases, these plans were focused on creating more plantings that were historically accurate and within the 1848 -1886 time period (the years that Andrew Low occupied the house).