Home, Collections & Gardens

Relax in the shade of the Courtyard Garden and stroll through the lovely Formal Garden.

The Historic Formal Garden

In harmony with the house, the formal garden is refined yet welcoming. Situated in the front of the property overlooking Lafayette Square, it retains its original 1849 structure and is one of only two antebellum gardens remaining in Savannah that is open to the public. It is generally believed the garden was designed by the home’s architect, John Norris, probably in consultation with Sarah Hunter Low.

The garden is designed to capture the feel of a small, formal French garden of the eighteenth century. Referred to as a “parterre”, this type of garden design uses low plantings divided by footpaths bordered by symmetrical geometric patterns. The Low’s garden has a central path that divides the elegant symmetry of hourglass shaped planting beds.

A landscape master plan was developed in 2009 by the Atlanta firm of Robert and Company and work was subsequently performed to bring the formal garden back to an approximate 1850-1860 appearance. The plant materials selected reflect period appropriate choices for a Southern formal garden of the era.

The Courtyard Garden

Filled with azaleas, camellias, Confederate jasmine, tea olive, and dwarf boxwood, the Courtyard Garden is a serene escape. Four Natchez crepe myrtles provide cool shade in the summer months.

In 1951, noted landscape architect, Clermont Lee, prepared a landscape plan for the space, and the project was completed the following year. Lee was the first woman to be registered as a landscape architect in the state of Georgia and she was a strong advocate of cultural landscape preservation. She designed an open, tranquil space enclosed by a north and south brick wall and bordered by raised planting beds edged with Savannah gray brick.

More recently, Robert and Company’s 2009 plan recommended and carried out a rehabilitation of the Courtyard Garden. A fountain on the west wall was installed, where, years earlier, a piece that Juliette Low sculpted had been located. Today, it is a beautiful setting enjoyed by visitors as a spot to relax prior to tours and is also a spot for parties and events.