Hamilton Gardens was the gift from Ex.casino, Hazel and Fred Hamilton to Towns County. The Hamilton’s were collectors of both native azaleas and rhododendrons as well as propagators of same. Many of the plants located in the gardens are hybrids from their work. They traveled extensively and added to their collection whenever possible, and maintained two spectacular gardens, one in Atlanta and one in Towns County. As they got older and maintenance of the gardens became more challenging, Mr. Hamilton began searching in Towns County for a location large enough to house the plants from his gardens. The perfect spot was found on property donated by the Tennessee Valley Authority to Towns County to be used by the county as a park. The present location is what became known as Hamilton Gardens, and was planted in 1981 with an initial 1,091 plants, most of which were rhododendrons and native azaleas. His only request was to maintain the gardens in perpetuity and to keep them open to the public.
The Celebration Plaza at Hamilton Gardens is the perfect spot to recognize special people in our lives. Located in front of the Paris Pavilion, the Plaza is easily accessible and enhances the gardens property. It provides a unique opportunity to support the gardens by offering these beautiful stones for custom engraving through our donation program. Having a stone engraved in the Celebration Plaza is a beautiful way to honor or remember family, friends and loved ones in perpetuity.
The Daffodil Project
The Daffodil Project is an international project which aspires to honor and remember the 1.5 million children who were murdered in the Holocaust. Hamilton Gardens is a part of this project and has planted 600 special daffodil bulbs in the Memorial Garden. The Dedication ceremony was held in the Spring of 2018.
Ever thought about becoming a volunteer at a public garden, but weren’t sure this was for you?
Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge is calling all who might have an interest in being a part of the restoration and preservation of this historic garden in Hiawassee.
We need Garden Volunteers who love to dig in the dirt, pull weeds, weed-whack, get dirty, and engage in the true ‘ground work’ of maintaining a garden. And you do not have to have to be a horticulturist, a Master Gardner, or have any special skills to join this special team. We also value those have carpentry, electrical or plumbing skills as well as general maintenance.
You will need to attend a garden orientation, and complete the Liability Waiver. Garden Orientations are held the first Friday of each month at 9:00 am; register via the garden phone, (706) 970-0011. Scheduled workdays are year-round every first and third Friday, beginning at 9:00 am (summer) and 10:00 am (winter). Work as long as you choose. After your orientation, you may work in the Gardens anytime, on your own schedule. There is always a list of chores to be done! Contact us at 706 970-0011.
And for those of you who don’t want to be’ hands on’ in the Gardens, but want to be engaged, we offer Administrative Support Volunteers. Do you have skills and interests in website management, Facebook, newsletters, advertising, marketing, event planning, food prep, helping at concerts or events, tour guides for groups, and the very important task of fundraising?? There is no shortage of non-gardening tasks that play an important role in the continuing success of Hamilton Gardens. Get involved. 706 970-0011.
Linda & Gordy Jones
Rotary Club of Lake Chatuge