The Golden Isles has long been a sanctuary for creators. This little slice of coastline is filled with musicians and artists, all drawn to the natural beauty of the region.
Like their crafty brethren, gardeners too have felt the lure, inspired to till the soil to bring their visions to life. It’s a desire that members of the Cassina Garden Club share. The organization, founded in 1928, joins women under the charge of nurturing growing things. In addition to their longtime sisterhood, the ladies also have made a point to preserve history, namely the tabby cabins at Gascoigne Bluff. Formerly homes of the slaves at Hamilton Plantation, the structures are believed to have been built in the 1830s.
The group has respectfully held the deed to the cabins since 1950, ensuring that they be preserved for future generations. The club spearheaded an extensive renovation project a few years back, even winning the award for “Excellence in Restoration of the Hamilton Plantation Tabby Slave Cabins” from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. The honor recognizes those who have managed to recapture the features and character of a historic structure as it appeared in its original time period.
Of course, the project and continued maintenance comes with a steep price tag. So the ladies decided to host an annual, garden-centric fundraiser to help offset those costs.
The Tabby and Tillandsia Garden Walk and Market began 14 years ago and continues today, highlighting lovely landscapes of St. Simons Island. This year, the organizing committee has selected eight stunning locations for participants to visit.
The tour, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 25, will include stops in Frederica Township, Black Banks, the Island Club, and Sea Palms West. Attendees are also invited to swing by Demere Park to check out the butterfly garden there, which is operated by another local organization, the Live Oaks Garden Club.
A marketplace, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the cabins, 1195 Arthur J. Moore Drive, St. Simons Island.
It will feature items from local artisans and vendors, as well as food trucks, a plein air artists’ sale, and tours of the cabins.
Jane Bangert, this year’s event chair, says each location will serve as inspiration for tour-goers.
“There are so many vignettes and vistas that will inspire. One is almost a formal garden. There is one that’s a very Southern garden. There’s one that is like an English garden,” she said.
“There are some (gardens) with planters where people can take home ideas. I think a lot of people are more successful here with container gardening because of the soil here.”
Tickets to the Garden Walk may be purchased for $45 online at cassinagardenclub.org. They will be available at tabby cabins on the day of the tour as well.