Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens 2017


Posted by Barb B | Posted in Community Projects

2017 Stewardship Garden at Hamilton Gardens by Cathy Haist

Beginning – 2016 - 

Now the amazing progress in July 2017:  


February 2016 update on Hamilton Gardens in Hiawassee.  This has been a project for TUMGA for approximately five years and we have members of our group on the new board.  Please check back for the next report on this wonderful garden in the near future.

Pictures to make you want to visit the gardens now – May 2016

This is a copy of the press release from the week of February 18, 2016:


Last week, Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, Inc. and the Georgia Mountain Authority officially turned over the operation and management of Hamilton Gardens, effective immediately, to Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge, Inc., (HGLC) a duly authorized nonprofit corporation. And so a new beginning is taking place as the HGLC, Inc. Board of Directors look to a future for the gardens that brings new ideas, energy, and excitement, while supporting the long standing primary mission to preserve and restore the gardens.

Fred Hamilton donated his collection of rhododendrons to Towns County beginning in 1982, with the understanding they would be cared for and preserved in perpetuity. The gardens have been an important attraction in our community for a very long time, and are indeed old treasures which have been under the care of the Towns County Lions Club, and GMF, Inc. These two groups have spent countless volunteer hours over the years, working in support of the Gardens.

The new caretaker, HGLC, Inc. will be able to raise money through grants and private sources to begin a series of carefully planned initiatives to take this garden to the forefront of Georgia gardens, which are an increasingly important family attraction, and source of education and revenue throughout the state. Hamilton Gardens house one of the largest and most diverse collections of rhododendrons in the southeast. The first task will be to ‘spruce up’ the gardens in preparation for the blooming season, which runs typically from mid April through mid May. While there will be no rhododendron ‘festival’ this year, there will be a plant sale of rhododendrons and azaleas on  weekends during the bloom season. There will be no ticket charge this year, but donations are strongly encouraged and appreciated. Towns County residents will always be admitted ‘free of charge.’

The HGLC, Inc. Board of Directors is comprised of Grace Howard, Doug Canup, Martha Cunningham, Teresa Stephens, Marsha Elliott, Anne Mitchell, Joan Crothers, and Noel Turner. It is the belief of this Board that a garden needs many things to support it, the three most important being money, skilled labor, and passion. We have the passion and will work hard to obtain the other two.

The website, www.fredhamiltongardens.org, and the Face Book page will be getting a facelift as part of the new beginnings. For more information contact us at HGLC, Inc. PO Box 973, Hiawassee, Ga. 30546. Stay tuned!


Comments are closed.