Lockerly Newsletter April 2017

From the Director
As many of you know, I am not a horticulturalist.  I love plants and digging in the dirt, but if you were to ask me a remotely technical question about plants, I would likely give you a blank stare. 

In an effort to educate myself on horticulture, public gardens, etc, I recently took a trip to Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve in Spartanburg, SC. (If you have never visited this little gem, it is certainly worth the day trip!)  I was able to spend most of the day with their Executive Director and Horticulture Director learning about their operations and programs. 

While I came away from my Hatcher visit with ideas for Lockerly, the trip also served to further solidify exactly how proud I am of Lockerly Arboretum, our collection, our staff and our volunteers.  We accomplish an awful lot, with not a lot of resources and you are all to be commended for your continued support!

As the board and staff move forward in the Strategic Planning Process, I'm filled with excitement and optimism for Lockerly's bright future!  Everyone who has participated in a program, volunteered at Lockerly or simply enjoyed our grounds occasionally has helped position the organization for a successful future and I can't thank you enough! 

Here's to you!!!

Jennifer Pollard
Executive Director
Are you a Friend of Lockerly?
If not, become one today! Go to to print a membership form and show your support for the Arboretum, or call (478.452.2112)
to request an application.
Lockerly is a member of the American Public Gardens Association which means a Lockerly membership entitles YOU to discounts at other public gardens, including FREE admission to the Atlanta Botanical Garden if you live more than 90 miles away. 
Go to
to find a listing of participating gardens.

We currently have 188 paid " Friends of Lockerly".  Members who joined for the first time or renewed  memberships during March include:

Col. & Mrs. John Alton
Ms. Debbie Beck
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Cato
Mr. and Mrs. David Dyer, Jr.
Mr. Ryan Goldsby
Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Hersey
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hodge
Mrs. Betty Ivey
Ms. Sarah Johnson
Dr. and Mrs. Alan Jones
Ms. Joyce Pennington Kelly
Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Labat
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Mangum
Mr. and Mrs. Walker McKnight
Dr. and Mrs. Charles McQuaig
Mrs. Cecile Morrison
Mr. Jeff Rutel
Mrs. Donna Shaw
Mr. and Mrs. Herman Smith
Ms. Annette Strohbehn
Mrs. Peggy White
Dr. Elizabeth Youngblood

Thank you to ALL Friends of Lockerly!

Plant Sale April 6, 7 & 8

April 6: Members Only Sale, 2pm - 6pm
April 7: Open to the Public, 9am - 6pm
April 8: Open to the Public, 9am - 3pm
Here is your preview of what will be available for sale: 
Don't Forget:  
  • We can still use volunteers if you have a few hours free!
  • Members shop EXCLUSIVELY on April 6!
We look forward to seeing you!!

Invest in Rose Hill's Heritage & Future NOW
If you haven't visited Rose Hill recently, please plan to stop by soon!  Thanks to our Invest in Rose Hill's Heritage & Future drive we've been able to
  • repair the plaster problem and paint the Sibley bedroom,
  • paint both parlors and the central hallways and do some much needed cleaning. 

Custom-made window treatments for these rooms have been commissioned, chairs are being reupholstered and a ca. 1840 game table is being restored.

Please join us in preserving Lockerly's beautiful 1852 treasure for future generations.
To learn more about this project go to . Donations may be made online or checks, made payable to Lockerly Arboretum & marked for Rose Hill's Heritage, may be sent to:
Lockerly Arboretum                                                  
P.O. Box 310
Millegeville, GA  31059
YOUR support is needed and appreciated!
Anela Kolone Foundation (Suzanne Engel)
Community Foundation of Central Georgia
Gerald Grimes Plumbing
Ed Hall
William R. Harper
Joe & Nancy Hodge
Alan & Sherrill Jones
Milledgeville Garden Club
Milledgeville Garden Club Council
Milledgeville Town Committee of Colonial Dames
Gail Tucker Murphy
Bill & Dede Reoch
Douglas & Kyle Rick
William Sherrill Chapter, Colonial Dames 17th Century
Frank & Ann Vinson
Russ & Anne Walden
Watson-Brown Foundation
Ed Wolpert
Robert Wood

Did You Know???

Lockerly Arboretum founder, Mr. E.J. Grassmann, was a businessman from New Jersey.  He was in the kaolin industry and his clay operation in Dry Branch, GA included a guest house surrounded by a huge assortment of camellias, magnolias, hollies and stately hardwood trees that he personally selected.   Mr. Grassmann loved plants and trees and was intrigued by unusual plants he saw while traveling the world.
Knowing that strong storms raced through Middle Georgia from time to time, he always checked after a storm to make sure that the employees were okay, the kaolin plant was okay and that his beloved trees and camellias were okay.  After any storm, employees from the clay mine would check on Mr. Grassmann's trees and shrubs, and stake any that were leaning, because they knew how much he loved them. 
Many of the camellias grown at Lockerly are from the same vintage as those Mr. Grassmann planted at the guest house in Dry Branch.  Later this year, we will undertake a project to propagate camellias from the Guest House in Dry Branch GA and grow them for our collection at the Arboretum.     
Purple: Not Just for Flowers!

By Deborah Foster, Horticulture Director

Purple flowers in the garden can be a real delight, but magnificent floral displays aren't the only way to introduce splashes of color in the landscape. Rich purple and dark burgundy foliage can give the garden a royal feel and excitement without any flowers at all. Plants with purple leaves make wonderful backdrops and contrast beautifully with yellow, chartreuse, white and pale pink flowers and foliage. There are plenty of options available to us that provide that lush purple color in the form of annuals, herbs, perennials, shrubs and trees.
Annuals, herbs and perennials can carpet the ground with shades of burgundy, maroon and purple so dark it looks almost black. Setcreasea pallida 'Purple Heart' and Ipomea 'Blackie' are low growing, trailing annuals grown for their colorful leaves. Persian shield and coleus are taller annuals that are not only purple but are variegated with shades of pink, yellow, green, silver and or red. For a unique cascading grass-like habit try Cordyline 'Design-a-Line'. If you are looking for a plant that is edible or fragrant give basil a whirl. 'Purple Ruffles' or 'Red Rubin' basil will add rich, almost black pops of color to the landscape that will satisfy the eye, nose and taste buds. 'New Zealand Purple' castor bean is a woody annual that grows four to ten feet tall and looks like a small exotic, tropical tree.
If you have a shady spot that needs some color, use Bugbane, Actaea simplex 'Hillside Black Beauty' or 'James Compton'. The young leaves resemble astilbe and start out green but quickly darken to purple-black if planted in the sun. Fragrant white flower spikes emerge in late summer. Another shade lover with purple or dark burgundy leaves are Heuchera 'Midnight Rose ' and 'Grape Expectation'. Both of these will be available at the Lockerly plant sale on April 6th - 8th.
If you are looking for succulents try Sedum 'Black Jet' or 'Purple Emperor'. Another possibility for your xeric garden is Yucca desmetiana 'Blue Boy'. The arching leaves are green with purplish highlights in summer, turning more red in winter temperatures (hardy to 15 degrees). Colocasia, known as Elephant Ear, is an excellent choice for a moist location. They typically have large, flat tropical looking leaves but actually come in many different sizes and colors. 'Black Coral' has a solid dark purple leaf and 'Black Beauty' has a purple-black leaf with bright green edges.
Black Lace Elderberry has intense purple black foliage that is finely cut. Creamy pink flowers in spring contrast nicely with the dark leaves. The blooms are followed by blackish red fall berries which can be harvested for making elderberry wine or jam, or left on the plant to attract birds and other wildlife. Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker', commonly referred to as Hairy Loosestrife is a native species that boasts purple leaves with bright yellow flowers. It can grow in aggressive patches so it is best placed in a perennial border where it has space to grow. Penstemon can also be used for naturalizing. The foliage of Penstemon 'Dark Towers' emerges wine purple and holds this color through the heat of summer. This cultivar is a little taller than other penstemon and has pink rather than white flowers. Eupatorium rugosum 'Chocolate' is another option for the native plant lover.
Many of the burgundy and purple leaf shrub options are actually very familiar and commonly found all over town. Loropetalum, also known as Chinese fringe flower, is an evergreen shrub that is very drought tolerant. The leaves vary from bronze to burgundy to reddish purple depending on the cultivar and time of year. Dwarf varieties are available, some with leaves that are very dark purple. Berberis thunbergii 'Crimson Pigmy' is a small deciduous shrub with slender, spiny, branches and small deep red to purple leaves. 'Rose Glow' is a larger barberry that reaches six feet. The new growth is rose-pink mottled with deeper red-purple splotches. The older leaves mature to a deep reddish purple.
Japanese maples are usually the first trees that come to mind when searching for maroon, burgundy or purple leaf color. Some other options are the 'Forest Pansy' redbud with its heart shaped leaves and hot pink flowers early in the spring before the branches leaf out. Prunus cerasifera 'Thundercloud' is a purple leaf plum with dark purple foliage and pink cherry-like blossoms. Cotinus x 'Grace' or 'Royal Purple' can be considered a large shrub or small tree. Smoke bush has big feathery plumes that look like smoke from a distance and large, rounded leaves. The foliage is vibrant wine-red when young, darkening to plum-red at maturity. Expect brilliant shades of orange-red in the fall. At the plant sale, we will offer another small tree with interesting color and texture, Corylus avellana 'Red Dragon', aka
Red Dragon Contorted Filburt
Harry Lauders Walking Stick. Red Dragon has twisting, curly stems, rich dark burgundy-purple leaves, and burgundy colored catkins (male flowers). This very unique tree reaches eight feet tall and 5 feet wide.
Red Dragon Contorted Filburt
Many of the plants featured in this article will be available at the Lockerly Arboretum Spring Plant Sale on April 6th - 8th. For a complete list of available plants go to For more information please call 478-452-2112.

We appreciate our sponsors and supporters.

Lockerly Arboretum  1534 Irwinton Road, Milledgeville, GA   478.452.2112  
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