Welcome to VisitRoswellGA, a monthly newsletter highlighting the great things happening in the city of Roswell with its Modern Spirit and Southern Soul. Roswell is an oasis of Southern hospitality full of local events, attractions, festivals, restaurants and more. For information regarding leisure activities and tourism in Roswell or the Roswell Visitors Center please visit www.VisitRoswellGA.com

  I n this Edition...

Roswell Azalea Festival / Barrington Hall Gardens / Roswell Wows Journalists  / Vintage Computer Festival / St. Patrick's Day with Mac McGee's / Chattahoochee Nature Center Spring Native Plant Sale /  Chattahoochee Nature Center Free Giveaway /  Roswell Beer Festival / Bulloch Quilt Show / Smith Plantation Easter Egg Hunt / Crazy Love Happenings / Bulloch Hall Gardens / Calendar of Events

The fourth annual Roswell Azalea Festival will kick off April 1 in celebration of the burst of spring.  To see a variety of wilder, deciduous azaleas, including Chinese and Japanese types, plan a hike or stroll along the Leita Thompson Memorial Park Trail. If you are a runner, the Choate Construction "Run the River" 5K, 10K, Walk and Fun Run is a great event for you on April 14. All ages, strollers and pets are welcomed participants in this event that benefits HomeStretch's mission of providing housing, education and hope to homeless families. 

Enjoy the Azalea Pops Music Series, a series of outdoor band concerts at the Southern Trilogy Historic House Museums. Bring a lawn chair and picnic to these free events on the following dates:
Barrington Hall: Sunday, April 15
Bulloch Hall: Sunday, April 22
Smith Plantation: Sunday, April 29

Plant sales, art exhibitions, musical performances, A Garden Faire, craft breweries, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Farmers & Artisans Market, Receptions, Azalea Festival Gala, a Vintage Computer Festival, and so much more fill the calendar during the Roswell Azalea Festival. For a more complete list and additional info, click here

Roswell's Southern Trilogy Historic House Museums are fascinating to tour and uniquely different in the stories they tell. Below we interview staff at Barrington Hall about their extensive gardens.
535 Barrington Drive - 770-640-3855

Would you name the flowers, trees and shrubs that are blooming in the gardens in March?
Depending on the weather, you are likely to see daffodils in flower.  Winter Honeysuckle, Lonicera Fragrantissima, may still be in flower with its lovely fragrance. Wisteria, Spirea "Bridal Wreath", Forsythia, Flowering Almond, Flowering Quince and Pansies in the East Garden should be in bloom. Camellia Japonica "Pink Perfection" in the West Garden may still have flowers.

Do any of the plants or trees date back to the original house?
Some of the oaks in the front may date that far back, some are 200+ years old. Most of the other plants have been replaced over the years. Very few live 175 years. Most of boxwoods in the formal garden were here. We restored the garden to the original appearance in 2008 and moved boxwoods, and had to purchase a few. We did use the same variety. Using the original plans for the garden we replaced some of the missing elements, such as the English Dogwood hedge on the north side.

If these plants or trees do not date back to the original house, why were these specific plants chosen?
All of the plants we have installed were documented in the original plan, or were mentioned in letters, remembrances, etc. from family and visitors from 1840s to 1970s. Barrington King's only daughter, Eva Baker, was an avid gardener. We are fortunate to have some of her seed catalogues, with her notes. We have also used historic varieties instead of modern hybrids. Even our vegetable garden uses heirloom varieties.

Has there ever been a conversation about changing the design or the plants?
We may add more historic varieties as research uncovers them, but there is no plan to introduce modern plantings.

What are some of the main features of the gardens?
The boxwood garden dates to the 1840s and is the only pre-Civil War garden in Atlanta open to the public. The garden tour is free of charge. There is an urn in the garden that we know to have been moved here from Holly Hill in 1850. The west garden has a collection of antique roses which showcases Eva Baker as a passionate rosarian. We also have an operating well where we allow school children to draw water. That is a sight to behold! We have a hydrangea that the family says was planted by Barrington King, and another that can be seen in photos dating back to 1915.

What do these gardens symbolize to the house?
The Barrington Hall Gardens are a living link to the family that lived here for over 150 years. They also illustrate the value that the family placed on the landscape, and contributions each generation made to it.
Janet Rigsby (left), Barrington Hall Assistant Horticulturist

How are these gardens continuing to be maintained throughout the years?
We have a very dedicated group of garden volunteers who do most of the work. They are vital to the upkeep and maintenance of the design. They use an all organic approach, trying to stay as true to the 19th century methods as possible. They are guided by our staff horticulturist, Helen Wenham. Most of the restoration has been funded by Historic Landscape Grants through the Garden Club of Georgia.

Are there any future plans to add more elements to the garden?
We are planning to add some native varieties, mostly azaleas, to the front of the lawn area in some beds that already exist. We are also in the middle of a tree planning program. So when the 200 year old oaks die, there is a stand of at least 30 year old oaks to take their place. We are also looking at adding some pecan trees in the back yard as our 70 year old pecan ages. As much as possible, the trees are being augmented by trees of the same variety.

As Roswell tourism revenue increased at a rapid pace last year, some of this success can be attributed to the national stories from travel journalists. These journalists experienced firsthand what Roswell has to offer through (FAM) familiarization tours that focus on Roswell landmarks and tourist attractions. After the tour, the journ alists write about their experience of Roswell through stories, articles, radio, TV, podcast and social media.
The Executive Producer/Co-Host for SoCal Restaurant Show radio station in Southern California, Andy Harris, was among one of the six distinguished journalists from the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA) to visit the Roswell Wine Festival in October. Harris was wowed by Table & Main restaurant while having a cozy Southern dinner. Harris explained his experience this way, "Diners enjoy equality dishes evocative of the South and home-style cooking like Chef Woody Back's famous fried chicken that some patrons argue rivals grandma's recipe." Click  here to  continue reading the Andy Harris article and listen to his podcast about Table & Main with founder, Ryan Pernice.
IFWTWA Journalists enjoying dinner at Table & Main.
(L-R) Christine Tibbetts, Amelia Old, Mary Lansing, restaurant owner Ryan Pernice, Andy Harris, Tom Plant and Betsi Hill
Monument dedicated to Lost Women of Roswell.  Photo Credit: BetsiWorld.com
Betsi Hill is a travel blogger, founder and creative editor of Betsi's World. She visited Roswell, GA in the fall on a weekend getaway . Her story included information about Old Mill Park and commented on the visionar y Roswell King family. Betsi included information about historical stories that surround Roswell Historic House Museums and also discussion of  the monument dedicated to the Lost Women of Roswell. She continued her Roswell Getaway with a trip to the Chattahoochee Nature Center Unity Garden, which grows healthy produce and donates to Fulton Community Charities Food Pantry. She gave great insight on what to pack for a 3-day Getaway to Roswell with details on clothing, cosmetics, shoes, miscellaneous, accessories, and electronics. Betsi was able to capture the beauty of Roswell that Cherokee Natives called the Enchanted Land.

For more stories by travel journalists, click here

Computer Museum of America and the Vintage Computer Festival 6.0
Over the past several years, the Computer Museum of America (CMoA) -- home to one of the world's largest collection of iconic computers -- has been open for private shows and events as Pop-Up exhibits, a museum term for displays of a temporary nature. The location served as a "test kitchen" for feedback, input and response from visitors as plans continued to develop the museum's ultimate design and location.

The Museum is in a new home at Roswell Town Center  - 5000 Commerce Parkway with a new corporate tagline:  Innovation Past Forward, we are preserving the past and inspiring the future.

Computer Museum of America will host the Vintage Computer Festival 6.0.
This unique event features speakers, exhibits, activities, consignments and vendors. Open to computer geeks, hobbyists, IT professionals, makers, future inventors, families and interested children, curious onlookers and more.

April 21 - 10:00 am - 7:00 pm
April 22 - 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Admission: $10, $15 for 2 day pass. College Students $5 with ID, 17 and under FREE.

Celebrate Saint Patrick's Day with Mac McGee!

On Saturday, March 17, two great "happenings" will be recognized: Mac McGee's 5th Anniversary and their celebration of it and Saint Patrick's Day. They will present the Third Annual MacFestivus & 1/2K Road Race around the Heart of Roswell Park, 936 Canton Street.

ShamROCK in the Park will include food & beer trucks, family-friendly activities, Irish dancers & more! Plus, there is a full schedule of live bands. Bring your friends & family and help kick off St. Paddy's Day! There is no charge for the race registration or the entertainment.

Beginning at 1pm, here is the  schedule of bands:

* Howlin' 1 pm - 3 pm
* The Good Hand 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
* The David Wright Band 6 - 8 pm
* Hudson Dockett 9 pm - midnight

These events are sponsored by Guinness.

Parking will be limited after 12pm. Guests are encouraged to park across the street at City Hall. For more information, check the  website.

Chattahoochee Nature Center: Spring Native Plant Sale 2018

Every year the Chattahoochee Nature Center has a celebration of the native natural life of the area. Native Plants are easy to care for, once they are established. Using less water, they do not need potentially harmful chemical additives, and make our grounds beautiful. The sale begins March 29 from 4-7 pm for members and on March 30-31 & April 6-7 10 am - 5 pm for non-members.

On sale you will find:
  • Blooming native azaleas, trees and shrubs
  • Wide selection of woodland plants and spring ephemerals
  • Butterfly host and sensory garden plants
  • Unusual native perennials
Also, there will be a wide selection of herbs and vegetables for the edible garden. For more information, visit www.chattnaturecenter.org.

Chattahoochee Nature Center is the oldest and largest private non-profit natural science learning center in the Southeast, encompassing 50 species of native wildlife and 127 acres of native plants and gardens. Hike woodland trails and stroll river boardwalks as you enjoy the beauty of the natural world. The Center is located at 9135 Willeo Road and open from 10 am - 5 pm Monday - Saturday and noon - 5 pm on Sunday.
The drawing will be held at the end of March.
Mark Your Calendars NOW -
Roswell Beer Festival

Last issue we wrote about the Roswell Beer Festival, but just in case you forgot to mark your calendar - do so now!  Enjoy an afternoon of beer tasting, local food and live music under 200 year old oak trees at the Historic Town Square, at 610 Atlanta Street in Roswell. The event is Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 2 pm - 6 pm. VIP ticket-holders can enter at 1pm. The event closes at 6pm sharp. This great event placed second in the Best Beer Festival in Georgia category and tickets go quickly - order today.

Sample of art quilts created to honor Rocky Mountain National Park: Barbara Hollinger's landscape, Nancy Evans's Aspen, and Catherine Kane's mountain lion.

Bulloch Hall Quilt Guild is hosting a special exhibit of quilted art which represents the 59 designated National Parks in the United States.  There are 177 pieces in the collection. Each National Park is represented by 3 originally designed quilted illustrations - one landscape measures 20" X 40" (some are vertical and some are horizontal) and two 20" square pieces feature the flora and fauna unique to the represented park. We feel this exhibit is especially unique because of the historical connection with the home. 

Bulloch Hall is the childhood home of Mittie Bulloch, mother of President Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore was instrumental in the creation of the U.S. National Parks.  Donna DeSoto's book has been published about this collection, and you can gain more information about the project at  www.npscentennialquilts.com

Parking is at Roswell City Hall.
Spend the morning finding candy-filled treasures on the grounds of this historic home. Children should bring their own baskets. Photos with the Easter Bunny will be available. 

Crazy Love Holds First Cupping!
March 3 at 6 pm
1088 Canton Street

What is a cupping? 
It is the perfect opportunity to sample and learn more about the delicious coffees served at Crazy Love. In addition to the coffees, they will be serving mini waffles, apple slices, and chocolate to pair with each type of coffee to bring out its unique flavor notes.

Irish Cooking Seminar
March 8
Join Crazy Love and Judith McLoughlin for this special event.  
The fee of $40 per person includes one Irish-influenced three-course meal.

For more information on these events or to sign up, visit  www.crazylove.coffee or call  770-545-8228.

Bulloch Hall Gardens Abound in the Spring

The gardens at Bulloch Hall, the childhood home of Mittie Bulloch who was the mother of President Theodore Roosevelt, is a walk in gardening history and beauty.
Theodore Roosevelt
Cabbage Rose
Not to miss in the tour is the antique rose, Duchesse de Brabant (1857). This cabbage rose was a favorite of President Roosevelt who often wore it as a boutonniere.

Mittie's Garden, named for the President's mother, features a variety of herbs, historic perennial shrub and tree plantings.  Daffodils, Camellias, Tea Olive, Winter Jasmine, Cut-Leaf Lilac, Boxwood, Forsythia, Eastern Red Cedar, and native azaleas will be blooming in March.
Orchard Hill
A historic daffodil, Telamonius Plenus, which is listed with an earliest date of 1620, is located in several open and wooded areas of the property. This daffodil has been entered into the Georgia Daffodil Society Show in the historic category.  

In more recent years, Camellia Japonica 'Pink Perfection, Camellia Japonica 'Professor Sargent', Cut-Leaf Lilac have been planted on the grounds because these varieties would have been found growing in Southern antebellum gardens.
Mittie's Garden

There are deciduous azaleas and a scuppernong arbor located on Orchard Hill.

The house foundation does not have any plantings other  than a jasmine groundcover and the antique rose. The lack of foundation plantings is accurate according to Bulloch Hall's original building plans from 1839. 

Foundation plantings were not written about and designed until the late 19th century. 
The North Fulton County Master Gardeners and various service community professions as well as contracted vendors and horticulturists continually maintain these immaculate gardens throughout the years.

Mark Your Calendar - March 2018

This month our calendar has so many wonderful events. For your convenience, we are providing the link below to assist you in planning your fun-filled time in Roswell.

Click here for the calendar of events.

Personalize Your Visit 
Roswell, GA is all about Southern hospitality. We would love for you to meet the wonderful people at the Visit Roswell CVB and Visitors Center.

Stop by when you get a chance, and they will help you fall in love with Roswell.
For questions on what Roswell has to offer, please feel free to contact the Visitors Center. 

Roswell Visitors Center
617 Atlanta Street, Roswell, GA 30075
770-640-3253 or 800-776-7935