Embracing the New Perennial Movement in the South – Sarah Carter -161Craig McManus
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Embracing the New Perennial Movement in the South - Sarah Carter -161

Sarah Carter and her team have brought the New Perennial Movement to the south on a large scale. The new Entrance Garden’s large sweeps of grasses, perennials, native plants presented in a naturalistic style welcomes you to the Atlanta History Center.

The garden has settled in and in this episode Sarah explains the

details that makes it successful.

It is a creation perfect for insects, small mammals, birds and



Sarah Roberts is the Olga C. de Goizueta Vice President of the

Goizueta Gardens and Living Collections at the Atlanta History Center

A college internship in curation at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University sparked

Sarah’s career path in public horticulture.

During her undergraduate studies at Berry College, she spent a year on scholarship

in the United Kingdom studying historic gardens as part of her honors degree in


The next five years were spent as Curator of Herbaceous Plants

and Outdoor Gardens at the New York Botanical


She then returned to England, completing a Diploma in Garden

Design from the UK’s Garden

Design School.

Upon Sarah’s return to the US, she began consulting for the

Atlanta History Center which led to her current position as Vice President of

Goizueta Gardens.

She leads the development, curation and preservation of the

33-acre public garden with three historic houses.

Sarah has written for numerous publications, been featured on

Martha Stewart Radio, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, GardenSmart TV series

and the podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class.


This episode of The Garden Question Podcast features Sarah Carter discussing the introduction of the new perennial movement to the Atlanta History Center.

With a focus on large sweeps of grasses, perennials, and native plants presented in a naturalistic style, this movement aims to create environments beneficial for insects, small mammals, birds, and people alike.

Sarah Carter, holding a position at the Atlanta History Center, shares insights from her journey in public horticulture, from internships and studies in the United Kingdom to her influential roles in New York and Atlanta. Through detailed exploration of soil preparation, plant selection, and garden design, the podcast provides valuable knowledge for gardeners looking to embrace sustainable, low-maintenance, and biodiverse landscapes.

00:00 Welcome to The Garden Question Podcast
00:42 Spotlight on Sarah Carter: Revolutionizing Southern Gardens
02:36 The New Perennial Movement: A Deep Dive
05:03 Designing with Nature: The Art of the New Perennial Garden
11:33 Innovative Soil and Maintenance Strategies for Sustainable Gardening
13:56 Structural Beauty: Crafting Aesthetic and Functional Spaces
23:40 The Maintenance Philosophy of New Perennial Gardens
31:16 Revolutionizing Soil with Biomass: A Garden Experiment
32:29 From Dying Tree to Community Table: A Story of Tree Cycling
34:02 Exploring the Atlanta History Center's Gardens
42:05 Gardening Insights: From Design Principles to Pest Management
44:33 Personal Gardening Journey: Lessons and Memories
51:44 Embracing the New Perennial Movement: A Gardener's Vision
55:42 Final Thoughts: The Joy of Gardening and Environmental Stewardship