The Boxwood Garden above and Memorial Quarry Garden below are just two of several on display at the Atlanta History Center for National Garden Day.

Spring has sprung in the city, and there’s no better way to celebrate than spending an afternoon outside. For National Public Gardens Day on May 12, the Atlanta History Center offers free admission and tours of its six historic gardens—Mary Howard Gilbert Memorial Quarry Garden, Goizueta Gardens, Smith Family Farms, Swan House Gardens and Cherokee Garden Library—that span 33 acres and represent different times in Georgia’s history.

The Mary Howard Gilbert Memorial Quarry Garden, for instance, showcases the state’s plant species native to pre-settlement Georgia, while the Smith Family Farms grows produce and other plants from the 1860s. The Library documents the region’s horticultural and botanical history with more than 32,000 rare books, photographs, drawings and seed catalogs. “We love the idea of National Public Gardens Day bringing attention to lesser-known gardens such as ours. We are excited to participate, and especially invite Atlantans, who have never experienced our 33 beautiful acres in the heart of Buckhead, to visit,” says Sarah Roberts, director of Goizueta Gardens and Living Collections. National Public Gardens Day was founded in 2008 by Rain Bird and the American Public Gardens Association to bring exposure to local gardens and their role in the community. The nationwide event hopes to inspire all who visit. – Caroline Eubanks

May 12; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Free for gardens
Atlanta History Center
130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W.
Atlanta 30305