The Garden Club of Savannah's NOGS Tour of Hidden Gardens, set for April 19 and 20, has made a change this year.

In the past, NOGS stood for North of Gaston Street. This year, NOGS stands for North of Gwinnett Street, and the tour includes the southernmost part of the Historic District.

"This is our 38th tour," said Betsey Smith of the Garden Club of Savannah. "On both days, from 2 to 4 p.m., we'll have our Southern tea at the Green-Meldrim House.

"We'll have tea, sweets and savories. The garden club ladies have done all the florals."

The tour features nine gardens, including the Massie Heritage Center garden and eight private ones.

"One is owned by Kenny Davis, a Hollywood designer," Smith said.

"He has homes in California and Palm Beach. He designs movie and television sets and celebrity homes. His garden will be special."

The Massie Heritage Center, for its part, has gardens that are planted and maintained by the Garden Club of Savannah.

"At the Massie, we will have a display by Becky Frame, who owns Local Color in Sandfly and does floral paintings," Smith says. "She has gone to each garden on the tour, painting pictures and making note cards that people can buy."

All proceeds go to charity.

"The whole point of our tour is we want the proceeds all going to charities and local civic organizations like the Ronald McDonald House, the gardens at the Massie Heritage Center, the Savannah Tree Foundation, Oatland Island and the Coastal Heritage Society's Savannah Children's Museum," Smith said.

Tickets can be bought in advance online at or on the day of the tour at the Green-Meldrim House, located at 14 W. Macon St.; Old Town Trolley Tours locations; Local Color, 7360 Skidaway Rd.; the Savannah Visitors Center, 301 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.; Hilton Savannah De Soto, 15 E. Liberty St.; and Sherry's Designer Furniture and Fabric Outlet, 541 E. Liberty St.

As a bonus, the Harper Fowlkes House is offering half-price general admission to NOGS ticketholders. Go to for information.

The Massie Heritage Center also is offering half-off general admission to NOGS ticketholders.

For information, go to

The first garden tour took place in 1975.

"We used to have a Christmas tour," Smith said. "The garden tour started very small with four gardens, and the Garden Club members drove guests around.

"From that, it grew and grew. Every year, we try to improve it and make it different. This is the second year at the Green-Meldrim."

Private gardens are selected for excellence of design, historical interest and beauty.

"We try to come up with totally different gardens and try to get different styles," Smith said. "We never repeat any gardwen in five years."

People come from all over the country, Smith said.

"The NOGS Tour is nationally known," she said. "We advertise in different magazines and gardening publications. People come from every state and some from Canada and Europe. It's a beautiful time of year here."


What: Garden Club of Savannah's NOGS Tour of Hidden Gardens

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., April l9 and 20

Where: Nine gardens in the historic district

Cost: $40 or $35 each for groups of 10 or more

Info: gardenclub