Thomas Jefferson, co-author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States, had a love of gardening.

“No occupation is so delightful to me as the culture of the Earth, and no culture comparable to that of the garden,” he said.

His view fits well with that of the Cherokee Garden Club, which has scheduled its first garden tour in more than a decade, set for May 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Claire Schwahn, the club’s president, said because the Cherokee Garden Club is a member of the Garden Club of America, it opens the gardens of its members for tours, but they are not done on a regular or annual basis.

This year’s tour includes five homes in Buckhead the club has selected based on each one’s beautiful gardens and landscaping.

Maggie Staton, who is co-chairing the tour with Blair Robbins and Jane Douglas Reynolds, said it is a fundraiser for the club’s community fund. A portion of the tour proceeds will be used to restore, educate and conserve the environment.

At each of the home sites, club members will be available to escort visitors through the gardens, describe the makeup of the garden and answer questions.

“During the tour, people will be allowed to tour the gardens and other landscaped areas around the homes,” Staton said.

The tour includes two homes designed by famed architect Philip Shutze, one built in 1926 and two others built more recently. Reynolds said the club wanted to open these gardens that were built and/or cultivated by its members.

“We want people to see these beautiful gardens up close, (ones) that many people do not get to see or experience,” she said.

Robbins said she hopes the attendees will enjoy seeing these gardens, developed over the years by some of the top landscape architects in Atlanta.

“There are some historic gardens on the tour as well as gardens just a decade or so old, so the tour will include a wide variety of gardens,” she said.

“However, all of the gardens on the tour are of top quality and will be at the height of their beauty.”

A complete list of the homes on the tour and their garden and landscaping amenities can be found on the club’s website. Tickets for the tour are $75 each and can be purchased online at www.cherokeegardenclub.com or at any of the homes on the tour.

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