The Cherokee Garden is located in Cobb County, Georgia (Northwest of Atlanta). The garden is an educational garden highlighting the culturally significant plants that the Cherokee used before the Forced Removal in 1838. This was an exciting day for everyone involved. We have been working on this project for almost three years. The Cherokee Garden would have never been established with the countless hours of volunteer work by the Cobb County Master Gardeners. In May of this year the Cherokee Garden was officially designated as an “Interpretive Site” on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail by the National Park Service.
Tony is introducing the keynote speaker for the dedication. Troy Poteete is the Executive Director of the Trail of Tears Association and is the Chief Justice for the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court. Mr. Poteete discussed the importance of preserving Cherokee culture and heritage. The relationship between the Cherokee people and their culture cannot be explained without showing their reliance upon the native plants for survival.
Troy also shared the history behind the wearing of the traditional Cherokee headdress often called a turban. He reminded the audience that the Cherokee overcame many hardships since their removal to Indian Territory and they are very proud of their accomplishments as a nation.
Here are some photos of the Cherokee Garden:
The photo above shows some of the perennial beds and the old historic barn that was on the property when it was purchased by the Cobb County Parks Department.
This is the Cherokee Heirloom Vegetable Garden; we have White Eagle Corn, Long Greasy Beans, Trail of Tears Black Beans, Georgia Candy Roaster Squash, Dipper Gourds, and Bucket Gourds. These heirloom seeds were acquired from the Cherokee Nation Seed Exchange and they were some of the vegetables cultivated by the Cherokee when they were still here in Georgia.
Currently we have over 100 different species that were significant to the Cherokee. All together there were over 700 plants/shrubs/trees used for medicine, food, shelter, crafts, weapons, and ceremonial purposes. We are looking forward to cooler temperatures in the fall when we will be able to plant additional shrubs and trees.