In the Garden: Traditional Culture and Horticulture in Alabama


People have cultivated the environment in Alabama since prehistoric times. Many Indian land use practices were adopted by early settlers and later immigrants, who also brought their own plants and gardening traditions with them.

Whether the purpose of a garden is to put food on the table or to simply look beautiful, a gardener works in partnership with nature to achieve the desired result. A garden may be the creation of an individual, but often represents a community aesthetic as well. Many of the preferences, beliefs, and practices associated with gardening, and even the plants themselves, are handed down through generations or passed on to those who share an interest.

This exhibit provides a sample of gardening and yard decorating traditions in the state.


In the Garden: Traditional Culture and Horticulture in Alabama was researched and produced as a touring exhibit by Anne Kimzey, Folklife Specialist for the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture. The project was made possible with funding from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Folk and Traditional Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibit has traveled to schools and museums across Alabama. Teachers may download worksheets and other educational materials by clicking here: In the Garden Teaching Aids. The worksheets were developed by Florence Giles.

The online version of Water Ways contains all 42 of the original photographs in the exhibit with their original captions. Each photo is on a separate page. You may go through the pages in order by clicking the photo above NEXT label or the label on each page and go back by clicking the photo above the BACK label or the label on each page. You may view a text index of all the captions by clicking the In The Garden logo on each page. You can return to the home page at any time by clicking on the HOME label on each page. We hope you enjoy this exhibit. Your comments are appreciated and may be directed to: