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Ships of the Sea Museum housed in the William Scarbrough House is home to the largest private gardens within the historic district of Savannah. The design for the Scarbrough Garden is derived from a typical 19th century parlor garden that has been expanded and enhanced to serve the needs of the Museum. Careful attention has been paid to the plant material and surface materials. With few exceptions, all plant material is native or has been available since the early to mid 1800's. The entrance to the Scarbrough Garden is surrounded by plantings of large broad-leaf evergreens. Old varieties of camellias, azaleas, Indian hawthorn magnolias, and boxwood are under planted with seasonal perennials suggesting a lush, green, overgrown country park. The center of the Scarbrough Garden contains a large brick terrace surrounded on three sides by carefully clipped shrubbery. Large terracotta pots placed around the terrace are planted seasonally. Along the end of the terrace opposite the Museum is a copper-roofed pavilion surrounded by lattice. The garden was designed for public and private events, and also available for rental. The Scarbrough Garden contains a Weather Bureau Kiosk, a cast-iron "temple," that was the official United States Government weather station in Savannah. It held instruments to record wind speed and velocity, barometric pressure and temperature, and was also used to post public notices. The weather station stood in Wright Square from 1900 to WWII. Similar weather stations were sent to other American cities by the Weather Bureau. 

For landscape maps of the Museum's gardens click here.



Completed in 2012, the Museum's newest garden and event space is open free to the public seven days a week and features complimentary wi-fi. During a walk around the grounds one can experience the historic plantings offered by the original Georgia Trustees, a citrus grove, a naturalistic garden, a maple grove, a vine-covered pergola, and a belvedere with a stunning view. Also located in the North Garden is the roofed, open-aired Assembly Room. The Assembly Room can hold more than 340 seated at tables and more than 550 in concert seating. With state-of-the-art lighting and sound equipment, the Assembly Room is the ideal space for dinners, dances, parties, weddings, and other private events.


A garden is never a static experiment in plant material and ornamentation: the Museum's gardens are no exception. Seasonal changes keep the garden alive with surprises, and are reasons to visit the gardens over and over again.  

2013 Merit Award Winner, American Institute of Architects/Georgia.