Stop #11

Learning Center

Originally a chicken house in the early 1900s, this building was conserved and repurposed, opening as the Learning Center in May 2019. The Learning Center provides educational outreach to visitors by increasing their knowledge of the region’s cultural and natural resources through a variety of personalized programs and activities. Recent plantings here reflect historical varieties from the past and highlight Georgia native plants used in landscaping and gardens. This garden will continue to develop with future plantings.

leaf icon Native plant

Century Plant

Agave americana

Planted in 2021, this century plant has gray-green prickly thick leaves with a heavy spike at the tip of the plant. Even though this plant is called a century plant, it only lives 10 to 30 years and flowers once in its life. At maturity, it produces a yellow stalk of flowers on a stem which can reach up to 20 feet. After flowering, the plant dies, and shoots surrounding it start to grow.

Caption:  Century Plant at the east side of the Main House circa 1925

Century Plant at the east side of the Main House circa 1925

Flowering Dogwoodleaf icon

Cornus florida

This small, native deciduous tree was planted in commemoration of Arbor Day 2021 by the Thomasville Garden Club, Inc., Georgia Forestry Commission, and City of Thomasville. Emerging before the leaves in early spring, the true dogwood flower is actually tiny, yellowish-green button-like compacted clusters surrounded by four showy white petal-like bracts which give the appearance of beautiful four-petaled white flowers. A few older dogwoods are located throughout the property. The flowering dogwood tree produces fruit in the form of a cluster of bright red drupes that mature in the fall and are an important food source for small mammals and dozens of species of birds. The flowering dogwood tree is also an important larval host plant for several species of moths and butterflies.

Jimmy Carter Japanese Camellia

Camellia japonica ‘Jimmy Carter’

This camellia was named for the 39th President of the United States from Plains, Georgia. Former President Jimmy Carter was an overnight guest at Pebble Hill when he was governor of Georgia in the 1970s. The ‘Jimmy Carter’ camellia was developed in 2018. Planted in 2020, this evergreen shrub blooms in winter with moderately-sized double-form flowers featuring pink edges and white and red stripes.

Rosalynn Carter Japanese Camellia

Camellia japonica ‘Rosalynn Carter’

This camellia was named for former First Lady and wife of the 39th President of the United States. The ‘Rosalynn Carter’ camellia was developed in 2017 and planted here in 2020. This evergreen shrub blooms during the winter, producing a double-form light pink flower.

Rosalynn Carter Native Azalealeaf icon

Rhododendron austrinum ‘Rosalynn Carter’

This native azalea is named for former First Lady, Rosalynn Carter. Planted here in 2020, this deciduous shrub produces clusters of fragrant trumpet-shaped yellow flowers with long, delicate stamens that bloom in March and April before the leaves emerge. Pebble Hill is home to several varieties of native azaleas that produce blooms ranging in color from yellow to light pink to orange. The native azalea is the official state wildflower of Georgia, and its vibrantly colored blooms attract many butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees.