The Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum housed in the William Scarbrough House is home to the largest garden within the historic district of Savannah. Whether you visit the museum by walking along the fig-covered wall to the garden gate or arrive by car, the visitor's first impression is a riot of color seen in the flower beds at the entrance.
plan after John McEllen
The design for the 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 a few exceptions, all plant material is native or has been available since the early to mid 1800s.
THE GARDEN ENTRANCE
The entrance into the garden is surrounded by plantings of large broadleaf 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 GARDEN
The center of the garden contains a large brick terrace surrounded on three sides by carefully clipped shrubbery. Large terra cotta 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 is available for rental.
THE WEATHER BUREAU KIOSK
This cast-iron "temple" 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 several public places, notably Wright Square, from 1870 to World War II. Similar weather stations were sent to other American cities by the Weather Bureau.
THE MUSEUM ENTRANCE
The imposing entrance to the Museum is a Greek Revival portico flanked by a pair of wrought-iron lanterns. This portico is new but copies details of the original front portico.
A garden is never a static experiment in plant materials and ornamentation; the museum's garden is no exception. Seasonal changes keep the garden alive with surprises, and are reasons to visit the garden over and over again.
THE NORTH GARDEN
Savannah's newest garden and event space is now open to the public seven days a week, free of charge. During a walk around the property, one can experience the Sister's Garden, a citrus grove, a naturalistic garden, a maple grove, a vine covred pergola and a beautiful roundel. Inside the garden , we offer a roofed, open-air space, called the Assembly Room. The Assembly room can hold more than 340 seated at tables and more than 550 in concert seating. The Assembly Room can function as an ideal space for dinners, dances, parties, weddings and other private rentals. The Scarbrough House already had the largest walled garden in the Historic District. With this expansion, Ships of the Sea enjoys a more than two-fold increase in the size of our gardens.