Founded in 1965, the Arboretum includes approximately 50 acres that feature shrubs, trees, herb beds, rhododendrons, a confier collection, and bulb and perennial beds. The greenhouses are currently used for educational programs. In 2016 the greenhouse collections will be expanded to include tropical plants. Guided tours are available during special events, but individuals are welcome to visit and enjoy a self-guided tour at their own pace.
The centerpiece of Lockerly is Rose Hill, a Greek Revival style home. Richard J. Nichols, a merchant and prominent citizen of Milledgeville, built a home on this site in 1839. The name Rose Hill was chosen because of the abundance of Cherokee Roses that grew on the site. Nichols died in 1849, and his estate was meticulously inventoried. Daniel R. Tucker purchased the home in 1851. In February of that year Tucker’s recently purchased house was “entirely consumed” by fire. Tucker built a new home in 1852 on the site and it is still known today as Rose Hill.
The gardens at Lockerly Arboretum and Rose Hill are open to the public Monday-Friday from 8:30-4:30. July through Labor Day the Arboretum is closed on the weekends. Visitors can walk the trails, bring a picnic lunch to enjoy at the tables near the pond, watch birds and wildlife, and explore the mansion. There is no charge to visit the gardens. Self-guided Rose Hill tours are $3.00 for adults and $1.00 for children. Veterans may tour the house at no cost during regular hours. Coordinated group tour pricing is available, please call for rates. All dogs must be kept on a leash and owners are asked to clean up after their pets.