Woodhaven was the estate of Robert Foster and Laura Baxter Maddox and at the time it was first developed, in the early 1900s, lay about six miles north of downtown Atlanta in what is now the Buckhead section of the city. Beginning with a 75-acre property where woods ended in a deep ravine, the owners (with Laura Maddox doing the design work) adapted the site to more favorable landscape conditions. The ravine was terraced to prevent erosion and became an expansive, terraced sunken garden, the first formal garden of any significance in Atlanta. Native trees were augmented with ornamental trees and shrubs, while the bowl of the ravine became a pool to hold the water that naturally drained there. The circular surrounding area was frequently used as a natural theater. In addition to this sunken garden there was also a "Pergola Garden." Roses, perennials, hedges, lawns, walkways, sculpture, and other features made this a garden of interest in all seasons. After World War II the property was subdivided, with the Maddox family retaining 25 acres. In the 1960s the State of Georgia purchased about 20 acres as the site for a new governor's mansion. The Maddox house was demolished, although the gardens and carriage house were retained (noted landscape architect Edward L. Daugherty designed the site immediately around the new governor's mansion). Significant enhancements to the gardens were made in the 1980s.
Images of the garden as it existed during the ownership of the Maddox family were used to create the slide copies in the Archives of American Gardens' collection, which apparently date to 1987.
Persons associated with the garden include Robert Foster and Laura Baxter Maddox (former owners and landscape designer, 1906-1965).
The folder includes worksheets, photocopies (with photo illustrations) of book sections and articles about the gardens, and other information.
Garden has been featured in Mrs. Thaddeus Horton, "The Summer Home of a Georgian," Country Life in America, Vol. 14, pp. 281-283
Garden has been featured in Loraine M. Cooney, comp., Garden History of Georgia, 1733-1933 (Atlanta, GA: The Peachtree Garden Club, 1933), pp. 240-243
Garden has been featured in William Mitchell, Gardens of Georgia (Atlanta, GA: Peachtree Publishers, 1989), pp.202-203