The Garden of the Coastal Plain
Bland Cottage firmly sits on a foundation of young love and hard work. With long white panels, original green shutters, and tall southern columns, the cottage holds the history of Dan and Catherine Bland.
In the early twentieth century at the First District Agriculture and Medical School, which is now Georgia Southern University, Dan met Catherine Amelia O’Neil. It wasn’t long before Catherine O’Neil became Mrs. Bland. Together, the Blands took over several acres of farm land to serve as the foundation for their lives together. A tenant house quickly transformed into Bland cottage where the couple spent the remainder of their lives, a large rustic barn was built to hold their livestock, a small garage to hold Dan’s cars, and an ice box that oddly resembles a chicken coop was added to the miles and miles of the farms acres.
“It is truly amazing to see these original structures still standing in the garden. They offer a bit of authentic aestheticism that makes the garden even more special,” Kathy Tucker, garden director said.
Dan Bland, a man of many trades, is recognized not only as a famer, but a botanist and naturalist. Through his botanic skills, the acres of sweet green grass that stretched for miles, were molded into a terrene of beauty with sky scraping trees and blooming flowers that surrounded every corner.
In 1985, the Blands left six of their 57 acres to Georgia Southern University’s foundation. Within these six acres lies the Garden of the Coastal Plain. The botanical garden effortlessly captivates the naturalism and earthly beauty of the Southern plains. Open for 25 years, the garden continues to spread its history and is kept alive through the efforts and support of the surrounding community.