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November 13, 2017   Outreach News

Atlanta couple’s gift to State Botanical Garden a tribute

Kelly Simmons

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By Kelly Simmons | November 13, 2017
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Adrian and John Robinson met when they were children. Their mothers, both among the first members of the State Botanical Garden Board of Advisors, were friends and both children attended Athens Academy.

When Adrian was in second grade, her mother remarried and the family moved to Augusta. Adrian wouldn't see John again until many years later after college, when they both attended an annual Gardens of the World Ball.

A relationship blossomed, and they married a few years later.

Now Adrian, John and their children Will and Rice, are honoring their mothers for their years of service to the garden's advisory board. A $225,000 gift will pay for the stainless steel with polished glass arbor entrance to the Alice H. Richards Children's Garden, which will be under construction beginning this fall.

"Each time a child, children or a family walks through the beautiful arbor entrance to the children's garden, they will hopefully feel as excited and curious to explore and learn about all the amazing plants and flowers as our mothers always felt," Adrian Robinson said.

John's mother, Margaret Mobley Robinson, who now lives in Sea Island, was a charter member of the State Botanical Garden advisory board when it formed in 1985. Adrian's mother, Charlotte Carter Merry, who lives in Highlands, North Carolina, joined the board in 1988. Adrian Robinson joined the board in 2016.

"It's all about our mothers," Adrian Robinson said. "They loved this botanical garden and worked so hard. They truly put their heart and soul into it. "

Garden Director Jenny Cruse-Sanders praised Margaret Robinson and Charlotte Merry for their long-term commitment to the board of advisors
and Adrian and John Robinson for the special tribute to their mothers.

"Generations of children will visit to play and learn about nature because board members like Margaret and Charlotte loved the botanical garden and wanted to share it with even the youngest visitors," Cruse-Sanders said. "We are so grateful to John and Adrian for choosing the children's garden as a way to honor their mothers."

The arbor will be built by Andrew Crawford, an Atlanta sculptor who also sits on the garden's board of advisors. He exhibited his collection of garden gates at the State Botanical Garden in 2011.