The Garden Team

The credibility and world-wide visibility of the Gardens at Athens did not happen overnight or because of any one individual. The Gardens is managed and maintained by a group of dedicated people, each of whom believe in the basic missions of the gardens: research, teaching, and new crop introduction.

Brandon Coker

Brandon has managed the garden since February 2017. He's a UGA alumni with a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Science and Environmental Systems. He loves working at the garden; growing, maintaining, and tending to the plants leaves him a sense of gratification. Brandon spends most of his free time with his wife, Heather, and their two small girls, who love finding new ways to get into trouble. They enjoy activities like gardening, taking walks, and exploring Athens.

Brandon Coker
Garden Manager
Elizabeth Coleman
Student Worker

Gabrielle was first introduced to the Gardens while volunteering for Experience UGA, her interest in the Trial Gardens got her a job in late 2018. She is a 3rd year Horticulture major with an ultimate goal to "heal people with plants", either through sustainable agriculture or with medicinal hollistic methods. Gabrielle loves art and music; in her spare time she indulges in painting, singing, and contra-dancing - which is a unique line-dancing style with swing elements.

Gabrielle Daniels
Student Worker
B.J. Garrett

B.J. Garrett is more than a Master Gardener Volunteer. She helps out in the Trial Gardens tremendously. Her service to us is invaluable.

B.J. Garrett
Head Volunteer
Dr. John Ruter

Dr. Ruter hails from Los Angeles, California, where he grew up surfing waves and sidewalks. Today, he's the director of the Trial Gardens, professor, and ornamental plant breeder at UGA. Many of his specimens can be found planted right here in the garden. When he's not researching, writing books, attending conferences, or teaching classes, Dr. Ruter enjoys traveling, and "doing whatever his kids want to do". His favorite place to travel is to the mountains of the Western U.S, the plant life there is something he finds remarkable.

Dr. John Ruter
Fearless Leader

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