Louise Agee Wrinkle’s Southern Woodland Garden

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Learning about Louise Agee Wrinkle’s garden in Mountain Brook, Alabama, one is struck by her devotion, perseverance, and unfailing curiosity. Gardening is not for the faint of heart, as her book, Listening to the Land: Creating a Southern Woodland Garden, and a documentary film from the Garden Conservancy, A Garden in Conversation: Louise Wrinkle’s Southern Woodland Garden Sanctuary, relay so well. Its success depends on many factors.

Wrinkle and “The Committee,” as she has dubbed her advisers, have taken up the challenge beautifully over the years. Her affection for the property took root during her childhood, and she returned after her parents died to take over and to make the garden her own.

As her book title and the film name inform, Louise’s focus is on listening to the land, not trying to dictate. “My lifelong connection with this piece of Alabama woodland has taught me how to hear its particular voice,” she writes. In the book, she takes us along on her delightful path through that woodland.

Louise has been a leader in the surge of appreciation for native gardening across the country. The Garden Conservancy notes, “Together on film, Wrinkle and her ethereal woodland sanctuary present a unique opportunity for viewers to explore the nexus of preservation and conservation.”

As Robert Dash wrote in Notes from Madoo, “All gardens are a form of autobiography,” and Wrinkle’s is no exception.

louise wrinkle garden

louise wrinkle garden

louise wrinkle garden

By FLOWER magazine editors | Updated March 18, 2024

louise wrinkle book, listen to the landListen to the Land: Creating a Southern Woodland Garden by Louise Agee Wrinkle (PMT Publishing Inc. 2018)

A Garden in Conversation: Louise Agee Wrinkle’s Woodland Sanctuary will premiere on Sunday May 5, 2024 at 3:00 p.m. at the Virginia Samford Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama. The movie, part of the Suzanne and Frederic Rheinstein Garden Documentation Program at the Garden Conservancy, also marks the first time the Conservancy has interviewed the creator of a garden it has documented on film.


Wrinkle is a founding member and Director Emerita of the Garden Conservancy. She has been a distinguished member of the Garden Club of America for 40 years. She received the Foundation for Landscape Studies’ Place Maker Award in 2019.

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