Actual Factual Georgia: Dunaway Gardens restored to former glory

Q: I remember seeing an AJC article about a couple that had purchased land, and during landscaping, they uncovered the remains of a garden that was once a major attraction. They decided to restore the garden to its former glory, but I’ve never heard of it since. What became of this project?

—Susanne Kupiec, Atlanta

A: Weddings and events, movie and magazine shoots are the mainstays for Dunaway Gardens, which originally was built in 1930s and restored in the early 2000s.

A stage actress named Hetty Jane Dunaway and laborers spent years creating the original Dunaway Gardens after she and her husband Wayne P. Sewell, an Atlanta theater agent, moved to Roscoe, near Newnan.

Her goal was to build a “theatrical training ground,” the gardens’ website states.

And that’s exactly what she did, adding flowers, water features, rocks and gardens to the land, which also became a retreat for celebrities, including Walt Disney.

Nature reclaimed Dunaway Gardens after she died and it remained that way until Jennifer Bigham and her husband bought the land in 2000.

They brought Dunaway Gardens back to life and it reopened in 2003.

“It’s a ready-made backdrop,” operations director Josh Fisher said.

Dunaway Gardens, which is 25 acres, is host to between 40-60 weddings every year, in addition to serving as the setting for “all sorts” of filming, magazine and group photo shoots, and other events, he said.

The gardens are closed during the winter, but will reopen in early April.

Information: or 678-423-4050.

More ‘Miss Boo’

Two weeks ago, I wrote about Rosie Clark, who played Miss Boo on local TV in the 1950s and later became an accomplished painter. She died Feb. 18.

"(Miss Boo's show) was weird, but highly entertaining in ways that only a local children's program could be. Miss Boo's antics, apparently lacking any script, were used to fill the gaps between old cinematic serials. Miss Boo often confused the words serial and cereal, shaking corn flakes from a box into a bowl as she announced the next film." — Jim Mahaffey

"Rosie lived in one of our apartments on 28th Street off Peachtree Road. … I have three of her paintings she did for our family including a 'front page' of the Brantley Enterprise in Nahunta, where I was publisher. The page shows my interests in the first 34 years of life." — Jock Ellis, Cumming

"My husband lovingly called me 'Miss Boo.' I watched the show with my two boys. Great show." — Barbara Gray, Fayetteville