Welcome to Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch





Welcome to Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch





Welcome to Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch





Welcome to Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch






Message from the President,


As I enter my second year as the President of Rye Patch and Hopelands Gardens, I am struck with how far we have come and how well we have worked together!

These properties are OUR properties. They bring us a deep history (read “History of the Properties”) of the way of life of wealthy Winter Colony residents from the late 1800s. They also offer us a place of respite from the busy everyday world that we live in.

Hope Iselin’s 14 acre Hopelands estate became Hopelands Gardens (and City of Aiken property) after tumultuous discussions at City Council meetings. Mayor Odell Weeks and City Manager Roland H. Windham worked hard to build consensus for acquiring the property in 1970. They are an example of beautiful winter gardens transformed into a public garden of tranquility and reflection by noted Southern Landscape Architect, Robert Marvin.

Dorothy Knox Goodyear Rogers left the Rye Patch estate to her children after her death in 1980. In 1981, the four Goodyear children gave the 10-acre Winter Colony estate to the City of Aiken in memory of their mother and their stepfather. It is a wonderful example of historic structural preservation at its best with restored Stables, Carriage Museum, Rose Garden and Guest Cottage.

We have been busy this past year! The City was able to budget two more staff employees and install a new irrigation system – game changers for improving and maintaining the gardens. The four reflection pools were drained, repaired and resealed along with adding a soothing bubble fountain. Major painting, a new roof and glazing of windows at Rye Patch were completed. And, let’s not forget, the beautiful new entry sign, bearing architectural details found in other buildings, that greets visitors to the Gardens.

This next year, we hope to address issues of erosion, fencing (the iconic serpentine wall is deteriorating at a fast pace) and replanting several gardens. Old buildings and old gardens constantly cry out for help!

We need your help as a Friend of Hopelands and Rye Patch, a nonprofit organization formed in 1973. We collaborate with the City to preserve, maintain and develop these properties by raising awareness and money to help with the costs. To meet gardeners, ecologists, historians, educators, and more interesting people, please click DONATE. If you would like to receive our quarterly Newsletter (Hopelands Happenings), please email info@hopelandsgardens.com

I hope to hear from you or see you on a walk through our Gardens soon.

Dr. Holly Woltz
President, the Friends of Hopelands and Rye Patch

Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch:
The Friends’ Story

Hopelands Gardens and Rye Patch: The Friends’ Story is a historical narrative of Hopelands Gardens, Rye Patch, the families who owned them and the Friends’ group which supports them. Enjoy lovely black and white photographs as well as those in color which document the numerous changes in these properties. Learn about the 50-year collaboration between the Friends and the City of Aiken as they continue to develop and enhance these historic 24 acres located in the heart of our City.


Book Available at: 
• Aiken Antiques & Uniques
• Aiken Visitors Center and Train Museum
• Cold Creek Nurseries
• Folly 
• 3 Monkeys Fine Gifts 
• Nandina Home and Design 
• York Cottage Antiques
• Security Federal (1705 Whiskey Road).