Simmons, Jane

Sims (Campal), Jane

Jane Campbell Sims died peacefully at Cedar Lane on August 20, 2021, in Medison, Georgia, at the age of 94. She was the daughter of Marie Louis Heinking Campbell and Atlanta’s George Wade Campbell and was preceded in death by her. Husband, John Cleves Symmes.

Throughout her long and active life, Jane worked tirelessly to enrich our cultural life and beautify the landscape around us. She was a dedicated environmentalist, a history student, and a leader in civic engagement.

Born and raised in Atlanta’s Ansley Park, she attended St. Mary’s School in Washington, DC, Raleigh, AC and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in art history from Agnes Scott College. She was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and served in the Atlanta Junior League. In 1955, when she bought plants in kindergarten, she met her future husband, John Sims.

Jane and John founded, owned, and operated the Simmons Child Care Business Landscape Contractor in Atlanta. A.D. In 1966 they set out on a mission to grow their own unique trees and shrubs and set up a mass nursery on an old farm in Madison, Ga. They handed over the land and restored the 1830’s “Plant-Plant-style” house and gardens, which had been featured in many publications, as a pure symbol, and are now listed as a national historical site.

After her husband died, Jane continued to run Cedar Lane Farm in Madison for over 25 years. She was a former native herbalist, and her catalog was one of those advocates for their ecological benefits and their artistic nature. She also compiled a catalog of unique historical plants that included the species she chose and introduced into the kindergarten business. Herbicides include Trachelos permum jasminoides ‘Madison,’ Lonicera sempervirens ‘Cedar Lane’ and Calycanthus floridus ‘Athens,’ and Magnolia grandiflora ‘Symmes Select’. These unique plants can be found in national landscapes, and she has donated to a wide range of civic projects that adorn her community.

Jane was one of a group of visionary Madisonists who in 1895 converted the Romanesque Revival Building on the main street to the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, the much-admired regional visual and art center. Along with Lisa Hammett, she was a member of the Madison-Morgan Conservancy Founding Board, which worked to protect Madison, Georgia-Architecture, as well as open space and Morgan County rural character.

She was involved in the restoration and creation of gardens at the Tuli Smith House in Atlanta History Center, and for years the Georgia Trust has celebrated its restoration work for the preservation of history. Named the “Garden of the Great” at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at the University of Emory, she also received the Balletine Gardening Award from the South Ababa Exhibition, and the Gardener’s Association for Commercial Gardening. Jane was named Honorary Member of the American Garden and Founding Board of the Southern Horticultural Society for her “exceptional service and outstanding contribution to the mission.” As a founding member of the Georgia Museum of Fine Arts Advisory Committee, she was the first recipient of the Jane Smith Spirit Award in honor of her commitment to the arts.

Jane loved baseball, golf, horses, and was never a dog. She was a zealous traveler, but she did not like the excitement around the Cedar Lane dining room table with her family and friends. Active, engaged, always well-read, and well-dressed, Jane loved people from all walks of life and was curious about their lives. She was like a fairy tale participant and a good listener. Jane was also a legend for her generosity: allowing nonprofits to use her assets for many activities and historical visits.

Throughout her career, she has sought to preserve our history – our architecture, our landscapes, and our culture. Finally, Jane’s past beauty and strength are best expressed by respecting our common heritage today. Jane’s greatest gift was her ability to adapt to the old building or to save the ancient rose, to make history more meaningful and meaningful.

She is survived by her daughter Jane Sims Reed, her husband Frank Hunter Reed, granddaughter Alexander Smith Reed in Greenville, South Carolina, daughter Anne Anne Cleves Sims, her husband Stephen Goodhu Yves and grandson Campbell Sims Ives Garrison, New York, , Georgia and Savana, Georgia and their families Holly Sims Montford.

Funeral services will be held at Westviv Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia. Due to Covi restrictions, the service is for families only. A meeting will be held the next day to celebrate Jenny’s life.

Donations may be made to the Madison-Morgan Conservancy, the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, and the Episcopal Church in memory of the audience.

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