Martha Smith Tate grew up in the small town of Palmetto, Georgia, 25 miles south of Atlanta.
In 1967, she graduated from Vanderbilt University where she majored in history and attended Vanderbilt-in-France in Aix-en-Provence spring semester of her junior year. After college, she spent a season working at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico. The next year, she moved to Paris and worked at a bank on the Champs-Elysées.
While a member of the Junior League of Atlanta, she began writing for the organization’s magazine, Peachtree Papers, and after two years, became its editor. This led directly to writing for magazines and for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution where she was a columnist and feature writer for 22 years. At the same time, she and two friends came up with the idea for a garden television show. She was co-creator and co-producer for the HGTV series A Gardener’s Diary, turning out 240 episodes over eleven years. She is the author of the 2014 book Margaret Moseley’s A Garden to Remember.
Martha lives in Atlanta and is the mother of two daughters and has four granddaughters.
At their Vanderbilt 50th reunion, October 2017: Billy Gourley, second from left, and author Martha Smith Tate, far right. Also pictured: Billy’s wife Sherry Gourley, far left, and classmate and Billy’s SAE fraternity brother, Marvin Palmer, second from right.