April 19, 2019

A week ago, my wife and I traveled to Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia. You will have to look this one up because it’s really in an out-of-the-way place and well from the “beaten path”.  That’s just the way Mr. James Gibbs planned it. 

Gibbs Gardens began in 1980 as a three hundred (300) acre private family estate.  The owner, Mr. Jim Gibbs always dreamed of creating a world-class public garden.  For more than thirty (30) years he designed and developed his property with two hundred and twenty (220) acres of landscaped gardens adjacent to spring-fed streams. 

There are sixteen (16) garden venues including four (4) feature gardens, as follows:

  • DAFFODILS:  Fifty (50) acres of daffodils with more than twenty (20) million flowers, blooming form March to mid-April.
  • MANOR HOUSE GARDENS:  Designed to offer color in spring, summer and the fall, with lush terraces, waterfalls, sweeping lawns and woodland.
  • MONET WATERLILY GARDENS:  Featuring one forty (140) varieties of waterlilies, both tropical and hardy, blooming from late spring through fall.  A replica of the bridge in Monet’s garden provides a focal point year around.
  • JAPANESE GARDENS:  More than forty (40) acres with spring-fed ponds, islands, bridges, boulders, rocks and forty (40) handcrafted Japanese lanterns.  A collection of more than one thousand (1,000) Japanese maples provide brilliant colors in autumn.

Personally, I was blown away by the meticulous attention to detail and how the gardens were laid out.  The gardens experience four (4) distinct seasons with flowers and trees blooming in each of the four time periods.  I understand that fall of the year is absolutely stunning and the color changes are breathtaking. 

 We are going to take a trip, via pictures, through the gardens right now.  The pictures shown cover only a small portion of what may be seen.  You enter the “front gate” by going over a flower-lined bridge.  The landscapers have chosen to line the bridge with flower boxes.   The blossoms in each box are seasonal and change due to the time of the year.

The walkway leading from the “front gate” is lined with flower beds.  The one you see below is mostly tulips.

As mentioned, flowers line all walkways throughout the gardens.

Azalea, rhododendron, roses, crape myrtle, daylily, wildflower, cherry blossoms, dogwood, hydrangeas, and other species of flowers populate the garden and were on prominent display during our visit.  You might notice that the azaleas were just about over their peak when we were there having bloomed about two weeks prior to our visit.  Beautiful anyway but definitely over their peak.

As I mentioned earlier, the attention to detail was striking.  The flower arrangement below is indicative of what you will see in the garden.  Think about this, the arrangement below had to be planted by “loving hands” to look this good.  Not only that, they have to be maintained throughout the season.  When the season changes, they are taken up and replaced with other types.

Tulips and cherry blossom trees were in bloom and were on display as shown by the two pictures below.

Japanese Red Maple trees were absolutely striking as you can see.

The next several digital pictures show some portion of the Japanese Gardens.  These gardens were striking and the pictures do NOT, admittedly, do them justice.

No Japanese garden would be right without a Bonsai Tree.

Mr. Gibbs lives on the property he developed over the thirty-year period.  His home is shown below.

The entire house is surrounded with gardens providing well-groomed blooming flowers, cherry trees and red maples.

To the left of the house sits a beautiful water fall with hanging baskets and benches arranged around the display.

From the front porch of the house, you can see the mountains of North Georgia.  These mountains are the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau and the very beginning of the Cumberland Trail.  As you know, the Cumberland Trail goes all the way into the New England area.

CONCLUSION:  I can definitely recommend to you this one-day visit.  Any season of the year will bring flowers of differing types and colors.  Again, I’m told that fall of the year is breathtaking.

What do you think?

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