Friday, May 17, 2013

Gibbs Gardens

Entryway to the gardens

This week I had the pleasure of exploring Gibbs Gardens with my family on a beautiful Spring day! I don't usually write travel posts on this blog because the focus of it is the home but for attractions around the Atlanta Area I make an exception. Gibbs Gardens are located in Ball Ground, GA near Big Canoe and it took us about an hour to get there from Marietta.

The gardens have the largest fernery in the nation as well as 24 ponds, 32 bridge crossings and 19 waterfalls

The gardens only opened last year and include 220 acres of public gardens. The property is owned by Jim Gibbs and his home is on the grounds, he also has an additional 72 acres which he plans to develop in the future. We actually ran in to Mr. Gibbs during our visit and he was lovely, he invited us to sit on the rockers on his front porch and take in the sites. We also got to visit with his amazingly friendly cat who hopped right up in our laps much to Echo's delight.

Echo enjoying her visit to the gardens
 The grounds include a fernery, rose gardens, waterlily gardens, daylily gardens as well as gardens dedicated to crape myrtle, daffodil, hydrangea, rhododendron, azalea and a sculpture garden depicting Mr.s Gibbs' grandchildren at play.
Japanese maples 

One of the many garden statues

The Manor House, the Gibbs family lives here on the property
 One of the things I thought was really cool about This place is that you can actually walk around the owner's home and in our case we even got to meet him. All they ask is that you don't peak in the windows but you are welcome to enjoy their rocking chairs or sit by their pool. The walk to the manor house is lovely and winds gently up hill but you can also take a tram up there if you aren't up for the incline.

Another view of the house

Gibbs Gardens are also home to the largest Japanese gardens in the country. They've mixed in Japanese plants with Georgia native plants so the overall effect was less Japanese than I was expecting but they have a number of interesting statues and beautiful water features.

Japanese gardens 

Exit from the Japanese gardens

A replica of Monet's bridge. I'm told it's more impressive when the waterlilies are in bloom
Overall the gardens were enchanting and such a pleasant day trip. We sped through them in about 2 and half hours but I could have taken a lot longer if I had lingered more. This is definitely a worth while day trip for anyone in the Atlanta area.

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