Sunday, February 23, 2014

Gibbs Gardens

Today's garden is a perfect paradise for garden lovers. The Gibbs Gardens are located in northern Georgia, near the mountains in a town called Ball Ground.  These are the residential gardens of designer and founder of the Atlanta based, Gibbs Landscaping Company, Jim Gibbs.  They cover over 220 acres and feature 16 garden venues, including a Japanese Garden, Water Lily Garden, Daffodil Garden, and Manor House Garden.

The gardens were started in 1980, and planted with older trees to give it a look of age and character.  A stream flows through the property.  Thousands of naturalized ferns had been planted around the stream and surrounding springs, making it one of the largest ferneries in the country.  There are also 24 ponds, 32 bridge crossings, and 19 waterfalls.

The gardens are open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission is $20.00 for adults and $18.00 for children.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ave Maria Grotto

Today's post is one of the most unusual gardens I've ever seen.  It's the Ave Maria Grotto located in Cullman, Alabama.  This three acre site contains 125 miniature replicas of churches, shrines and other famous building from around the world.   Known as "Jerusalem in the Miniature," this masterpiece is the creation of Brother Joseph Zoettle, a monk who lived at the St. Bernard Abby.  It began as a hobby in 1933, and evolved into this amazing work of art.  The last piece, the Basilica in Lourdes, was created in 1958 when he was 80 years old.

The Grotto is open daily from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.  Admission is $7.00 for adults and $4.50 for children.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Noccalula Falls Botanical Gardens

Located in the Noccalula Falls Park in Gadsden, Alabama, the Noccalula Falls Botanical Gardens is a 65 acre garden that runs along the Black Creek River. The land was once owned by R. A. Mitchell.  He gave the site to the city so it could be improved and the falls could be enjoyed by the public.  The main feature is a 90-foot waterfall.  There are also caves, a pioneer homestead, a petting zoo, Civil War carvings, and plenty of trails for those who like to hike.

The gardens are open from dawn to dusk.  Admission is free.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dunaway Garden

Dunaway Garden is a lovely little jewel located about thirty miles south of Atlanta, Georgia, near the historic town of Roscoe.  Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it was established in 1934 by famous stage actress, Hetty Jane Dunaway, as a theatrical training ground. Visitors can still see the old amphitheater where live performances were staged. 

Today, the garden is a popular place for weddings.  If you visit, be sure to see the Old Wedding Tree, which I'm sure has seen countless couples married under its sprawling branches!

Other features to visit are the Hanging Gardens and the Great Pool.

The garden is open on Friday and Saturday from  10:00 - 4:00 PM and Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00 PM.  Admission is $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for children.