Georgia's Secret Garden
Gibbs Gardens began as a 300 acre family estate in 1980. Over the past 30 years Jim Gibbs, founder of a landscape design firm in Atlanta, realized his vision as he designed and developed 220 acres of landscaped gardens along spring fed streams, ponds and lakes surrounded by hillsides covered with mature woodlands. The gardens opened to the public this year.
There are 16 gardens which provide seasons of color. Beginning in March with daffodils and ending in November with fall color. The gardens claim there are over 3 million bulbs that have been planted on 50 acres of hills and dales. I must return next year to take a look. The daffodil show is followed by cherry blossoms, dogwoods, azaleas, rhododendrons, roses, hydrangeas, waterlilies, daylilies, crape myrtles and wildflowers finishing out the year with a show of fall color.
The waterlily garden begins its show in May and goes on through November. It features 140 varieties of waterlilies making it one of the largest natural displays in the nation.
The Monet Bridge is an exact replica from his garden in Giverny, France. It is veiled in white (native) wisteria blooms.
The Japanese garden covers more than 40 acres with seven spring fed ponds making it the largest Japanese Gardens in the nation.
There were several different owl sculptures throughout the Japanese garden which I just feel in love with.
I was mesmerized by these irises that were found all around the ponds. Are they not the most amazing purple?
In the woodland garden the rhododendrons were at their peak and absolutely spectacular.
The mountain laurel were also stunning. A flowering plant in the blueberry family they do well in our acidic soil. They bloom from May to June and are native to the Eastern United States. I love this hot pink one!
The hydrangea were just starting to come into bloom. The blues were really striking with the dappled light through the tree top canopy.
Around the manor house are more gardens and spectacular views of the grounds. I especially liked all the ferns in the woodland settings. I will save these for another post later in the year. This is a great place to visit if you are looking for some inspiration for mass plantings and plant combinations.