Gibbs Gardens - Ball Ground, Georgia
Here are pictures from our first short visit to this huge new world class garden in Cherokee County, Georgia. I knew it was vast, with millions of daffodils, a fern glade over a mile long, and an enormous series of landscaped ponds in the Japanese style, but what really impressed me was the sheer artistry and imagination with which the whole thing had been carefully put together over thirty years, and the planning that must have gone into designing what will undoubtedly become one of the Souths premier horticultural attractions so that large numbers of people can flow smoothly and comfortably through, with all of their needs anticipated and provided for. It must have taken great patience for Mr. Gibbs to wait until everything was ready before letting the crowds in.
If you have time, you can click on the set: www.flickr.com/photos/ugardener/sets/72157629813829363/ and run the SLIDESHOW in FullScreen Mode to take a quick tour, starting at the Manor House at the top of the hill, and descending through the azaleas and rhododendrons to the Valley Gardens with the series of Japanese ponds and the full size replica of Monet's bridge from Giverney.
Here are a few paragraphs from a recent article in the Atlanta Journal - Constitution and a link to the entire article:
“I have the invoices for 1,350,000 of them, 60 different varieties,” said Jim Gibbs, as he looked out across the 50 acres of budding daffodils rushing through the foothills of Mount Oglethorpe.
The only reason he doesn’t have receipts for the other several million daffodils is because each year the plants double on their own. On top of that, Gibbs plants a few thousand more bulbs each year, as he has for the past 20 years. Even the American Daffodil Society believes this is the largest display in the nation.
It’s just one radiant portion of Gibbs’ 300 acre landmark, Gibbs’ Gardens, a formerly private estate which he opened to the public this month. Garden clubs, horticulture experts and a privileged few have had some access to the private garden for the nearly 30 years Gibbs has been developing 220 acres of it. Vince Dooley, who became a gardening enthusiast and author after his storied career as the University of Georgia’s football coach, has called it one of “Georgia’s hidden jewels.” He’s one of the relative few who have had access to the garden for years.
A landscape architect by training and founder of Atlanta’s Gibbs’ Landscaping Co., which restored the gardens at the governor’s mansion under Gov. Joe Frank Harris, Gibbs set out in 1980 to build a world-class garden that would approach the magnificence of the nation’s great destination gardens. To achieve it, he put most, if not all, of his passion and a significant portion of his fortune into the Cherokee County earth, an hour north of Atlanta."
Here is a link to the garden's official website: