GIBBS GARDENS

I had an opportunity, in early November, to visit Gibbs Gardens, just north of Atlanta in Ball Ground, Georgia.  It was designed and developed as the dream of Jim Gibbs, who owned a landscape company in Atlanta. He spent 6 years searching for the perfect property and 30 years developing it before opening it to the public.

Tickets are $20.00 for adults; $18.00 for seniors and a tram ticket is another $5.00. Considering that the developed acreage of Gibbs Gardens is 220 acres (total of 292), the tram gives you a respite from walking. It takes you to the Japanese Gardens and the Manor House.

On the grounds are 16 garden venues including the Water Lily gardens (with the Monet Bridge), rose gardens, wildflower meadow, 20 million daffodils and the largest Japanese Garden in the U.S.

We spent most of our time in the 40 acre Japanese Garden, entering through a Torii Gate and following the trail through spring-fed ponds, across bridges and sighing over the colorful Japanese Maples (one of my favorite trees).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Miss Priss

 

 

Monet bridge

 

 

Dawn Redwood – Metasequoia glyptostroboides
The ONLY plant marker I saw all day

 

Dawn Redwood leaves (reminds me of bald cypress)

 

Bald cypress knees – they were huge and stretched around the curve of the pond

My sister, Miss Priss, happens to be an architect. When she sent me a few of her photos, and I discovered this bench, I was amazed that we were in the same park, not more than 5 feet apart at most times, and I never saw this bench. She was of the opinion that I was more focused on the natural world and she on the constructed world.

Bench constructed of natural materials
Photo by Miss Priss

 

Wooden chair carved from tree trunk or section
For short durations, this chair was surprisingly comfortable.
Photo by Miss Priss

 

Gate at the Manor House
Photo by Miss Priss

 

Miss Priss thought this would make a good herb container.

TIME FOR A FIELD TRIP!!

I promise this is a field trip you don’t want to miss.

Part 1:  Head over to Deb’s Garden here to visit the Jim Scott Garden. Her wonderful photos will whet your gardening appetite for more.

Part 2:  Now head over to YouTube to see Absolutely Alabama’s visit and interview with Jim Scott:

 

This video has a lot of overhead shots but no interview with Mr. Scott:

 

 

DAYLILY DISPLAY GARDENS

The American Hemerocallis Society (AHS) is the national organization of daylily enthusiasts. As a member, I had been wanting to visit a local display garden. Seeing that my own daylily blooms were on the wane, I knew it was “now or next year” so I contacted the display garden nearest me, Martha’s Madness. Martha exuded that Southern charm you’ve always heard about. I love Southern charm. You just can’t beat it for warmth and hospitality. She told me to mark my calendar for June 4th and attend an “open house” at two of the local display gardens.

Display Garden: Lilies By The Pond

I should have taken more photos at this display garden but the heat fried my brain the minute I got out of the car. Let me tell you about it instead.

I was amazed at the sheer number of daylilies this couple had managed to cram onto your average sized subdivision lot. They had a respectable collection in the front yard with that beautiful but expensive concrete curbing around it.

Wensell front yard-205

When you entered the backyard from the left side, the side yard was filled with rows of raised beds (might have been 2 feet off the ground). An in-ground daylily bed ran the length of the privacy fence.  This flowed into another large concrete-curbed bed at the patio. There was no privacy fence running across the back of the property because the houses were situated on a large lake with ducks paddling around. It was very picturesque and I’m sure their lakeside neighbors enjoyed looking at all their daylily blooms from their own back yards.

Backyard
Backyard

 

Daylily - 'Airy Delight'It caught my eye but I have a lot of daylilies in this color.
Daylily – ‘Airy Delight’ – caught my eye but I have a lot of daylilies in this color.

Display Garden: Martha’s Madness

Martha probably had the same number of daylilies as Lilies By The Pond but she limited her collection to the right and left side yards.

View of right-hand side yard from the street
View of right-hand side yard from the street

 

On the mulch path of right-hand side yard
On the mulch path of right-hand side yard

 

Making the curve towards backyard
Making the curve towards backyard

 

Entrance to backyard
Entrance to backyard

 

Deck on right-hand side of woodland garden
Deck on right-hand side of woodland garden

 

Woodland garden
Woodland garden

 

Woodland garden - Bless This Garden marker
Woodland garden – Bless This Garden marker

 

Deck on left hand side of woodland garden
Deck on left hand side of woodland garden

 

Colorful area of woodland garden
Colorful area of woodland garden

 

Peacock yard art
Peacock yard art

Both of the wooden deck paths led to a secluded picnic area. I did not photograph the picnic table, the two-seater swing, or the left side yard.

Martha told a hilarious story on her husband, Duke, and I do hope I didn’t guffaw too loudly. It seems that she really wanted him to see a particularly stunning daylily and rather than walk out to see it (I think they had about a half acre), he got in the car, backed it out of the garage, and drove it around the corner to the street that runs beside their corner lot. He then looked at the daylily from the car! She didn’t mention the use of binoculars but he would have needed them!

Daylily Information

You can learn about The American Hemerocallis Society at daylilies.org. The AHS has a wonderful database of thousands of “named” daylilies with all the pertinent information on each daylily at daylilydatabase.org). Membership is $25.00/year for an individual; $30.00 for dual membership.

The North Florida Daylily Society (nfdaylily.com) meets the second Sunday of the month between January and April at 2:15 pm in the public library at 2054 Plainfield Avenue, Orange Park, FL. Your first year of membership is free. Thereafter, it’s a bargain $8.00/year.

The Club President, Bob Reese, gave me an idea of the upcoming topics and speakers they will have in 2017:

  • January  — daylily culture
  • February — a hybridizer will speak
  • March — possibly a second hybridizer
  • April — the club’s daylily guru, Keith, will tell members what to do to get their flowers ready for the show
  • May 13 — Annual Show & Plant Sale, Courtyard Marriott, 610 Wells Road, Orange Park, FL. This show is open to the public and I was told the daylily prices range from $5 up to $25 for two fans which is very reasonable for named daylilies. Mark your calendars !

ATLANTA GARDEN TOUR  

As a fund raiser, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens put on a Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour over Mother’s Day weekend, May 7 and 8. In exchange for a hefty ticket fee, you were allowed to politely tromp around the front and back yards of “Atlanta’s finest private gardens.” In the event you were to think that you could do anything more than a polite tromp, they had an off-duty policeman at each house which greatly surprised me.

Of the 10 gardens on the tour, Priss, her husband and I were able to visit 6 before my bad knee rebelled. I offer photos of the garden elements that caught my eye.

Russell & Jack Huber

Walking up to the house
Walking up to the house

 

Water feature
Water feature

 

Burro's Tail
Burro’s Tail

 

Iris
Iris

 

Unknown fern???Really liked it.
Fern??? Really liked it.

ABG Huber rusty bike-0128

 

Bamboo forest
Bamboo forest

Robin & Mark Pollack

ABG Pollack birdhouses-0130

Tony & Joel Adler

ABG Adler patio-0133

 

ABG Adler frog with violin-0139

 

ABG Adler gazing ball-0137

 

ABG Adler giant rose-0132

 

ABG Adler hammock-0136

 

Pink Iris
Pink Iris

 

Kitchen garden at back of house near patio
Kitchen garden at back of house near patio

 

Sign at entrance of kitchen garden
Sign at entrance of kitchen garden

 

Sign on compost pile although I don't like the spelling
Sign on compost pile although I don’t like the spelling

 

Front yard
Front yard

 

Other side of front yard
Other side of front yard

Ann & Trammell Newton

Ivy on steps
Ivy on steps

 

Foxglove
Foxglove

ABG Newton table planting-0152

 

Verrrrrry old cypress tree around the corner
Verrrrrry old cypress tree around the corner

Joan & Robert Gilbert

Greenhouse
Greenhouse

 

Thumbnail sized pine cones
Thumbnail sized pine cones

 

ABG Gilbert potted plants-0164

 

ABG Gilbert fountain-0163

 

Roots helping to hold slope
Roots helping to hold slope

 

Unknown plant I liked.
Unknown plant I liked.

Erica & Bart Fanelli

ABG Fanelli - pond -0157

 

ABG Fanelli - pond w angel-0158

TOURING META’S YARD

Orbiting the Crooked Moon as I do, I’m always having these “adventures” I would just as soon not have. Yesterday was no different. I headed south to visit with one of my blog’s first subscribers, Meta. I ran into more than my share of T-stops that had so much signage I couldn’t see the name of the street or either the name of the T-stop was different than it was supposed to be. Then, of course, because everywhere I was driving was mostly rural, street signs required a magnifying glass. Plus, when you get far enough south, they number all their streets which can REALLY confound you when you are in the northwest teens and you need to be in the southwest teens. It doesn’t help when your visitee gives you the wrong area code for her phone number, either. This was nothing personal I learned. She regularly gives hapless fools like me the wrong area code.

Meta came to visit my gardens in July 2014 and I wanted to see hers but not in the heat of July again so I waited until now. Although it was a scheduled visit, it came at a really bad time as her daughter-in-law was in the hospital. The three of them – Meta, her son and daughter-in-law live in a family compound arrangement like I have done for the last 25 years.

I took a few photos of things I had not previously seen. To see previous photos, check these links: Garden Visitors, Meta’s Gardening Ideas, Meta’s Lion Tail.

A plant grouping in deep shade
A plant grouping in deep shade

 

Metas Easter Island head-6293
Meta had several pieces of yard art, including this Easter Island head, from Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville. The hosta is one for hot climates.

 

A pathway with Aztec Grass on either side.
A pathway with Aztec Grass on either side.

 

A very sturdy, fairly inexpensive support if you are handy.Coral Vine, Antigonon Leptopus (sounds like a disease!)
A fairly inexpensive support if you are handy.
Coral Vine, Antigonon Leptopus (sounds like a disease!)

 

I had just missed the blooms on these bromeliads.
I had just missed the blooms on these bromeliads.

 

Same bromeliads in bloom.Photo by Meta.
Same bromeliads in bloom.
Photo by Meta.

 

Clerodendrum paniculatum or Pagoda Plant (tends to be invasive)
Clerodendrum paniculatum or Pagoda Plant (tends to be invasive)

 

Small pink roses but the sun was too bright for a good photo
Small pink roses but the sun was too bright for a good photo

 

This is me in Meta's side yard with all the loot she gave me.
This is me in Meta’s side yard with all the loot she gave me.
Photo by Meta.

My worst adventure happened on the return trip. I was looking for 326 and came upon another one of those T-stops that was NOT labeled 326. At that point, I had no idea where I was. I turned around and headed back and saw a County Sheriff trying to leave a gas station. I rolled my window down and waved my Google Map pages at him. The Sheriff said he hoped I didn’t want directions because he was awful at them. I would have liked to have seen my expression because it most certainly radiated “Oh shit.” Not only was I lost but this dude didn’t have a clue, either. I think he was pulling my leg, though, because he said NE 70th and 326 were the same thing and I should take a left there, go through two lights and turn right. I could have kissed his badge because he saved me a lot of grief.