Walk along paths that curve gracefully through blooming bushes, towering trees and toward babbling brooks. Reflect on tributes to American heroes, historic figures and life itself. Visit these 10 gardens in Northwest Georgia to experience uncommon beauty any time of year.
Gibbs Gardens comprises 220 acres of landscaped gardens with spring-fed streams, ponds, and hillsides of mature woodlands. Fifty acres of 20 million daffodils; waterlilies, the Manor House gardens; a 40-acre Japanese garden; thousands of Japanese maples; 500 varieties of daylilies, hydrangeas and azaleas; thoughts of roses, ferns and rhododendrons. Open March – November. https://gibbsgardens.com
The ROCK Garden
More than 50 more hand-built miniature stone structures await at The Rock Garden amidst flowers and a wandering stream. The tranquil setting of this whimsical oasis is the perfect place to relax for an enriching experience for all ages. Open daily dawn to dusk (behind the Calhoun Seventh Day Aventist Church).
Funk Heritage Center and Burgess Arboretum
Visit this university campus without having to go to class! The Burgess Arboretum has more than 550 trees and 800 shrubs planted by Dr. James Rowland Burgess Jr. during his 28-year presidency at Reinhardt University. Signs identifying trees are posted along a walking trail on the campus. Heritage trees and noteworthy specimens are included. At the Funk Heritage Center located on the campus visitors can find rain gardens and environmentally friendly xeriscaping. Campus open daily dawn to dusk; Funk Heritage Center open Tuesday – Saturday.
House o’ Dreams at Berry College
Another campus of higher learning features the landscaping at one of its historic features known as the House o’ Dreams created by Robert B. Cridland of Philadelphia. The land terraces for fruit trees and berry patches, added at college founder Martha Berry’s suggestion, and are patterned after the grounds of Castle Nemi in Italy. Grounds open daily dawn to dusk. www.berry.edu/about/our-rich-history/house-o-dreams
Rock City Gardens
Rock City is a marvel of nature, featuring massive ancient rock formations, gardens with more than 400 native plant species and breathtaking “See 7 States” panoramic views. Rock City celebrates its status as a national treasure of botanical, geological and entrepreneurial significance. Open daily 8:30am – 5:00pm. www.seerockcity.com
Rose Lawn Museum
Approximately 200 antique roses adorn Cartersville Historic District’s “Crown Jewel” Rose Lawn. A walk along the fence lines will take visitors past rose bushes dating back to 1752, to an assemblage of five “Old Blush” China rose bushes and two Lady Hillingdon tea rose bushes.
Open Tuesday – Thursday, 10:00am – 12:00pm, 1:00pm – 5:00pm / Friday, 10:00am – 12:00pm www.roselawnmuseum.com
Meditation Gardens at Myrtle Hill Cemetery
The garden overlooking Myrtle Hill Cemetery where the river confluence provides a place of beauty and serenity. The landscape plan echoes the allure of Rome’s seven hills and three rivers. Seven berms represent the seven hills: Myrtle, Mount Aventine, Old Shorter Hill, Clock Tower, Lumpkin, Blossom and Jackson. Winding pebbled paths represent the three rivers: Oostanaula, Etowah and Coosa. Open daily 8:00am – 6:00pm https://romegeorgia.org/attraction/myrtle-hill-cemetery/
The garden at Barnsley Resort is a historic private estate garden designed in the 1840s in the style of Andrew Jackson Downing. The horticulture team carefully tends the diverse collection of flora and fauna in the village and heirloom gardens, and often plants harvested from the gardens are available for purchase. Open daily 8:00am – 5:00pm. www.barnsleyresort.com
Marshall Forest is 301 acres of the only virgin forest within the city limits of any city in the United States and was named Georgia’s first National Natural Landmark. The forest features two interpretive trails, including a complete ADA Braille Trail. It’s home to the largest population in Georgia of the endangered large-flowered skullcap, a perennial herb in the mint family. Open daily dawn to dusk. www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/places-we-protect/marshall-forest-preserve/
Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum
Berry College founder Martha Berry’s formal gardens were created by landscape architect Robert Cridland in the 1920s and 1930s, and still maintain their original design. Discovery of Cridland’s planting plans has provided direction for re-implementation of the historic garden; with support from the Garden Club of Georgia, Oak Hill’s gardens are undergoing complete restoration at the historic home of Oak Hill. Open Monday – Saturday, 10:00am – 5:00pm. www.berry.edu/oakhill/