Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hills and Dales

In 1841 Sarah Ferrell expanded her mothers small garden originally planted in 1832. Sarah started planting boxwoods, native and exotic plants and opened her 35 acre garden to the public.

Photo Credit: Callaway Estates
When she died in 1903 the gardens became overgrown and uncared for.
In 1911 Fuller Callaway bought the property he remembered walking through with Sarah as a child.
He built Hills and Dales on the site where Sarah Ferrell house had been and this became the Callaway family home.

Hill and Dales estate is open to the public. The house is interesting to walk through and the tour guides are very knowledgeable but the big draw are the many gardens that surround the house and terraces.

The gardens consist of the Tea Hedge Garden, Magnolia Walk, Boxwood Walk, Fountain Terrace and Lovers Lane to name a few. But the most impressive to me was the Church Garden.
Photo Credit: Whitehaven

The Church Garden was created by Sarah Ferrell. It contains a boxwood hedge shaped like a harp. Other beds represents the pews, organ and offering plate creating a natural  outdoor sanctuary.
The Ray Garden was originally meant for vegetables but was converted into a rose and ornamental flower  garden in 1950.

In 1916 a greenhouse was built on the property and was remodeled in 1949. One section contains orchids, begonias and blooming tropicals. The next part houses ferns. In the third section you’ll find snapdragons, carnations and other flowers meant for cutting.The greenskeeper was happy to answer any questions that we had.

Photo Credit: Deep South Magazine

The house celebrates it’s centennial this year. It’s worth the drive.
1916 Hills and Dales Drive
LaGrange, Georgia

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hydrangeas from my Garden

Photo Credit: CK Worley

Hydrangeas are the perfect bouquet flower with many different colors ranging from blue to white to pink. The soil has a lot to do with the color of the flower.

Photo Credit: CK Worley

 A pH of less than 5.5 will give you more blue tones
A pH of more than 5.5 will produce more flowers in the pink family.

Care is easy. Cut away the dead wood in the fall or early spring. They do like water and will let you know by their wilting leaves when they need more.

Here are some of the photos I took of my mop head and lace-cap hydrangeas.

I’m so glad they decided to bloom because last year I didn’t get one blossom!
That was weather related I’m afraid.

Photo Credit: CK Worley

 My Oakleaf  Hydrangea didn’t bloom this year at all because I pruned it at the wrong time.

The Oakleaf flowers from the previous years growth so pruning in the winter or early spring will cut off all the blooms for that summer.

It’s best to prune right after they flower and before the new blossoms form.

Lesson learned.
Photo Credit: CK Worley

How old is the hydrangea plant?

The oldest fossils found dated back to 40 - 65 million years ago. They were found in Alaska, Oregon and California.

The plant was used to help with kidney stones and bronchitis many thousands of years ago in China and Japan so the species has been around for a very long time.

Photo Credit: CK Worley
Photo Credit: CK Worley
There are flowers that go with anniversaries. I never knew that!

#1-  Carnation

#2 -  Lily of The Valley

#3 - The Sunflower

And to celebrate the Fourth Wedding Anniversary - the flower is the Hydrangea!

 So if you know someone who is celebrating their 4th Anniversary. A Hydrangea plant would be the perfect gift!

Photo Credit: CK Worley
 I hope you enjoyed the hydrangeas from my garden here at Setters Run.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

My visit to Gibbs Gardens

Photo Credit: Gibbs Gardens

I was able to visit Gibbs Gardens during the daffodil festival along with my friends Mary and Katie. Gibbs Garden's was featured in the 50th anniversary edition of Southern Living magazine where is was rated one of the south’s most famous gardens. From time to time it even features "strolling musicians". Anything from flutes to violins.

After traveling the world visiting various gardens Jim Gibbs wanted to create his very own oasis. He found, property in Ball Ground Georgia, complete with springs and streams, and he started to work. He designed 24 ponds, 32 bridges and 19 waterfalls. The 220 acres now feature 16 gardens including the Manor House Gardens, Japanese and Waterlily gardens plus the Manor house which is currently occupied by the family.

Photo Credit: Erica Glasener

Gibbs is an official American Daffodil Society display garden. March 10 - April 15 is the official Daffodil Festival and is breath taking with over 20 million narcissus flowers of some 100 different varieties filling up the rolling hillsides. Colors vary from yellow to blush pink and cream. Mark your calendars for next year!

For more information and beautiful photographs of Gibbs Gardens please visit