- fields of daffodils -

If I had a free weekend and enough sky miles to get to Atlanta, I'd go there asap and drive an hour north to this magnificent place called Gibbs Gardens. I read about it in Southern Living magazine, and I'm fascinated by the story of one man's life's work. He has worked on this garden venue for years and years, and on March 1st, it opened to the public. Imagine planting over three million daffodils. What an amazing story! Plus thousands of other features that he planted and built. Here's the scoop:

*Forty-year Dream Comes True*

Jim Gibbs, the owner, designer and developer of Gibbs Gardens, is the founder of Gibbs Landscape Co., one of the largest, oldest and most successful landscaping firms in Atlanta.

Jim Gibbs traveled for 15 years covering the nation and the world viewing gardens of every style and decided that he wanted to design and build a world class garden. He spent six years looking for a suitable site with a strong source of water and beautiful mature trees covering a rolling topography. It was truly "a dream come true" when he found the most beautiful site in the nation to construct the garden. The property is 292 acres and the house and gardens include 220 acres, making it one of the nation's largest residential estate gardens.

“I’ve dreamed of creating a world–class garden in the Atlanta area for more than 40 years,” says Gibbs. “After spending six years finding just the right property and another 30 plus years designing and developing Gibbs Gardens, that dream is about to come true. Gibbs Gardens will open to the public on March 1, 2012.

Visitors to Gibbs Gardens will be amazed by the diversity and breadth of its 16 artistically designed garden venues and dazzled by the four feature gardens:

1. Daffodil Gardens, 60 varieties of daffodils sweep across more than 50 hillside acres under a canopy of flowering dogwoods and cherry blossoms.

2. Japanese Gardens, at more than 40 acres is the largest in the nation.

3. Monet Waterlily Gardens, featuring 140 varieties of unique lilies and a replica of the bridge in Monet’s Garden at Giverny (outside Paris).

4. Arbor Crest Manor House Gardens, located on the highest ridge in northeast Cherokee County, where seven flowering terraces flow seamlessly down 150 feet of elevation from Arbor Crest Manor House to the Valley Gardens.