Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Visiting Hills and Dales in LaGrange

Members of the Crossroads Garden Club took the opportunity to tour Hills and Dales Estate and the Ferrell Gardens in LaGrange, Ga. this past Saturday. The photos above are a screen captures of Hills and Dales from their website.

When we arrived, we watched a short film about the history of the gardens and the families who built the beautiful estate and keep it in trust to share with visitors and the surrounding community. Above, Wilma Smith, Jerry Williams, Janell Taylor and Sam Merrell look around at the beautiful surroundings.

We were dropped off at the front portico of the three story home described as an Italian Georgian design. Fuller Callaway, Sr. who had the house built in 1915 asked for an Italian villa to complement the gardens he had purchased from the Ferrell family in 1911. He demolished the house but kept the gardens intact and added to them over the years.

Beginning he garden tour, Mike Carnicom, Mary Miller, Wilma Smith, Merlene Smith and Jerry Williams.

The former pool house and swimming pool have been turned into large patio overlooking the terraces that were once used for farming and raising cattle.

Calvin Horsley, Mike Carnicom and Mary Miller view the beds of summer ornamentals and the
Southern Magnolia espaliered on the side of the former garage and chauffeur’s quarters, framing the arched windows.

Photos of the Ray garden by the second generation of the Callaway family that was formerly the family vegetable garden.

The old Fuller gardens begin on the west side of the house. It is amazing to enter the 1840 world of Sarah Fuller who expanded her mother's garden into what was described as one of the best gardens in 30 states by 1865 with boxwood lined walkways and Christian themes interspersed with beds of flowers. More about the Fuller part of the garden tomorrow.

Before walking into the gardens we toured the greenhouse, built in 1916. We saw some of the most beautiful orchids we have ever seen. They were surrounded by beautiful ferns and succulents.

I also saw the cutting gardens grown behind the greenhouse. These gardens were very important to keep the house supplied with fresh flowers each day.

 We were a bit late to see the roses in full bloom but they did still have blossms here and there.

All of this and we had barely started.

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