Outstanding Gardens of Atlanta, Georgia
Garden Design's self-guided day trip to Atlanta, Georgia.
Mention Georgia and you’re likely to imagine juicy, sun-ripened peaches, so it’s no surprise that more than 70 roads in Atlanta include the word “Peachtree” in their name. Atlanta is also known as the birthplace for the civil rights movement in America. The Capitol Dome, gilded in pure gold, has become as much of a tourist attraction as Centennial Olympic Park, the centerpiece of Atlanta’s Olympic legacy.
Yet, local garden expert Helen Lawson also encourages you to seek out some of the many public gardens around the city and suggests you begin your day at Gibbs Gardens. Founder Jim Gibbs spent six years searching for this site in order to realize his garden dreams. While one could easily spend several hours exploring the many gardens here, Helen suggests focusing on the Japanese Garden. It's one of her favorite spots, where every turn in the path offers another beautiful vignette.
From there, you will drive to the Buckhead neighborhood and visit the Atlanta History Center where several unique garden experiences await. These include the Quarry Garden, created from an abandoned rock quarry, with its naturalized plantings that offer refuge for plants and wildlife. You will find plant collections native to pre-settlement Georgia, many of which are rare and/or endangered.
Finally, take a walk along Atlanta’s BeltLine, a quirky, multi-use trail through the center of the city, which Helen describes as an urban prairie and linear arboretum.