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Gibbs Gardens’ Seasons Of Color Present Nature At Its Most Glorious

Gibbs Gardens’ Seasons Of Color Present Nature At Its Most Glorious

By Barbara Schneider, Gibbs Gardens
Photographs courtesy of Gibbs Gardens

Gibbs Gardens is a magical place all year long, but in September— as late summer morphs into early fall— an incredible transformation takes place. The gardens’ Seasons of Color overlap, providing visitors with an inspiring view of nature’s transition at its most glorious. 

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Late summer roses (considered garden royalty)— along with perennials and annuals of every description—display peak bloom color throughout the gardens, from the elegant Manor House and innovative Inspiration Gardens to the Grandchildren’s Sculpture Garden and sprawling Valley Gardens.

Heirloom, Knockout, and Drift roses provide dramatic ribbons of vibrant color until frost arrives. More than 1,000 rose bushes, ranging in color from shades of red and pink to yellow and white, thrive across acres of verdant green lawns. Waterlilies grace the ponds of the Monet Waterlily Gardens while vivid canna lilies stand tall and proud in sweeping serpentine beds adorning the Grandchildren’s Sculpture Garden.

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At the same time, fall’s much anticipated arrival begins throughout the gardens. Pansies and violas in planters and beds show off their bold color while Encore azaleas— taking a second seasonal bow—come ablaze with color.

One of Gibbs Gardens’ most unique gardens, the Wildflower-Butterfly Meadow, is a 15-acre refuge for butterflies, birds and bees. Jim Gibbs, the owner, designer and developer of Gibbs Gardens, plants the most vibrant, visible colors to attract these endangered species, especially monarch butterflies as they travel south from New England— directly over northeast Georgia— to their winter refuge in Mexico.

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In September the Wildflower-Butterfly Meadow welcomes new flowers planted in the summer for fall color: Cosmos sulphureous with orange and yellow blooms; Cosmos bipinnatus with blooms in shades of pink, red, and white. There are 10 varieties of zinnias planted (by height) in drifts, including California Giants Mix with large 4-to 6-inch multicolor blooms. To attract more bees and butterflies, Gibbs adds bright color with Lilliput Mix zinnias (with semi-dwarf multicolor blooms), narrow-leaved sunflower, large-flower tickseed, spotted beebalm, black-eyed Susan, goldenmane tickseed, purple coneflower, and marigold flowers.

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Gibbs Gardens’ Japanese Gardens— Tsukiyama— Japanese for hill and pond stroll garden, adorns more than 40 acres, features more than 100 varieties of Japanese maples and is believed to be the largest Japanese garden in the nation.

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Beautiful all year long, the legendary Japanese Gardens seem almost mystical as summer begins to fade and fall arrives. The delicate beauty of the gardens takes on a golden glow that turns bright red as it moves up into the trees. The Japanese Gardens is the perfect place to sit a spell, take a deep breath and contemplate nature’s magnificent beauty.

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A World-Class Garden Experience

Honored with the National Garden Clubs’ Award of Excellence, Gibbs Gardens has been named one of the “Thirteen Best Botanical Gardens in America,” “2020 Best American Botanical Gardens,” one of the “World’s 10 Best Places to See Daffodils,” a top garden in Georgia by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Explore Georgia. To learn more about Gibbs Gardens go to

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