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GIBBS GARDENS -- Year-Round Festivals of Color and a Great Place for Social Distancing

Gibbs Gardens, located in Ball Ground, Georgia, one hour north of Atlanta, comprises 300 acres of meticulous landscaping, spring-fed ponds, streams, waterfalls, bridge crossings and color profusions for every season of the year. Check the website for their on-line Bloom Calendar which is updated every three weeks from March to December.

Have you been cooped up way too much lately and just need to get out and see something beautiful? Then maybe a road trip to Gibbs Gardens would scratch that itch.

My husband and I visited in mid-July and saw the roses, hydrangeas, waterlilies, and crepe myrtles putting on a show. I've heard from a friend that the 50 acres of daffodils filled with more than 20 million flowers are spectacular in March and April, and the 1000 Japanese maples put on a brilliant display in the fall.

The visitor's center has a gift shop and clean restrooms, and most of the walking trails are shady with plenty of benches when you need to stop for a minute to catch your breath. During normal times, a tram operates around the property, but unfortunately, it is not available during the pandemic.

The staff at Gibbs Gardens has carefully designated entrances and exits, as well as markers on the trails, to keep guests as socially-distant as possible. Arbor Cafe on the grounds usually has food and drinks for purchase, but, as with so many things these days, their offerings are very limited at the present time.

Please note that tickets can only be purchased ON-LINE and before your arrival.

You should also plan ahead for lunch before or after your visit to Gibbs Gardens. This attraction is in a rural setting, so you'd be wise to stop in Canton, Georgia, where there are a number of dining options. We chose a place called Brooklyn Joe's at Canton Marketplace on Cumming Highway. Check out the menu on the website for its impressively large range of items. It bills itself as Italian, but there are plenty of salads and deli sandwiches, in addition to pizza and pasta. There are only 3 Brooklyn Joe's restaurants in existence in Georgia so far. I suspect more will pop up in the future.

In the interest of full disclosure, mid-July is probably NOT the best time to visit. Even though there is plenty of shade, it was HOT when we visited. Very hot and extremely humid. Interestingly though, even with all of the water features, there were no mosquitoes. We asked a staff member about it. He said he'd been working there for a number of years and had never gotten a mosquito bite. He'd learned that it was because all of the ponds, streams, and waterfalls have moving water, not stagnant. That made sense to us.

Also, my Silver Fox, who is a real trooper, was hobbling around with a boot on his foot because of a broken toe. IF ONLY the tram had been operational. :( Oh well, we'll go back on a cooler day when we're capable of seeing a larger portion of the property.

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