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  • Writer's pictureCaitlyn C

Gibbs Gardens, Ball Ground GA: What To Expect

Updated: May 28, 2021


(This post is not sponsored in any way, all opinions stated are my own)


How I Found The Park

In March of 2020, I opened my travel Instagram account, and one of my favorite things to do at the time was searching for places to go once the world opened up again.


One day I was looking back on photos from my 2019 trip to Chicago and saw all of the tulips in some of my photos.


Photos like those made me miss being able to go on trips even more, so I started looking for flower fields in my home state of Georgia in the hope that I would be able to go to one.


That was when I saw Gibbs Gardens, I had never heard of them before but their eye-catching daffodils.


They claimed to have over 20 MILLION of them!


I added some of their Instagram photos to my Georgia bookmark folder, and that was the last time I thought about the place for quite a while due to the Covid restrictions in place.


View The Gibbs Gardens Instagram Page Here



Buying Our Season Passes

Then, earlier this year, I got an ad on Instagram and whereas normally I ignore them, this one was from the same botanical gardens I had found online the year prior!


They were doing a buy-one-get-one-half off for their season passes.


Meaning that if I found someone who also was interested in going we could get a pass for half off and go whenever we wanted!


I called my sister and she said she was down!


So I placed the order that next day ($25 each due to the sale) We ordered our tickets online and they mailed us membership cards (paper cards that are a little bit thinner than card stock) shipping cost less than $5


We waited for them to open for the spring.


Their opening week is typically in early March depending on the blooms, and once we got the email with their opening date we decided to wait a week or two so that they wouldn't be as busy when we went.


The Drive

My sister and I picked a Tuesday and once the plans were made and the day had come we set off on our journey to get there.


The gardens are about an hour and ten minutes from Atlanta, so we left around 10AM, and on the way there we picked up Publix sandwiches to have for lunch because we weren't sure what they ere going to have around there.


It was a nice trip, once we got outside the perimeter there was almost no traffic the rest of the way there. (They do have food available to buy there)


Parking

We arrived close to 11:30AM and the parking lots there were free, but if you don't want to walk a long distance to get in you should try to get there earlier than we did.


There were still spots left, but we were directed through three fields of cars before the employees there directed us to an empty spot.


For those who may be wondering there was a whole parking lot for handicap spots close to the entrance of the gardens.


Inside The Gardens


They are extremely beautiful, the people who run the park put extreme attention to the little details of things, and it has a much more homey feeling than the Atlanta Botanical Garden.


Mainly because it is someone's home!


The gardens were started by Jim Gibbs, who started his own landscaping company which grew to become one of the leading landscape companies in Atlanta for more than 40 years.


He and his wife both live there and allow guests to come into their literal back yard! (one of the bathrooms in the park is the bathroom inside the pool house)


For more history of Gibbs Gardens click Here


When we went the daffodils and cherry blossom trees were in peak bloom, the Japanese gardens were full of lush green foliage, and the tulips were blooming as well.


The floral arrangements were spectacular, and there was never a dull moment while inside.


This trip was also the first time I used my new camera! I was so excited about finally having a DSLR that I took close to four hundred pictures!


Gibbs was the perfect place to break it in though, because everywhere we turned there was something new and exciting to look at.


We almost missed the cherry blossom trees that they have there!


There was a sign leading up a hill and when we went up to the field we didn't see them at first and we even saw other people turning around because they didn't find anything either.


But once we walked a little bit farther to the left we found where they had them all planted!


My sister and I spent several hours there and still did not see the entire park.


Most of our time was spent exploring the 'Valley Gardens' and while we saw a good bit of it there is still a large chunk left to visit.


The 'Manor House Gardens' Is where the mansion is and by the time we had made our way there it was about time for us to leave.


But this just means we will be making another trip there very soon!


Best Spot To See

If you are thinking about going to see the gardens, there is one place that is not located on the map.


The employees there call it 'Mountain View' and I have a picture of what it looks like below this blurb.


If you ask anyone there they will direct you on how to get there, its a real climb, but it was worth it.


They had chairs set up at the top, and it was the perfect place to stop and take in the views for a moment, and because it wasn't on the map it was a nice place to take a break from the crowds because not many people knew it was up there.


Covid Protocol

To put it simply... There wasn't very much protocol being enforced. Some people there were wearing masks and physical distancing (Ex. my sister and I both were wearing masks and distancing), but there were a vast majority of guests who were not.


The employees all had on masks, but I never saw them ask guests to put one on.


They did have a group of employees at the gift shop and bathrooms controlling who was allowed inside at a time, the woman's bathroom was large and they only let in 4 people at any given time.


So that is a good thing that they have going on.


If you aren't comfortable being in situations like that and are reading this while the Covid-19 pandemic is still happening I would recommend waiting until a later time to plan your visit or contact the gardens to ask which day has the lightest crowd.


Crowd Levels

Earlier in this post I talked about how full the parking lots were, and the parks were just as full.


There were people everywhere, and my sister and I were shocked to see so many there on a Tuesday afternoon.


Before leaving we talked to one of the employees who said she was shocked to see so many people as well!


She said that the crowd we saw was similar to the type of crowd they get on Saturdays and that a lot of people had come earlier in the week to see everything in bloom before the rainstorm that was coming the next day, and that normally it isn't so crowded on weekdays.


Should You Visit?

Yes!


I do recommend planning your visit if you are looking for a day to relax and wander. Gibbs Gardens is a truly breathtaking place and the perfect way to spend a day and get some walking steps in!

 

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