Wandering through a late summer garden


My friend, Georgia, and I recently spent a beautiful sunny afternoon taking a Hills and Dales Garden Tour in LaGrange, GA.  In addition to visiting the lovely Fuller E. Callaway home, we enjoyed wandering through the late summer flowers on our self-guided tour of the gardens. The estate and gardens are relatively small in scale, when compared to more massive estates across the country, but rich in detail. It was a delightful way to spend a pretty, end of summer afternoon.                                                     We enjoyed the evidence of a family life well-lived.


Butterflies and Snapdragons


Having known the family personally, Georgia enjoyed revisiting warm childhood memories. We both enjoyed walking amongst the well-manicured beds of beautiful flowers complete with fluttering butterflies! Along the way, we met an enviable, lazy cat who was napping  in the shade alongside the colorful coleus.

Sharon McGukin, Georgia Evans, and the Coleus Cat.


We wandered through the house, hearing the story of the Callaway family; relatives of the family who established the well-known Callaway Gardens in nearby Pine Mountain. Then we meandered through the garden. Along our way, Georgia and I discussed how in the everyday rush of endless ‘to do’ lists and the hyper speed of business today – the average person is losing the ‘art of living well’ often enjoyed by past generations. Just like the important investment of time needed to properly care for your family, it takes time and patience to grow a beautiful garden. The simple act of planting, watering, and grooming a bed of Caladiums can be time-consuming, but ever so rewarding when it, and its companion plants and flowers, grow into an inspiring sight like this –

A flower bed of Caladiums.


Just as delicious food nourishes our body – beautiful, fragrant flowers nourish our soul. The creative act of nurturing an elegant Cattleya orchid bloom into life is an art of its own. These greenhouse gardeners obviously nurtured these delicate flowers with finesse! We loved looking at these impressive blooms –

Eye-catching purple Cattleya orchids in the Estate Greenhouse.


Beautifully elegant white Cattleya.


It was interesting to discover plants and flowers tucked away in unexpected places for the sheer pleasure of enjoying the sight of them. If you love natural beauty, give yourself a gift and wander through a garden soon.

Unexpected plant alcove.

For more information: If you live in the West Georgia area and wish to visit Hills and Dales Estate of LaGrange, GA, visit http://www.hillsanddales.org/index.php/visitors/group_tours for more garden tour information.


FLOWER-SAVVY DESIGN TIP – One of the takeaways of the day was the use of colorful peppers grown in the garden to fill bowls of natural color and texture in the kitchen decor while waiting to be used for cooking. Taking a bit of the garden indoors to enjoy, inspires us to cultivate plants that are as purposeful as they are pretty.

A variety of peppers grown for food make decorative bowls of color as well.

We came away from the day reminding ourselves to take time to enjoy the details of a life well-lived. Attention to detail such as sharing good food and enjoying beautiful flowers in the home adds to quality of life for our family and friends. It’s simply the best way to enjoy celebrating everyday life.

Celebrate life with flowers!                                                                                                                                                                                #sharonmcgukin




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