If you’ve got any plans for this weekend, and they’re not for the Fayette County Master Gardener tour and plant sale, then cancel them. This is probably the one and only chance you’ll have to see some of the most spectacular gardens in Fayette County. Start your day early—there are many unique plants to buy at the sale and six glorious gardens to visit. The plant sale begins at 8:00 and the garden tour begins at 10:00 and lasts until 4:00 p.m.
Believe me; you’ll need every minute to do it all. (This article presupposes everyone has a GPS or a map).
Begin your day at 8 a.m. at the plant sale located at Stonewall Village gazebo in Fayetteville. (A word to the wise—serious plant-hounds will get there early; you should too). From there, head up 92 North to 175 West Lake Drive for the first garden. A golf cart will meet you at the end of the long winding, woodland driveway to transport you to what seems like a mountain enclave. A beautiful stream, flanked with huge boulders (that beg for sitting) and native azaleas, bisects the property. Take special note of all the stone-lined beds, walking trails and retaining walls—the owner moved all of the stones herself with only a crowbar! The exquisite peacefulness of this amazing space beckons you to sit a while and ponder life’s many mysteries—ignore it. You have five more gardens to see.
Head down 92S to the next garden at 145 Lady Helen Court. This spectacular space was professionally landscaped about 25 years ago. The bones are amazing and the wonderful plantings mature. Large George Tabor azaleas and towering rhododendrons flank stone-lined pathways, hiding secret little gardens along the way. Even the water spigots located along pathways are unique. A large dry stream bed runs through the 2-acre space, with stone bridges and benches situated for sitting. A beautiful pool and gazebo area complete the setting.
From there, you’re at a crossroads. If you want to end your tour in Peachtree City, you may want to head east on Hwy 54 to 609 Banks Road, East. This fantasy-filled garden is replete with Japanese maples, a pool area and three woodland ponds. Numerous whimsical garden statuaries are nestled among the plantings.
Next, head to 170 Longshore Way to enjoy a truly unique garden experience—a railway garden, complete with companion plantings and repurposed building structures. The attention to detail, most evident in the scale of the plant material and hardscaping, is amazing. Children and railroad enthusiasts will particularly enjoy this magical space.
Continue heading south to Brooks (157 Carson Rd) to view a stunning Tara-esque manor, with multiple outdoor seating areas, garden beds, a bird aviary, and children’s playhouse. The lovely house sits on a bluff and the grounds are multi-terraced with stones excavated from the property. A lovely 3-level amphitheater that can seat up to 400 of your closest friends sits below the main house and overlooks the meandering pond/stream. Don’t miss the miniature horses as you come in (one has a new foal); they will be happy to greet you.
Lastly, head north to PTC to 22 Parkgate Lane for a true “southern-cottage” garden. This lovely space features a beautiful koi pond with waterfall that fits perfectly into the landscape. A vine-covered arbor beckons you further to the upper gardens, filled with azaleas and hydrangeas and fun-filled garden art.
If you want to end up in Fayetteville, reverse the direction and end up at 609 Banks Road.
In addition to the plant sale and six wonderful gardens, there will be an “Ask the Master Gardener” booth at the gazebo where you can bring your most pressing garden questions, and on-going hourly demonstrations beginning at 9:00 a.m. to noon on things such as composting, raised bed gardening, successful tomato growing, Georgia Gold Medal plants, and earth friendly pest and disease control. All in all, you get a lot of bang for your 15 bucks.
Tickets are available at Wild Birds Unlimited, Pikes, and Lizard Thicket in PTC; Andy’s II (85South) and Artworks on the Square in Fayetteville; and Millpond Gardens in Brooks. They will also be available at the “Ask the Master Gardener” booth the day of the event.